"If C and C++ aren't good starting points, what is? It's a
matter of taste, but my first choice would be Python.
"Python isn't as low-level or as lightning-fast as C, but most
of the time that's really not very important. What is important is
that Python has a very clean syntax that makes debugging easy.
"Python has one oddity compared to most other languages: the
spaces you add to indent each line are significant, and you have to
be consistent in how many spaces you add. That sounds like it would
make it fiddly and difficult, but in practice it ensures that even
beginners write code that will be fairly easy to read a year from
now. No other language does that."