Commodore BASIC V2!
I started with BASIC on the C64 (made in Western Germany and still running fine) and the nice thing was it was right there. The 64 didn't know booting up or getting files ready, even the tablets these days are horribly slow starting up. On the 64 it was much easier than one the IIe whereyou first had to mount the floppy and then load the interpreter just to find that pretty much all memory was used up. Why did Apple not add a hardware interpreter like the Commodore folks? They could have used the same dang chip given that the hardware was similar.
Anyhow, I wrote several programs, collaborated with friends on projects, and spent endless hours typing code in from magazines and books, but programming is just such an incredibly tedious piece of work. Even today you need to decalre all kinds of stuff and wade through name spaces and objects just to get something to show up on screen. Still, BASIC allowed even me the then still barely computer literate to make the bread box do something.
And yes, the discussion about GOTO vs GOSUB was going on back then as well. GOSUB forced one to code more modular, but especially with error handling a GOTO was reasonable to use. Everything crashed and burned and the last thing that can be done is show a message. What is the point to go back to where I came from if all that can be done in the end is execute END? Sure, code can be written without GOTO, but it might just take more code and checking things twice. What is the benefit of that?
I did eventually come to quite some proficiency in VB6. The encouraging thing with BASIC is that you do not need much code to accomplish something. With a handful of codewords you can craft decent applications unlike Java where after 500 lines of nonsensical, but necessary code you can finally print a scrappy "Hello World!" on screen. I agree, with VB.NET all that ease went out the window. Anything .NET is just unnecessarily complicated and bloated.
I finally landed at PHP that has many of the same advantages of BASIC. No wonder why so many Internet startups still use it. Neither BASIC nor PHP may have great reputation, but those are languages that allow folks to accomplish something without ripping their hair out. It simply highlights the little fun that programming generates.