How to get your first programming job. Start by talking to a recruiter

The easiest way to get your first programming job is to talk to technical recruiters in your area and find out what skills they need in candidates. Chances are they will tell you that they can place candidates with certain skills all day long. Spend some time learning these skills and look for one or two small gigs that you're willing to do at low cost or for free as a portfolio-building piece. This is the way I personally got started in coding when I couldn't get my foot in the door anywhere and a kind recruiter offered me invaluable direction. He told me I needed to learn Actionscript, the programming language powering Adobe Flash, and that once I had that experience that he could get me interviews all day.