It's a growing desire and a growing profession. The majority of Stack Overflow (a common coding help community) users have less than 6 years of experience. Even the president is encouraging people to learn to code. "Don't just play on your phone — program it" - Barack Obama in 2013 statement highlighting the importance of learning computer science. Programing bootcamps are popping up in every city, and the number of online tutorial has rapidly increased in recent years.
Coding isn't just for men anymore. Girl Develop It (an organization that helps women learn to code) which started with one class in 2010, now has chapters in 52 cities and 55,000+ members nationwide. Although less than 10% of Stack Overflow users are women, almost 40% have been coding for less than 2 years. And many groups have started specifically to get more women into the profession.
With this many resources, and over 20 "most common languages" where do you start?
Well, there's not a perfect starting point. However, starting with a project is helpful, but not required. It carries you though the rough spots and keeps you focused. Whether or not you have an end goal, there are resources to help you begin your journey.
Congratulations! Your learning plan will put your kid on the path to learning and understanding code for the rest of their lives. Scratch is design by MIT to teach the basics of how code works. There are various games and tutorials based on pop culture to combine learning and fun. After the basics of how code is written and configured, HTML and CSS are a good starting point to make things visual.
If your are looking to access and work with large amounts of data, chances are you're going to encounter a SQL database at some point. Knowing how to access it will allow you to interact with more data. R or Python will allow you to manipulate and work with data. Python is more flexible and will also allow you to do more than just work with code, but R is specifically designed for working with data and has an easy help menu. Some knowledge of HTML and CSS will help you wrangle your findings onto the internet.
Congratulations, you want to make a mobile application! However, does your project require native mobile features? Native mobile features include the use of the motion like the gyroscope and the camera. If not it should probably just be a responsive website. See the learning path for Web Development
If you do want to make a native mobile application, Swift is the new language for iOS and has a simpler structure than Java. However, if you want to program for android rather than iOS, you will need to learn Java.
Congratulations! You want to work with microprocessors or automation. These kinds of tasks can be extremely rewarding and time saving. In this case you will want to learn back end programing languages like python or ruby before you learn more visual ones like HTML and CSS. However you do want to learn both, so the back end will have a visual interface.
No matter what, your journey of learning should begin with HTML and CSS. Your next step should be to look into the project and see what the codebase is. If you're looking at a wordpress site, you will probably want to also know some PHP. Build off of what already exists and go from there.
Search stackshare.io for what coding languages your ideal company uses. You want to start with HTML and CSS if you don't have a base knowledge. You do not need to learn all of the languages, but if you spend the majority of your time learning Python, but the organization you want to work for writes Ruby, you are going to be less than an ideal candidate.