I thought it would be good to write down a list of things you can do to improve your programming and job prospects when you have learned what you need to. To get the ball rolling:
a. learn the syntax of the language(and a Framework if there is one. E.g. .NET)
b. improve your coding by practising lots- the more you do the more you will reduce the number of errors you make. Having written lots of code you will remember what works and what does not
c. improve your problem solving-you will often have to work on this before writing your program
d. create a portfolio of programs which you can present to potential employers-perhaps upload them to a website
e. Put yourself in the shoes of the person using your program-what would you like to see, how would you like to use the program? This will help you (as a programmer) make the program easier to use.
f. Take some exams :-)
Suggestions, additions and comments are most welcome.