Where to Start Programming with Data?

I want to learn how to program with data. Can you point me to a few good reads for beginners? Should I learn R or Python? What’s the best way to get started? Where should I begin? Admittedly, I don’t have any data to back that claim up, but I feel the number of get-me-started-with-coding requests has increased ever since many other activities were put on hold for the forseeable future.