IDG Answers is a community of experts who are passionate about technology. Ask a question or answer one below.
Another vote for BASIC. In college, this was our introduction to programming and we wrote our little 'Hello World' programs on Apple IIe computers. If we didn't destroy anything too important there, we were allowed to move on to the business programming languages. Those were RPGII and COBOL on the Sperry Univac 90/30. Oddly, we went back to the Apples for our Assembler classes.
BASIC for me too. The first thing I remember doing was a little program loop that filled the screen with my name. After I figured out how to do that, I would do it on every computer I saw, sort of like digital graffiti. This was in the 1980s.
Fun fact - BASIC just turned 50 years old this year. It was developed by two math professors at Dartmouth in 1964. There was a recent Time magazine article about BASIC. I thought it was pretty interesting. http://time.com/69316/basic/
Also, for anyone interested, there is a free version of BASIC available that you can run on Windows machines. http://justbasic.com/