First time software?
I just got in to map making and I usually draw my maps free hand with pencil. But as I explore the guild I see some very professional maps. I was wondering if there was any way to make my maps look more professional, with out getting into software and coding. I've heard of "gimp" and photoshop but I don't know where to start.
You should start with Fantasy Cartography tutorials by Butch Curry. You can find his videos on youtube. He uses Photoshop, and explains all so if you are a complete beginner, it can be good as a first digital mapping experiment.
Fantasy Cartography with Adobe Photoshop 1 - YouTube
Here's an article I wrote for G*M*S Magazine that helps you decide what software is best for you. Once you figure that out go to the Software Forums here and search for pertaining software, there are many choices. You need to go to the Tutorial forum and pick one and start learning. For example, if you choose GIMP, you should try RobA's Artistic Regional Map tutorial uisng GIMP as a place to start.
No offense, not that Butch Curry's cartography videos aren't good, but you're at the Cartographers' Guild - the best place online to learn about map making, why go anywhere else???
I would also note that there are amazing maps that are entirely hand drawn, so you don't need to get into digital mapping if you don't want to. Using a computer will not magically make your maps better, sadly. (Of course, there are some advantages to the computer, such as the undo button, that I personally wouldn't want to live without.)