As a programmer of more than 40 years I would advise you to set yourself graded projects. Start with something quite small at first - but complete every step of the project in the very best way you can - Systems Analysis, Systems Design, Program Design, Data Design, Coding, Testing and debugging. And document every step - that will be your history for you to build on. By completing one project at a very high level of expertise will give you good experience for all future projects. set yourself high standards.
Aim to be the best you can - first the small project then grow slowly as you expertise grows. Remember Mr Myagi advice in the "Karate Kid"
If you "jump in the deep end" too soon you may become lost in the complexity of what you are doing and miss out on the necessary basics of programming.
I would suggest using C++. Get yourself a couple of good reference manuals on the language and the libraries. Get to know them well. Take them to bed at night and read them - (instead of Playboy!!). There are many references on the net so learn to use Google well. Search for forums, code examples, short programs that you can download, analyse and learn from.
I wish you luck. Programming is a fantastic career - creative, demanding and rewarding. But remember, anyone can write a "hello World" program in five minutes - that does NOT make them a programmer. If you feel that this advice is not worth bothering with, it may be that you are not cut out to be a programmer after all.
Good luck - the world needs programmers - not good ones but excellent ones.
Hope I have not bored you with my ravings!
There are 10 types of people - those who understand binary and those who don't!!
Today is the Beta version of Tomorrow!