What can you achieve by learning coding for six months as a complete beginner? When you first get started with coding, you’re surely curious to know how soon you’ll see progress.
In this post I’ll share with you how much I managed to learn and what I achieved in the first six months when I first started learning how to code. I’ll take you through each individual month separately and give you an overview of the main resources I used and found helpful.
So, if you’re new to programming and thinking about where you could be after learning coding for six months yourself, this post is for you!
Here are a couple of related posts you may want to read, too:
- The Best Websites to Learn Coding and Web Development in 2019
- Why Learn Coding? 12 Benefits from Learning Programming
- 10 Powerful Tips to Learn Coding Faster
Please note: This post contains affiliate links to products I use and recommend. I may receive a small commission if you purchase through one of my links, at no additional cost to you. But please, only buy products you believe will help you achieve your goals faster. Thank you for your support!
Where did I start at?
First off, let me briefly explain where I first started at in terms of experience and motivation.
After that, I’ll take you through each of the six months in more detail and point out the most important resources I found and used.
For a flying start into learning web development yourself, make sure you check out these HTML and CSS courses for beginners.
Finding my motivation
Firstly, I wanted to learn programming to be able to solve problems better. For a more elaborate version of the story, check out my post about why I decided to start learning how to code.
Second, I thought coding would be a fun hobby to have. It seemed like something where you’d be able to define your own pace and see continuous growth.
Thirdly, the vast possibilities and the diversity of the practical applications of programming skills felt very interesting. I was sure there was a nice little niche for me somewhere in a specific field that I would become really good at.
Dealing with time constraints
Unfortunately, my motivation and determination was heavily constrained by the amount of time I had to spare.
As for the most of us, I only have 24 hours a day – sadly. With a full-time job keeping me busy during the day, I decided I would practice for one whole hour every day. That would be my minimum.
Now it was time to let my drive and motivation kick in!
For more tips on time management, check out my post about how to find time for learning coding!
Choosing my first programming language
The first month started with a plethora of questions I needed to find answers for, such as:
- What does programming mean exactly?
- What does it entail?
- Where and how should I start learning?
There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to the way you start and learn. What really matters is that you figure out a good plan for yourself. Check out my earlier post about how you can get started with programming in four easy steps.
Finding the first resources
For a risk-free start, I wanted to find some free resources for learning first. I mean, I wasn’t even sure I’d like programming or if I’d be learning coding for six months to begin with!
Luckily, it turned out the Web is packed with more free coding courses that I could ever consume. Codecademy was the first website I actually finished some lessons at. And let me point out that at this point I hadn’t done any programming whatsoever before. None.
I was surprised to see how quickly I saw actual output from what I was doing. I first started with HTML and learned CSS basics and managed to build a basic website with just a few interactive lessons.
Choosing my first language to focus on
I then moved on to the Python course Codecademy offers.
After a few exercises and some research about what Python is used for, I was hooked! Python seemed fun, easy for beginners, and very versatile. I knew this would be the language I would focus on first to learn it properly.
To find more structure and clear goals for myself, I got an amazing book called Python Crash Course. It basically takes you from zero Python knowledge to finishing three cool real-world projects of your own.
With Python Crash Course, you learn the syntax and how the language works first. After that, you can apply your fresh skills for creating a 2D game, analysing and visualising data, or building a web application using the Django framework.
After the first month, I had finished the book and my first project – the web app. It took me around 3-4 weeks to go through the syntax part of the book and just 2-3 days to finish the project.
Learning Computer Science Basics
Into my second month, I felt like I was making really good progress – and very fast! This was making me even more curious to learn more and see what I was capable of.
Know how your computer works!
However, I didn’t feel overly confident about my skills yet. I noticed there were lots of new questions tumbling inside my head that I wanted to answer. Most of them were related to computer science in general.
If you’re serious about learning programming, you obviously need to know how a computer works. And also what it’s capable of doing for you!
Understanding the basics of computer science is therefore essential for beginner coders.
If you’re just getting started with coding, you might find this post on learning computer science basics quite useful!
Finding an online Computer Science course
Quite conveniently for me, out of all programming languages out there, the course uses Python. The main project of the course is to build a simple search engine, which was pretty fascinating for a beginner!
So, I was able to maintain my focus on just one language and at the same time learn computer science basics – the ideal combination for myself at that point!
Around the same time, I found another great course at edX.org called Introduction to Computer Science (or CS50) from Harvard. The video lectures are really easy to watch – the concepts are presented in a very engaging way to the students, which keeps things interesting.
After the second month, I felt more confident about using Python for solving problems and I knew what was happening inside a computer when my code was running. Not bad!
- Python Crash Course continued
- Intro to Computer Science (Udacity)
- Introduction to Computer Science (edX)
Starting to learn new programming languages
During the first two months of learning how to code, I had consciously been focusing on learning only one programming language.
It worked really well for myself and I can fully recommend doing the same thing if you’re completely new to coding. Being able to look for answers concerning just one language helps you keep your head clear.
Going from back-end to front-end
I decided it was time to complement my back-end skills in Python with some front-end skills. I had learned the basics of HTML and started learning CSS the very first day of the first month and now it was time to dive deeper with them.
If front-end and back-end don’t sound familiar to you just yet, check out my post about back-end development vs. front-end development.
Python Crash Course had also already introduced me briefly to HTML, CSS, and Bootstrap in the web app project. To learn more, I wanted to find a good online course to also learn the basics of other commonly used web development languages.
Starting a web development course
Out of all the resources I browsed through, one caught my eye: The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 on Udemy.
Definitely worth its price – especially if you happen to come across a special promotion at Udemy. It’s not uncommon to see discounts of up to 95%.
Before I even noticed, another month was knocking on the door – and I had only just begun with my new course!
During the third month, I only managed to finish the HTML and CSS modules and had a great time cloning existing websites and making my CSS work like a dream.
- The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 (Udemy): HTML and CSS
Discovering WordPress and launching my own website
With a quarter of a year of learning coding behind me, I was still going strong and the fast progress was keeping me really motivated!
I knew I wasn’t going to master any programming language in just months or even years, but I wasn’t in a hurry.
Throughout the month, I focused my time and energy towards practising my HTML and CSS (a lot!) and simultaneously starting new modules in my web development course.
First, I finished the WordPress unit in the web dev course. Having spent a lot of time the past couple of weeks on trying to make my CSS work like a dream, WordPress just felt like a gift from up above!
I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get a website on its feet so quickly!
In fact, I liked WordPress so much that I decided to use it to launch my own website a bit earlier than I had planned.
By this point I was having so many thoughts and ideas in my head from the past few months. I felt like writing about my experience of learning programming would help keep my thoughts and progress more structured. And since writing is like a gateway to me, creating a blog seemed like the best way to go.
For now, my website would just be a simple page with a blog and some information about myself. Later on, I would start building a portfolio of selected projects I had finished, while also starting to get my first real clients for small web development jobs.
If you’re interested in WordPress, too, check out my post about my favourite reasons for using WordPress in web development!
Starting a WordPress online course
I was so intrigued by the possibilities with WordPress that I decided to dive into more detail and start a new course on Udemy. They happened to have a nice promo in place, so the courses were all very affordable.
The one I chose at the end was The Complete WordPress Website Business Course. It basically takes you from knowing nothing about building web pages to creating a bunch of different types of websites with WordPress.
Ultimately, the course aims at providing you with the skills you’ll need to start your own WordPress web development business. That’s quite a goal for an online course – yet I managed to do exactly that thanks to this particular course!
- The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 (Udemy): WordPress
- The Complete WordPress Website Business Course (Udemy)
The fifth month was all about learning new skills for web development.
With my blog, I could easily keep my thoughts more focused and also track my learning. Writing about my experience was a great way to process everything I had learned so far.
Still, I didn’t feel like I was particularly good at any of the programming languages I had befriended so far.
But I wasn’t in a hurry! Looking back at my first month, I had already come such a long way.
Revisiting Python, building my first portfolio websites
Final month! I spent this last month brushing up my skills in Python and Django, WordPress, Bootstrap, and some very basic PHP.
With some practice in Bootstrap with my web dev course, I finally finish the first proper project I had started with Python and Django. The back-end part itself was pretty much done after the first month, but I really wanted to make it look nice and be more user-friendly.
Additionally, I managed to learn enough about WordPress to build a portfolio website for myself! I chose a few small projects to showcase to my visitors and kept updating them as I progressed to larger, more demanding projects.
All in all, it felt like after learning coding for six months, the journey had just begun.
I managed to have a first taste of a little bit of everything, but I was just getting started!
- The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 (Udemy): Bootstrap, PHP
- The Complete WordPress Website Business Course (Udemy)
- Python Crash Course revisited for Django
Final thoughts: Learning coding for six months
So, after learning coding for six months, how far have I come?
I didn’t become an expert in any of the programming languages I learned, but it’s a good start.
In just six months, you can easily manage to get acquainted with a number of different languages and technologies and of course finish some projects of your own while you’re at it.
As a short summary, here are my ultimate favourite resources and courses to get you started and for making the most out of learning coding for six months:
- The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 at Udemy: This course covers everything you need to become a professional web developer from basic HTML and CSS to more advanced topics in both front-end and backend development.
- The Complete WordPress Website Business Course at Udemy: If you’re interested in using WordPress as a content management system for your websites and perhaps becoming a professional WordPress web designer, this course is for you!
- Python Crash Course by Eric Matthes: If you’re totally new to coding, consider giving Python a chance with this awesome book from No Starch Press. You will learn everything you need in order to create your own cool web applications, conduct data analysis, and build some addictive 2D games with Python and its different modules and libraries. (Get your copy from Amazon)
If you’re just starting out with coding, here’s a helpful post with 6 practical steps to get you started the right way. And to find the perfect learning resources, check out the best websites to learn coding for beginners!
If you liked this post about learning coding for six months, drop me a line in the comments below!
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I’ll see you in the next article! Happy coding!