As development environment I'd usually recommend gentoo. As gentoo is source based, you can just install a package and you will have all the headers and development tools available. Also are the packages as close to upstream as possible, so bugs can usually reported directly to the developers, if you have a problem. You can also easily install git versions of a package, if you ever need to or patch the packages on your system, if you want to try out upstream patches, before they officially release a new version. Also you can customize almost anything on your system, so you can tailor it specifically to your needs.
But in your case you probably should rather use Ubuntu or OpenSuse. While gentoo is awesome, you have to configure your whole system basically by hand. While the documentation is really good, if you don't know anything about linux, you'll probably get lost on your way.
Ubuntu is a good choice, because it's the most used distro out there, I believe, and it is tailored to beginners. If you have a problem, it has a huge community, that can help you and if there is a linux version of some software, it is usually packaged for Ubuntu. On the other hand, In my opinion, Ubuntu is rather heavily patched, which makes some problems Ubuntu only or you can't verify problems on different distros, because on Ubuntu that problem is already patched away. But as many others also use Ubuntu, that is probably a minor problem. I also think, that people in the arch or gentoo community are better informed and can better help you, if you have a problem, than the Ubuntu community, but that usually isn't that big a difference and it just helps if you know, to somtimes look in the forums of other distros for a solution, to your problem.
OpenSuse is in my opinion a bit better to configure and has some awesome tools, that can help you like the open build system, snapper and yast. Also I like zypper as package manager more. But it is not as widely adopted as Ubuntu is.
But if you configure your home partition as a separate partition, you can easily switch distributions on a later date, if you can make a more informed decision. It is not like installing linux takes a long time.