Well, I checked my pockets and found a surplus $0.02 and will toss it in 
here, if I may.

You can learn to program starting with any language and get things done. 
That having been said, all languages are NOT created equal.  It is, 
therefore, important to know more about what you are seeking.

If you want a job writing windows programs, you will almost certainly 
want to investigate C#.  There are a good deal of caveats and 
frustrations associated with that, but there it is.  There are many jobs 
to be had therein.

If you want something that is cross platform then you would need Java, 
Ruby, PHP, and their ilk.  There are a LOT of java jobs and sun has 
embraced ruby in the form of jruby and that is very good for the ruby 
lovers (us).  There are a lot of wonderful java libraries.  Those are 
things that other people wrote to do things that are commonly done like 
file handling and searching through internet sites, etc.  Mingling the 
two is something that I think important, though this is more of a purist 
site so I will behave.  :)

In choosing between languages like java, php, and ruby, you need to 
think of how you want to do your programming.  I know this may be 
difficult to grok, but stick with me here.  If you want a language where 
it does the work for you and all you need to do is describe what needs 
doing, then ruby is for you.  If you want the control, and attending 
execution speed, then you might consider C++.

As an example, sorting an array in ruby is as simple as

my_array = my_array.sort

or

my_array.sort!

You do not need to know HOW it gets done.  You just say "do it" and 
VOILA!  I cannot tell you how many bubble sorts I have written over the 
years, though I can still count the quick sorts on my fingers and toes.

So, in summary, you need to decide what you want it to do and see which 
language fits how you think then go that way.  Ultimately, you should 
learn several languages but not at first.  At first, you should learn to 
program well in one language.  Only then should you spread out.

fwiw & imho
-- 
Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.