Also a good reader is - http://www.earthshineelectronics.com/files/ASKManualRev5.pdf
afaik there is no real simulator for the Arduino, would not make too much sense either as the simulator has no sensors or actuators connected to it (OK you can simulate them too) Why do you want to simulate? THe real thing is easy enough to use.
Advice: got one or two evenings through the tutorial and reference section and you will find a lot of easy to understand sample sketches. As professional developer you should pick the ideas of these samples up quite fast.