I personally think assembly language ("machine language") isn't that hard.
Try watching this youtube series put on by John Dale (Oldskoolcoder): https://www.youtube....cCCQwBlusnHm8nt
This series of videos tells you basically everything you need to know about the fundamentals of assembly language.
A lot of programming skills are portable across languages, so if you'd like to have an interactive experience of learning how to code, try the Python language lessons on Code Academy (www.codecademy.com) I personally think Python is very similar to BASIC, so a lot of the skills you'd learn about variables, functions, subroutines etc would all be portable across to batari BASIC.
Here are a couple of good books from the Atari Archives on 6502 assembly language. The 6502 is the CPU of the Atari 2600:
Machine Language for Beginners: http://atariarchives.org/mlb/
The Second Book of Machine Language: http://atariarchives.org/2bml/
I am a huge advocate of open source free software, so I recommend always releasing your source code. Read others' source code as often as you can to learn new techniques.
What got me really started in programming for the Atari 2600 was Andrew Davie and Kirk Israel's tutorials:
Andrew's Tutorial: https://atariage.com...le-of-contents/
Kirk's Tutorial: https://atariage.com...mming/2600_101/
These are two really accessible tutorials for learning machine language for the 2600. Also check out SpiceWare's CollectMini tutorials. If you have trouble finding them, let me know.
I'm a beginner programmer as well, but if you have any questions about where to start and what to do, you can DM me, or I'll keep checking this thread : )
Personally my first step in a new technique is to copy! Copy other's ideas and learn how to progressively tweak and improve them!