Originally Posted by muz
problem solving is a pretty muhc required skill when programming , and some sort of mathematical skills aimed towards problem solving as well .
Chances are if he used to program he has that knowledge (as really that doesn't get antiquated).
. Knowing about databases, stored procedures, etc with Sql server, mysql, etc. All in all you probably will pick it up plenty quick. Up until about 2 years ago everything I did was in C++ and the company I work at now does mostly web apps so it's a lot of the .net stuff with database backends.
Oh, as for cost effective way to learn. You can download visual studio 2008 express and sql server express for free from microsoft. Using that with some tutorials on the net would get you the basics and after that your previous knowledge would likely keep you going. Good luck.