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It's still hard, but it's getting easier. The open source movement and free resources like Github, EdX, Coursera, etc. are all making it much easier. The information is all out there on the internet and most of it is free. It's a matter of setting aside the time and digging into it.

I'm not a good programmer by anyone's standard yet, but I'm reaching the point where it's becoming a serious hobby for me. I audited my way through the first couple computer science courses (in Java) offered by my university, which posts all the lecture slides and homework online. Then I worked through the university's web programming course while I wrote an ad-hoc reporting web app for my employer in PHP. I just finished the two edX courses in Ruby on Rails and am writing a Rails app in my free time for practice. Now I am starting an iOS development course to learn Obj-C and the iOS SDK. Also planning to take online courses about databases, algorithms, and security soon. I have a LOT left to learn, but that's part of what motivates me.

Point is, though, if you want to learn programming, there has never been a better time. The availability of free and inexpensive learning resources is greater than it has ever been. As long as you invest the time and approach it with curiosity, determination, and patience, you will learn it.

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