Getting started?

Hey i just wanted to hear what you guys recommend for a newbie just to play around with? I have played around in linux a bit and also some vsb, but nothing major. My dad is a  programmer and he has a bunch of books about javascript, C++ and a bunch of other stuff, so i have plenty of literature, I don´t know what to start with though.


Also some open source software would be great instead of 3-4k$ visual studio.

I would consider myself and low level intermediate programmer, a chemical engineer by education but I have always been intrigued  by programming and willing to learn on my own.  With my current job (industrial automation) it is also beneficial to code custom apps to simplify tasks i.e.  custom xml editors and windows forms apps to do random things.  I will list a couple of things that helped me build a foundation and get me where I am today (which is by no means expert level).  

Check out  It has a good javascript learning track to get a basis in this language but also programming concepts in general.  It also has a few other languages including python and an introduction to ruby. 

If interested in programming for windows I would recommend checking out visual studio express.  Its free and has all the tools you need for beginning program development.  I primarily used visual basic in the beginning but I am learning C# at the moment to help a few friends with a project in Unity.  Microsoft Virtual Academy and  Channel 9 also have a ton of courses depending on what you want to do. 

There is a ton of information out there, you just have to find it.  Google and Stack Overflow have helped me a lot and there are subreddits for most languages.  

Hope some of this helps you.  So what are you looking to do?

I recommend javascript. Its a legit option that is going to stay around for a long time. With ES6 you'll learn some good design practices. Avoid any Basic language derivatives.

Hold off on C++ for a while, it has a tendency to ruin programming for beginners.

Don't neglect functional languages like Haskell or Erlang either. Erlang is beast. Running circles even around nodejs. The earlier you get into functional style the better programmer you will be.

Your question is very vague. Would you like to do Windows programming? Linux? Apple? Android? The language you choose will be the determinant in what you can do with it. My recommendation for a beginner language would be Python or Java. These languages are VERY open-source and well documented.