Hello and welcome. I have a bias, and I contend that the best route for the absolute and complete beginner is to get the P-ROC Judge Dredd up and flipping on Visual Pinball and debugging in a development environment called Wing IDE. It's just a personal bias, nothing scientific, but I contend this is one of the best possible ways to dig in and learn how this all works.
Here is my sales pitch: Judge Dredd table is a complete table that works 100% and hasn't been touched in ages (thus is very stable). Also, most of us on the board are at least familiar with it. By getting it running on Visual Pinball you can kick the tires on all this hobby pinball stuff and decide if it's for you without buying anything. But you get the sense that you're really playing pinball, as opposed to pressing keys on a keyboard.
As far as WingIDE, this is again personal bias. I prefer to learn by debugging and stepping through code. I know others don't work this way, but I always have. WingIDE allows you to set breakpoints, set watch windows, etc., which to me is invaluable.
Anyway, if you decide you'd like to try my highly recommended route, I have a document that I've been working on for a while now that will get you there. The first step is the 1-step windows installer, so you're on your way already.
PM me if interested.