Welcome to the craft! I work in software as a day job, I can’t express enough my passion for this craft. Getting away from being in front of a screen to working with your hands, to me, is extremely important.
That being said, I would say the best thing to do is try to find a local blacksmith group or club in addition to asking questions often and just starting to absorb the concepts of the craft. It’s a long road, but an enjoyable one.
Once you get into a group, you’d be surprised as to how the blacksmith world around you opens up. It’s a little hard to find a group at first, but once you do, you’re surrounded. I started blacksmithing back in 2011, just through someone local that I had known blacksmithed. He pointed me to a local group in Minnesota called the Guild of Metalsmiths. I then learned about 4 more groups around Minnesota of blacksmiths and joined a couple others. All of a sudden, I was inundated with blacksmith contacts, email lists, class schedules, and more.
I would highly recommend once you do find a group local to you, finding out a class schedule. Before you even have to worry about a forge or an anvil, get some of the basic stuff - safety is extremely important, so a good pair of leather gloves (many smiths, myself included, don’t wear gloves when smithing especially in the hammer hand), ear plugs, eye protection, a leather apron is good to have, and be sure you have cotton clothing to wear and good steel toe boots.
A few good things to get right off the bat is a nice, 2lb (roughly) cross pein blacksmith hammer and a pair of universal (wolf jaw is pretty good) tongs.
Then look for a beginner blacksmithing class. It’s best to instill good blacksmithing techniques early on, harder to change later. A blacksmithing class has experienced blacksmiths looking at your form, positioning on the anvil, and how you are hammering the metal. It’s priceless to get this hands on training.
Once you get your first taste then you can decide whether the craft is for you (which likely will be yes ) and even ask the local smiths what they use for a forge (coal, gas). You can use lots of different things for an anvil. I would not go and buy an anvil at the prices they are at right now, wait until you can find one for $2 a pound that is in ok condition, that is a fairer price. Again, local groups are great for this.
Welcome to the forums and to the craft, hope you stick around Looking forward to more posts as you delve deeper into the craft.