How much can I earn from teaching myself code?

Hi, everyone

My friend recommended I go through this curriculum to teach myself code. He said if I stuck with this for 5 to 6 months, learning code at least once an hour a day, I could find a job that pays from $60k to $80k a year with benefits.

I’m wondering what other people think, what’s been other people’s average experience? Does this sound right, what my friend is saying?

I guess it would depend on where you live, and the company you get a job with. There are a lot of factors that play into this. However, I just looked and the area I live in and searched for entry level web developers with no experience, and they make around 55-60k average. That doesnt mean thats what you will make, and since its the average it could be less. It would better to do the research for yourself and see what the pay is like where you live for an entry level with no experience. I keep saying “no experience” because in this job market entry level could actually mean three years experience.

This is wishful thinking, and especially if you are starting from zero. If you are going to do it only one hour a day then I would push it back to a 1year+. As you will soon find out, this stuff isnt easy. You can can spend an hour just trying to find an error in your code. This is not to discourage you, but its not going to be like what your friend is making it out to be. Honestly, if you could put in even two hours a day then that would be a lot better. It still would not get you ready in 6 months, but it would make a lot of difference.

This is not to discourage you, I think this is a great field to be in and the money is definitely there. Not to give out my pay, but I only have 1 year experience and I am making in the upper range of what your friend suggested. However, I worked my butt off to get here, and you will need to as well.

Before deciding to go all in on learning how to code because of the money, I would see for yourself if this is something you actually want to do. Like I said, this stuff is hard and be incredibly frustrating. If you don’t have a passion for it, then it might just make you miserable doing something you dont like. So I suggest going through the first couple of lessons and seeing if this is something you can really get behind


How many hours a day did you study coding when you started a year ago?

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An hour a day is harder than it sounds. Try it for a couple of months and you will see.

The name of the game is consistency, less time more often is better than more time less often. A little bit every day goes a long way. Also, you won’t limit yourself to that if you are working on something you care about and want to finish. Then forcing yourself to take breaks becomes the hard part.

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Its been over several years since I started. I have just had this developer job for a year now. I started with maybe an hour, but then I increased it. You will find whatever works for you as you start your journey, but an hour was not enough for me. Time flies when you’re learning, and if you get stuck in a certain area for to long then that hour is up before you know it. Of course, I don’t know your daily schedule and all that so its easy for me to say make it more than a hour.

Hi @MattHulmes !

Welcome to the forum!

We are in a very different job market today and it is has been hard for juniors and even mids to land a role with all of the layoffs.

I would suggest extending that timeline to at least a year or more IMO.

Learning how to code is just one piece of the puzzle.
You also have to learn how to apply for jobs and get results.
Learning how to write good resumes, networking, interviewing, etc. is a skillset in and of itself.

As for the pay, it really depends on the area you are in, but in general this is a good paying career.

For me, I started learning with freecodecamp in June 2020, then a few months later started working about 10-15 hours a week as a junior for this guy’s small software company. It was great to start working with a real world codebase and I was able to do all of the smaller tasks that he didn’t have time to do.

I continued to learn and build solo projects. About a year into my learning, I started working for freecodecamp part time as a staff writer.

Continued to learn and be involved with the tech community through online tech groups and meetups. In January 2022, I landed my first full time role and have been there ever since.

It was about of year and a half of learning, networking, and working part time before I landed my first full time role as a developer.

There was a period in time where the market was red hot and landing a job was much easier.

But times are different, so we have to adjust expectations.

If you work hard, learn the fundamentals well then you can make it as a developer and land that first job.
Just give it time.

Hope that helps!


Getting a job is hard. Learning to program is hard. Neither of these things happen quickly. Expect it to take a lot of time and work. Nobody can tell you how long it will take you or how hard it will be for you. A year is fast, so plan for the long haul.


What was it like for you? When you first started, did you start with a website like this, teaching yourself? How many hours a day did you put in? How long did it take until you landed a job? What was the pay like for you for that job?

How did you find out about the job as junior for this guy’s software company? Did you know him or did you find this job online? I would like to find something like that, I think, where I can learn coding for a couple months and then as a secondary, side-job, I could start doing coding on the weekends, as a way to earn more money and learn coding at the same time.

What was it like for you? When you first started, did you start with a website like this, teaching yourself? How many hours a day did you put in? How long did it take until you landed a job? What was the pay like for you for that job?

Not to sound harsh, but even after a couple of months there is not going be someone who is going to hire you after a couple months. I understand you want to program because it pays good money, but I dont think you are grasping the actual time and effort it is going to take. I think most everyone here has been consistent on saying its going t be at least a year. This few months or 6 month thing is not going to happen, because even if you learned at three times the rate of a normal person you would still need to build a portfolio to show your work in.

I think its better for you to get started now, and worry about the money later when you have been learning and built a few projects.



What do you mean by a few projects? What are projects I can work on to showcase my work?

Also, I am aware of what everyone is saying, it is going to take at least a year and more than one hour of studying a day.

However, she did mention after a few months, she worked 10 to 15 hours working for someone else. I want to know if this is possible for myself. I want to create a plan and a goal for myself to keep myself motivated and I want to know if it is possible for myself to do this as a secondary job. If it takes longer than a few months, ok, I can accept that, but I want to know if it is possible and I’d like to have an estimated timeline.

That is completely up to you. There is no
“create these 5 projects and get a job guaranteed” list. However, you want to build a handful of solid projects that show off all your skills. A good resume is part of getting a job, but the other part and I think the more important part is showing the potential hiring company what you can do. Anyone can put things under the “skills” part of their resume or application, but what really matters is showing them that you can actually do what you said you could on your resume or application

You could re-create websites you find interesting like facebook or netflix, or create an imaginary business and make a website for that. Really anything as long as it shows what you are capable of


Ok. Thank you.

And I’m sorry if I’m coming across as arrogant or combative, I’m not trying to, but like I said, I want to have a realistic understanding and create a good plan for myself.

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I get it, I just say all of this because I have already gone through it. My experience, jwilkin’s experience, Jeremy’s experience and lasjorg’s experience were probably very different in how we got to the place where we are today. Maybe, there is a possibility of finding a job like jwilkins did, but form what I saw/experienced on my way to where I am, I would saw that is more of the rare cases.

I get wanting to have a plan laid out in front of you, and that’s really good to have but the things with plans is that they don’t always go your way. Not saying that you shouldn’t have a plan, but don’t bet everything on that plan going the way you hope it is going to go.

Take it slow, one day at a time, one challenge at a time if you decide to go through the FCC curriculum. As you start learning more and more then you can have a better idea of how you want to structure your plan. At this point though, the biggest thing is getting started and focus on what is right in front of you. The other stuff will come later, go through the first 10 challenges and see if programming is something that will actually excite you to do for a living. Money is good, but this field can be one of the biggest headache’s you will ever get and if you are not passionate about it then it could be torture


I was pretty active online so he found me through my posts.

No, I wasn’t looking for jobs at the time.

I personally wouldn’t actively pursue it that early in the learning process.
It takes a lot of work to apply for jobs and go through the process which takes time away from your learning.
In my situation, it happened because I was crazy visible online and really active in the community which leads to my next point below.

My advice would be to learn the fundamentals well but also get involved with the community.
There are a lot of online tech communities, meetups, etc to get involved with.
Once you have been learning for a while, start building projects and showing your progress online.
You can write about what you have done through sites like hashnode or devto.
Or tweet about your journey on twitter.

Then when you are ready for a job, you can learn about job leads through your network.
I think leon noel has the best advice on how to land a job being self taught

I would also suggest listening to Danny Thompson’s advice too because he has helped a lot of people get into tech

Hope that helps!

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I don’t think you are being arrogant or combative.
You just have genuine questions about how all this stuff works.

We all had the same questions when we first started learning too.

The fact of the matter is that everyone is different.

I have worked with people where it took 3-4 years of studying before they landed their first job.
I have worked with people where it took a year or less of studying before they landed their first job.

As long as you work hard, build projects, and get involved with the community then you can break into the industry in your own timeline :+1:


This :point_up_2: has made me give-up more than ten thousand times.

But having passion for it :point_up_2: has always made me comeback ten million times.

I developed passion for computer and sciences during my early age back then in 2005, when I was just ten years old. But never had access to computer till my sophomore, 2018. Due to my curiosity about how the internet works, I started on site coding class in 2017. After two months, I couldn’t continue because of financial constraints, I was sponsoring myself and my guardian was only interested in the medical course I was studying in the university.

When I got a laptop, I was already in the university, I couldn’t combine coding and schooling. So, since 2018 till December, 2022. when I partially completed my study, I kept on coming on and going off in my coding journey, because of tight school calendar.

November, 2022. I got ALX Software Engineering scholarship, but couldn’t continue with the programme after spending four months because of the pace. The programme requires minimum of 70 hours / week for 12 good months.

So @MattHulmes , like every other person here has already said, landing on a job after few months of learning rest on a lot of factors: the type of job, your location, and most importantly WHAT YOU CAN OFFER. landing on a job these days is more of what have you done and what can you do?

If you get a mentor and can spend a reasonable amount of time, like 6 hours daily, you can achieve a lot in 6 months. But if you are to coach yourself, it will take longer time, unless you are a genius, but that also depends on your level of previous exposure to the software engineering field and computer in general.

My final words. I think you need to find your WHY (purpose) for embarking on this journey, it’s one of the things that can keep you motivated along the way…
Good luck.

I wouldn’t worry about finding a personal mentor - they can be expensive for individual attention. Find a mentoring community where people will help for free.


Where do you post online? Was it just through here? Or was it through the sites you mentioned, hashnode and devto? I’ll check them out. I’ll also check out those youtube channels. Thanks for the advice.