By coincidence, in a couple of different places over the last couple of weeks, the subject of "how do I progress in leaning to program?" has cropped up. For me, I think the approaches and solutions tend to be the same for when I want to get my head around a new language: read good examples of idiomatic code, read other related materials, find a problem you care about and implement a solution (ideally something you'll directly benefit from, or at least others may benefit from). Hence the 5x5 puzzle and Norton Guide reader projects I mentioned in my previous post.
Of course, not everyone has problems that they need solving in a way that would work for this approach. So another approach I've recommended in the past is to go looking on somewhere like GitHub and find projects that promote "low-hanging fruit" issues in a way that's designed to be friendly for those who are new to development, new to contributing or new to the problem domain.
While looking for examples of this yesterday I stumbled on Awesome for Beginners. This looks like a great list and one I'm going to keep bookmarked for future reference. Now, this particular list does seem to have an emphasis on pulling in people who are new to contributing to a project rather than new to development, but it does strike me as a good place to start looking no matter where you're coming from.
I know I'm going to start having a wander around that list. It's always nice to contribute and I feel there's real personal benefit in actively solving a problem that someone else has and welcomes help with.