I wish to shamelessly plug a series of excellent Python articles on LinuxPlanet. Akkana Peck, ace coder and all-around cool person, has been writing a series of howtos for Python beginners. Python is a great language for anyone wanting to learn to code; it has a nice clean syntax, an orderly structure, and because it's an interpreted language you don't have to mess with compiling and linking and all those fun things. Which are fun, after you get a grounding in a nice interpreted language like Python.
Enjoy, and thanks for reading!