Aside from being a programmer, I occasionally pick up my 6 string and play along with some tunes. I've been playing for several years now, and I know when starting out, it seems like a long and almost painful journey. Here's some tips to help you move along:
- Practice constantly - I'm sure you've heard this one many times, but to keep at it, and keep motivated at playing is extremely important. Whether it be practicing switching chords, memorizing a scale, or playing a nice song, it is key to success. Just like anything else in life.
- Memorize and practice scales - While at first scales seem pointless and boring, they are in fact very very useful in many different ways. One is that they help your picking and accuracy/timing. Another is you learn what notes work together. Learning different scales such as the various modes, you can see what sounds fit together, and you can come up with some really interesting tunes. Mode Master is a great resource to learn scales. Though it can be a bit tricky to read if you're fairly new to guitar playing.
- Use a metronome - John Petrucci from Dream Theater also pressess this point a lot. Using a metronome to help you keep time quite helpful to building your technique. You can purchase one at your local shop, or even find one here online.
- Play songs you like - While practicing scales and chords helps a lot. Nothing like learning a song you like the sound of. When you learn a song that you listen to, it gives you a great sense of accomplishment, and really keeps your motivation up to keep playing
If you ever want to find some guitar tabs on how to play certain songs, Ultimate Guitar is really the best resource on the web for that.