I came across some great advice for people just starting out in programming. Personally, I think the most important bits of advice on the list can be filtered down to just four:
Solve your own problems
It's easy to be shown how to do everything but until you learn how to find your own solutions to problems then you will never be a programmer - "What did Google/Stack Overflow say?" is a phrase frequently heard from me
Practice small programs first
I normally tell people to make a ton of throw-away projects before you tackle the real one. With each project you will learn something new without getting too attached to your work. I've said before that quantity breeds quality.
Learn something new with each project
This kind of goes hand in hand with the previous bit of advice. While I don't agree with doing something just because it's shiny and new, sometimes it is good to learn skills outside your repertoire if it helps with your current project - especially if it will help with future tasks.
Have developer friends
Become an active member of the developer community. Join your local meetup groups for everything. Go along and just talk to people. It's that simple.