I've been using Debian (the stable branch) for the past 6 months now, I got to say I like it. It's boring in a good way, after you have it configured there is nothing left to do... just a whole bunch of nothing. The only reason I wouldn't recommend it to a someone not familiar with linux is because it takes some knowledge (and patience) to get it into that state where everything "just works".
For a new developer any Debian based distro with an active community will do. Most of them are pre-configured and ready to go for a daily usage.
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