How Long Does It Take To Learn To Code?

Published by UCode Research on May 25, 2022

How Long Does It Take To Learn To Code? At UCode, students typically require 50 hours of instructional time to complete an introductory kids coding course and an additional 50 hours to complete an advanced kids coding course. Yes, there is some variability based on age and math levels. But this brings us to an important point – learning to code is like learning the piano, guitar, or learning how to ice skate. It is a learning process that takes practice and persistence as you learn to code by coding.  You do not learn to code by reading a book, just like not learning to play the piano by studying music theory.  It is not possible to code by playing games or building them using templated blocks like Minecraft or Roblox. You learn to code by coding.

Core CS Concepts

Let’s continue with the music analogy. When learning to play the guitar you learn to play the chords.  The chords are the basic building blocks of learning to play the guitar. Coding also has basic building blocks – what we call the “Core CS Concepts”. CS stands for computer science. The concepts that an 8-year-old learns and the concepts that an 18-year-old learns are identical. If you look at our Scratch Course curriculum and our Python Course curriculum you will see the same Core CS Concepts in both. Now, we do not teach them in the same way, but fundamentals are fundamentals. The great guitarist is playing the same chords as the beginner, he is just more practiced. And once you learn one coding language, the others are easily picked up. 

If you are enrolled in a kids’ coding class that is not teaching the fundamentals, you are wasting your child’s time and you are $$$$$$. Focus on learning the fundamentals and the core concepts. And don’t get taken in by the marketing nonsense that is out there. We have one competitor who will “Teach you Python by Learning Scratch”. Huh? That’s like saying “I will teach you Japanese by learning Finnish”. They have another course to teach data science using Scratch. This should be illegal.  

Can You Track Your Student’s Progress?

Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) is a form of academic assessment which is commonly used by teachers to shed light on students’ progress in academic areas.

Unfortunately, there are very few kids’ coding classes that are curriculum-based. Yes, many will claim to have a curriculum, but these are not curricula in the traditional sense of having a set of concepts that they teach and evaluate against. What they offer are “project” based learning experiences that are loosely combined and offered as a curriculum. 

This is particularly true of “apps” and online programs. The only one that we can recommend is CodeSpark, as it is designed to build computational thinking skills. The rest of the apps in the market are really for “play”, even if they claim to “teach kids to code”. And play is great, but do not expect any real learning outcome. You can only track real learning progress against core CS concept understanding. Everything else is pretty much nonsense.

How Many Coding Classes a Week?

Parents often ask how many coding classes should a kid take a week? Really, there is no right or wrong answer. We believe that two classes a week are of great benefit for students ages 12 and under. Why? Because they have a facility for learning languages at these ages and coding is really a language at its most basic. 

How Do I identify the Right Instructor?

Communication styles differ among people and you need to find an instructor whose style meshes with your student. But really the question you should be asking is “How do I find the right curriculum?” We know from teaching tens of thousands of students to code that the curriculum is far more important than the instructor. We encourage students to work with different instructors so as to build their communication skills. It is all about teams in the workplace and university. Success requires strong communication skills.  

How Much Does It Cost?

Most providers charge $30.00 to $35.00 per instructional hour. Do you want to master Python and take the AP Comp Sci Java exam? That’s going to cost $7000.00. That is insane. We have more realistic options for you at