Can I learn JavaScript in a week? How to get ahead!

Learning JavaScript is the first foray most people have into a real programming language.

If you are doing things correctly you should have picked up some HTML and CSS knowledge before getting to this step. 

They give you the foundational knowledge to be able to put JavaScript into context. 

You won’t learn JavaScript in a week. On average it takes around 3-9 months to get a solid grasp of JavaScript. However, you can probably pick up the basic patterns of JavaScript in a week with a consistent 8 hour learning day. 

But let’s take a closer look at the challenges you will face trying to learn JavaScript in a week or two.

Can you learn JavaScript in a week?

You’ve picked up HTML and CSS in record time, so learning JS in a week shouldn’t be an issue, right? 

JavaScript will likely be your first outing with a programming language, whereas HTML and CSS are markup and styling languages respectively. It is a completely different ballgame than HTML and CSS.

It is going to take time and patience to get to grips with. There will be a lot of frustration along the way and it takes a lot of perseverance.

I think asking, can I learn JavaScript in a week? Is probably not the right question. The journey to becoming a developer is a long one. 

You need to reflect on your motivations for picking up JS. 

Even once you land a job and know what it is like to be a programmer, professional development and continued learning are an enormous part of being a software engineer. 

Learning to code is not a race. There may be some time constraints in terms of the need for a job but unfortunately, the process can’t be rushed. 

Even a programming prodigy couldn’t learn JavaScript in a week. The language is too broad and there is too much to take in.

What can you expect to learn in a week?

After a week you will have picked up some of the fundamentals of JavaScript, this can include but is not limited to:

  • Variables
  • Loops
  • Functions
  • Data Types

Trying to learn JavaScript in a week shouldn’t be the aim. You will likely end up becoming very frustrated. 

Why you should not try to learn javascript in a week 

Unless you are an experienced dev who is picking up JS for work requirements, speed should not be your aim. 

Your aim should be to get a good grasp of the language.

Frustration 

Putting a time limit against learning something always adds to the pressure. An incredibly small timeline of a week ramps up this pressure.

When you struggle to get certain concepts things are always frustrating. Add on the time pressure and the pressure grows significantly. 

What should be a fun challenge turns quickly into despair. 

Motivation

Motivation can always be fleeting. One minute it’s there, and the next it’s gone. 

As the frustration begins to build and you have to spend hours on small issues (which you will), your motivation evaporates.

Extra pressure will sap your motivation very quickly. Learning to code is a marathon, not a sprint. 

You don’t want to work flat out for a week only to be put off because you are so frustrated and your motivation has disappeared. 

Enjoyment

Learning to code is supposed to be a fun, challenging experience. For myself and many other developers, it is the gateway into a new career.

A truly life-changing experience but development is not easy.

Putting unrealistic targets on your learning takes away the enjoyment and will make the learning process a slog. That’s if you even continue at all.

What do you mean by learning?

The definition of learning is important when you ask about a timeframe to learn something. Picking up the fundamentals of JavaScript in under a week is possible but, will you have learned it?

  • Will you be able to copy a Youtube tutorial or course project verbatim? Probably yes.
  • Will you have made some small projects? Highly unlikely, but this will depend on prior experience.
  • Will you be able to understand JavaScript and apply the language to everyday situations? Most certainly not. 

Becoming fluent in any programming language takes a long time. You likely won’t be that fluent by the time you get your first job. Learning JavaScript is a process and will continue long into your career. 

Forget trying to learn the entirety of JavaScript in under a week.

Can you learn JavaScript in 2 weeks?

If you are asking whether you can learn JavaScript in two weeks, I’d be interested in your motivation for doing so.

Are you an experienced developer who has multiple other languages under your belt? 

Then it is possible to pick up and use JavaScript in a couple of weeks, particularly if you are going to be using it day-in-day-out at work.

Even then you won’t have mastered it and understand all of the quirks.

If you are new to the coding world and trying to learn JavaScript in two weeks you may be in for a surprise. 

You will need to learn a host of other tools along the way to be job-ready. 

Understanding version control, frameworks, and how to tackle a problem are all big parts of being a full-time developer. Overall, learning JavaScript is not enough.

Bear in mind that picking up Vanilla JS is just the first hurdle, to get a decent job I’d highly recommend learning React, Vue, or Angular after.

Can you learn javascript in a month? 

In terms of a time frame, a month is still a short amount of time to learn JavaScript in. 

Learning JavaScript in a month is a lot more realistic, especially if you are an experienced developer.

You won’t have mastered the language at this point but you will have built some personal projects and started getting a good grasp on the language. 

FreeCodeCamp’s JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures certificate are tipped to take 300 hours. So if you worked 8 hours a day it would still take you 37.5 days.

From experience, you aren’t going to be able to bring your A-game for 8 hours a day so it is likely going to take much longer.

A lot of people don’t end up finishing the certificates and instead dip in and out to use other resources along the way. So overall it takes considerably longer.

What should you be able to do after a month of JavaScript?

  • Understand and grasp basic concepts
  • Explore parts of the language on your own
  • Create small projects 
  • Establish the right questions to ask on Google and Stack Overflow

How quickly can you learn JavaScript?

There are several things you need to consider when asking how long it takes to learn JavaScript, consider these:

  • What is your previous experience with programming? 
  • How much time can you dedicate per day to learning?
  • Do you currently work full time? 
  • Have you been introduced to JavaScript before?
  • Do you have a network of others who can keep you accountable?

Depending on your answers to the above, the time frame in which you can learn JavaScript varies widely. 

With more time to spare you can cut this down considerably. 

Realistically it is going to take you 3-9 months to learn JavaScript and get comfortable building your projects. 

If you intend to get a JavaScript-focused job afterward you will need to learn either Vue, React, or Angular. 

Learning one of these will take another few months to get good enough to land a job.

Two of the most popular JS courses on Udemy are Javascript – The Complete JavaScript Guide by Max Schwarzmuller and The Complete JavaScript Course by Jonas Schmedtmann. 

The courses are both awesome. They have 52 and 68 hours of video respectively. So that is more than a week of video to take in without even typing a single line of code.

The reason I point this out is to show that nothing comes quick. The entire process is going to take a considerable amount of time and effort. 

The best ways to learn JavaScript

Whether you want to learn JavaScript in a week, or simply take your time and take an in-depth approach, the below resources will help.

Some are free, some are paid. I found the best way to learn is to pick up a couple of online courses while learning the basics. A structured course allowed me to set aims and keep focused. 

Other people prefer the Bootcamp root so I have included a few links to major online boot camps. 

Whatever route you choose, remember it is not about learning JavaScript in a week. Take your time and master the language.

Whether you learn JavaScript in two weeks, a month, or a year, just remember to stick at it!