My dear brother emailed me asking how he could use all this free time he's got in "lockdown" to build an app he'd had an idea for. I'm sure he won't be the only person thinking along similar lines about now. Here's the response I wrote back:
I am all for encouraging anyone to pick up programming, but I feel like we might need to adjust your expectations a little bit. What you're hoping to make is a pretty complex beast (there are more than a few moving parts) and I'm concerned that you'll be disheartened if you try to bite all that off at once. That Personal Record Club app I built took me like a month and I've been doing this shit for 10 years. I should be a lot better at it after 10 years and I'm not, and I'm certainly not suggesting it'll take 10 years before you could attempt to build your idea, but my point still stands - I didn't just knock it out overnight (despite appearances).
I think the first thing you (or anyone else) should learn to build is a blog. You already understand the domain of blogging (on the homepage there is a list of post titles in reverse chronological order, you click on a title and it takes you to the full article) and you can make it progressively more complex as you do (add a user to author the posts, add many users, show the word count for each post, convert that word count into an estimated reading time, add the ability to upload pictures, add the ability to search an API for recommended pictures, etc. etc. etc.) so you can focus on learning the programming stuff incrementally without having to think about all the edge-cases in the domain as well.
Of course nobody ever wants to build a blog, they want to build the whizzy app they thought up, so no one ever takes this advice. But it's good advice, David. Start with a blog.
Demoralised? Great. Get used to it. Programming sucks.
There are loads of resources to learn how to program. Agile Web Development with Rails is the book I used way back when (you build a shopping cart app - they should've taken my advice) but there are loads of online schools for this and that as well.
Codecademy has been around forever and their webdev course looks like it goes down the JS-heavy route in a pretty sane way. I've seen a lot of people talk about The Odin Project for learning Rails these days. I'm sure you can find similar resources for Python (which is basically Ruby without a few keywords but has some awesome data science libraries so all the machine learning and AI kids love it), or any one of a number of other languages.
Spoke to mom the other day. Hope the rash is better.