First of all, modding spore does not involve programming at all. It's just .XML, which is very easy to understand.
For programs, I would highly recommend SporeModder, as it is highly intuitive and easy to use. However, for beginners I would recommend SporeMaster instead, as it is even more simple, and unpacks mods faster.
Now, to explain in detail what packing and unpacking means. In this example we will use Sporemodder.
First of all, you will want to create a new project. Next, unpack a .package file of your choice (in my case Spore_Game). Once it is done unpacking, simply copy the files of your choice and paste them in to your project folder to have something to work with.
Once you are done making your mod, go to Project Settings, and set the packing directory. I'd recommend your Spore/Spore GA Data folder. Once you set it, simply pack your mod to convert the .XML files back into .prop files, readable by Spore.
And then open up Spore and Voila, you made a spore mod!
Just another fellow user.
It's possible to improve Spore's graphics using Reshade. I'm planning a V0.2 public release soon