When I was going to school to learn how to be a software engineer in 2006 I had to pay for a Basic compiler, somewhere between then and now Microsoft put all of their compilers on their site for free!  You can program in Visual Basic, C#, Java, C++ and probably a dozen other languages!  I have recently looked into Small Basic to teach programming to those who are interested, it is geared towards kids but I find it very useful in learning how to program for anyone at any age.