Hi Xavier, welcome to Quantopian. Based on your description, I'd say you came to the right place. I am an experienced programmer, but before learning about Quantopian I didn't know much about capital markets. It has been an awesome learning tool for me. It sounds like you're in the opposite scenario.
My advice to you is to find a Python tutorial and work your way through it while looking at the Quantopian tutorials in parallel. That way you'll get the introduction to Python that you need, while also getting a chance to try it out. You can use the Quantopian Research environment to follow along with any Python tutorial you find on the internet: you don't need to install anything to learn Python, if you do it this way. If you struggle, don't worry about it. In my opinion, the real learning in programming is done by struggling with examples of increasing difficulty.
To get started, click Research, Notebooks, + (New Notebook). Then, in the line that pops up starting with "In [ ]:", type this, then click the play button:
There, you've written your first Python program. With regards to your original example, of how to write an algorithm that longs the market when the unemployment rate is over 6% and the VIX is over 20, I have done this for you as an example. I must admit that even this simple example seems complicated to me. There are a few different APIs (application programming interfaces) you have to learn before you can expect to implement things like this first try. Besides basic Python, there are the Quantopian basics, pipeline, and at the minimum you have to be able to manipulate Pandas DataFrame objects. So if you have trouble, don't worry, a software engineer would expect to take a while before things seem easy when working with a new API. That being said, if you have something kind-of like what you want, you can start from there and try to put the puzzle pieces together.
So, with that caveat, the example code is attached to this backtest, click 'Clone Algorithm' to create a copy, modify it, and run your own backtests.