How Long Does It Take?

Last week, I finished up Launch School’s back end module. It was a satisfying accomplishment, and I am already enjoying the little bit of front end material I have studied so far.

Today I spent a few minutes perusing the app I use to log my study hours (Tyme 2). I don’t keep track of my hours in order to complete courses within a certain time frame. Doing so would place unnecessary pressure on the learning process. Instead, I like to set a goal of studying X hours per week and I track my hours in order to see if I’ve met my goal. On average, I log a total of twenty to thirty hours per week.

My logs start with 149 prep because my previous iPhone died unexpectedly.

As seen above, I spent over 100 hours on each of the last two back end courses! It was a nice feeling to see all of my hard work tallied up into quantifiable data (these numbers include assessment prep). Now, the hours I spent on courses 170 and 180 are substantially more than what Launch School estimates on the course listing, but… that’s okay!

I wish I could tell every new student not to worry about fitting truly deep learning into an arbitrary time frame. I feel that I learned much more than the bare minimum to get by, and I’m a better programmer for it.

As an example, I intentionally spent extra time in course 170 (Web Development) building additional Sinatra apps in order to drive the course concepts home, experiment with additional ideas, and… because I was having fun with it! I chose to dive deeper into Sequel at the end of course 180 (SQL and Relational Databases) because I wanted to be especially proficient with it.

Nobody is giving out a prize for who can race through learning a new concept the fastest (I’d argue that the real prize is given to those who learn more deeply), so dig in and enjoy the ride.