How long it takes to master Python Programming from scratch

Rehina Naiberh
Rehina Naiberh
Last updated on 7/12/2024

The time it takes to learn Python can vary greatly depending on several factors, including your prior programming experience, the amount of time you can dedicate to learning, and your specific learning goals. Here’s a general breakdown to give you a better idea:

1. Complete Beginners

If you're starting with no prior programming experience, here's a rough timeline:

  • Basics (1-2 months):
    • Understanding syntax, variables, data types, and basic operations.
    • Learning control structures (loops, conditionals) and functions.
  • Intermediate Concepts (2-4 months):
    • Mastering data structures (lists, tuples, dictionaries, sets).
    • Grasping object-oriented programming (OOP), file handling, and modules.
  • Advanced Topics (4-6 months):
    • Delving into decorators, generators, and comprehensions.
    • Exploring concurrency (threading, multiprocessing) and asynchronous programming.

2. With Prior Programming Experience

If you already have experience in another programming language, you can learn Python faster:

  • Basics (2-4 weeks):
    • Familiarizing yourself with Python syntax and idioms.
    • Understanding Python-specific data structures and standard library usage.
  • Intermediate Concepts (1-2 months):
    • Getting comfortable with Python's OOP features, file handling, and modules.
    • Exploring Python’s standard library and common third-party packages.
  • Advanced Topics (2-3 months):
    • Diving into more complex Python features like decorators, generators, and async programming.
    • Learning about Python-specific frameworks or libraries relevant to your field (e.g., Django for web development, pandas for data analysis).

3. Specific Goals

The timeline also depends on what you want to achieve with Python:

  • Web Development (3-6 months):
    • Learning frameworks like Flask or Django.
    • Understanding web development basics, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Data Science (3-9 months):
    • Getting proficient with libraries like NumPy, pandas, Matplotlib, and SciPy.
    • Learning machine learning frameworks like scikit-learn, TensorFlow, or PyTorch.
  • Automation and Scripting (1-3 months):
    • Writing scripts to automate tasks.
    • Using libraries for specific automation tasks (e.g., Selenium for web automation).

Learning Approaches

  • Self-Paced Online Courses: Platforms like CodeEasy, Coursera, edX, Udemy, and Codecademy offer structured Python courses that you can follow at your own pace.
  • Bootcamps: Intensive coding bootcamps can teach you Python and related skills in a shorter period (usually 3-6 months).
  • Books and Tutorials: Reading books like "Automate the Boring Stuff with Python" or following online tutorials can be effective for self-learners.
    Here you can read our article about the highly-recommended Python Programming Books for Beginners
    Must-Read Books for Python Programming Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide
  • Practice Projects: Working on personal or open-source projects helps reinforce what you’ve learned and gain practical experience.
    The Big Book on Small Python Projects by Al Sweigart

Continuous Learning

Learning Python (or any programming language) is an ongoing process. Staying up-to-date with the latest developments, participating in coding communities, and continuously practicing by building projects are essential for becoming proficient and keeping your skills sharp.

In summary, for complete beginners, it can take around 6-12 months to become comfortable with Python, while those with prior programming experience might take 3-6 months. However, these are just estimates, and the actual time can vary based on individual circumstances and dedication.