I am an electrician and have little programming ability at the moment but am trying to learn. I was wanting to know how many gpio pins can I switch and are the only certain ones that will be positive and some negative (ground) or can you make them to either.
The number of pins you can control will depend on which model Pi you have (17 user controllable pins on 26 pin Pis and 26 on 40 pin models). There are several ground pins, and at least two dedicated power pins (5v and 3.3v, 40 pin models also have 2 DNC -do not connect- pins) the remaining pins are user controllable and can be set to high (nominally 3.3v) or low (0v).
Note in electronics, unlike in residential/industrial wiring, we don't generally use the term negative as a synonym for ground.