How many hours does it take to learn a programming language?

N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
I know this question has been asked before but I am attempting to take this into a different direction.

I would like to figure out how many hours of study it would take to become proficient in a computer language. Foreign languages have scales on how long it takes to learn another language. Most of these charts rate languages 1 - 4 and specify a certain number of hours it takes to become fluent in that particular language. Do you believe this rating system can be placed on programming languages.

SQL (Not a language I know)
Scripting Powershell Jscript

These for starters.

Some of the foreign language websites actually list the number of assumed hours required. Wiki provides one from the English language. Wikibooks:Language Learning Difficulty for English Speakers - Wikibooks, open books for an open world

I'm just curious what others think.


  • YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    It definitely depends, so to answer your question I would say no. When learning another speaking language as adults, we all have the benefit of already knowing a language and therefore already have a feel for the basic structure of communication with other people.

    I would argue that a Student already very proficient with an Object-oriented (OO) language could learn the syntax for another OO language quite quickly - Perhaps a matter of days or a few weeks. Now if that same person was learning a language that was not OO, the time frame could be longer.

    Also, if the Student is new to programming it could takes months before the Student becomes proficient with a single language while he or she learns the structures of programming. I am currently going through this struggle now while I learn Python as a total beginner to programming.

  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I you have a grasp of programming it might take a week or to to learn that basics, then a few years to become proficient.

    Do you want to learn a language so you can write a hello world program, or write the next market leading application?
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    I would like to figure out how many hours of study it would take to become proficient in a computer language.

    2 : Enough to write a simple program with a reference book in front of you
    6 : Enough to write some simple programs without a reference book in front of you
    24 : Enough to learn the basic syntax of a language
    120 : Enough to learn the vast majority of the syntax of a language

    : SQL (Not a language I know)

    I'm not sure I would consider SQL a programming language in the usual sense.

    : C
    : Scripting Powershell Jscript
    : Java
    : VB

    All of the above match the hours I mentioned fairly closely.

    Note, the above assumes you know how to program, a completely different topic.

    I also forsee being some misunderstanding me in the VB vs C case, so I will pre-emptive clarify.

    The question was how quickly you would learn the language. What many buy from Microsoft and call "Visual Basic" is a combination of a programming language and an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). Make no mistake, there is a language in there, which one must learn to be proficient at application development with VB, and it is that to which I am referring.

    Additionally, many language have extensions, and learning those may require additional time. For example, most C# developers will want to learn .NET, game programmers may want to learn PhysX and OpenGL, etc.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks for your 411 NV.
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