Modding help

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Ok so I'm new to this modding and stuff. I want to know, how difficult is the programming for modding? Can you pick it up easily or does it take a long time to learn? I don't have much coding knowledge. Also, which program do you use to mod?
Thanks.
Hmm, to be honest it's not all too hard, it's just about your willingness to learn and such, .MFK is a pretty easy language, it's just understanding and memorizing key things, matter of fact it's probably the easiest coding language i've used. Majority of code within MFK is self explanatory and tells you what it does itself, so for a newcomer it's pretty straight forward.

As for tools:
Notepad++ for making .MFK's (missions)
Lucas P3D Editor 4 (Editing Models and such)
Lucas Mod Launcher (Launchs your modification)
Lucas Car Shadow Editor (Edits the cars shadows)
Lucas RSD Converter (Importing/Exporting the games sound/music)
and of course all of Lucas' Hacks.

You're only ever gonna use .MFK for making missions, dealing with level coding and stuff of that nature (the backbone of SHAR), as for other kinds of modding no coding is required.

AddStage();
SetStageMessageIndex(3);
SetHUDIcon();
AddObjective("dump");
SetObjTargetVehicle("cBone");
   AddCollectible("drop1","bonestorm");
   AddCollectible("drop2","bonestorm");
SetCollectibleEffect();
CloseObjective();
CloseStage(); 

This is an example of some .MFK it's fairly straight forward and you'll be able to grasp what each of those functions does.
i.e AddObjective("dump"); tells the game this stage is going to be using a Hit and Collect objective

SetObjTargetVehicle("cBone"); tells the game that vehicle cBone (cars filename) is the vehicle you have to hit to collect the two items.
The items are shown here:
AddCollectible("drop1", "bonestorm");
AddCollectible("drop2", "bonestorm"); //Drop 1 and Drop2 are the locators for the item which drops out of the vehicle 

Thanks for all the information! I'll probably start trying this out if I get the PC version. Are all those programs free?
yes, you just need a working copy of the pc version.
To further extend on this, adding a "dump" stage with only one collectible actually results in one of those stages where you have to destroy the car before getting the item. 2 to 30 means it's a Hit and Collect stage though as Munky said.
I was wondering how the game decided whether it was destruction or not!

To even FURTHER extend on this, adding a "dump" stage with BindCollectibleTo(#,#); with # being the number of the collectible and waypoint in your list, will make it so the vehicle drops the specified item at your specified waypoint rather than when hit.

I don't know why you have to add waypoints for hit and collect because the item just drops when you hit the car but I guess you do.
"I don't know why you have to add waypoints for hit and collect because the item just drops when you hit the car but I guess you do."

There needs to be a locator because it contains data for the size of the object and rotation of the object dropped.
Oh ok, makes sense
Yeah, you don't need to define co-ords for the item's locators either, if it's a dump stage.
You do if you want them to drop at the specified location rather than when you hit the vehicle, but yeah not for hit and collect or destroy.