Hello all. I, like other members I have seen post here, am looking to learn programming. My motivation is perhaps a bit different however. I do not expect to make a career of it although having some basic programming knowledge would enhance my effectiveness in my current field.
I have been in the IT field for 5 years and have learned 99% of what I know based on my exposure via the workplace and what little tinkering I have done on my own. My area of expertise is hardware/application support mainly dealing with servers and web applications.
I have had limited exposure to programming over the years, starting with writing programs in BASIC on a TRS-80 when I was 10. When I started work for my current company, their legacy system was DOS 6.22 and COBOL based. I never had to learn COBOL as we had a programmer for that but all of the DOS batch processes were up to me. Call it a trial by fire if you will. I was able to suck it up and learn (basically overnight) how to support the existing system and, more importantly, make improvements to it.
Quite often, I come up against situations at work where I need to automate a simple file handling process and, of course, am given no development resources to do it. Because of this I have become increasingly reliant on batch processes and while they are efficient and usually reliable, I would like to be able to write my own simple programs to perform these operations.
All that being said, I have seen the advice given to the other posters asking this same question and honestly am a bit unsure of where to start. I am aware that a particular person's goals play a role in what advice is given to them regarding where to start. I can also see that many of the members have strong opinions on where to start and what is important to know. Given all that I have put forth in this post, what advice does the community have for me? I do not expect to learn programming overnight, quite the opposite actually. I would like to learn the fundamentals and have a strong foundation first. I have the luxury of time and want to go about this properly.
Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks in advance to those that took the time to read and respond to this.