I've been using Debian for some time and here are a few quick tips for those new to it.
1. Debian has less hardware support (especially for wireless devices) than some other distros such as Linux Mint or Ubuntu (which are BASED on Debian)
2. To install new packages (programs) you can use "apt" package manager as the root user.
First you want to update the system's listing of packages. This can be done with the following line as the root user: apt-get update
Once you have a fresh listing you can search for packages in the listing to see what is available: apt-cache search package_name_here
To install a package you can use the following code as root user: apt-get install package_name_here
Some packages everyone should install for programming:
gcc (The GNU C compiler)
g++ (The GNU C++ compiler)
python (Python is fast and easy to use for small programs)
python-tk (Allows users to make cross platform GUI programs in Python)
python-pygame (A cross platform game library for Python)
aaaand possibly Java, should you be fond of Satan.
I usually don't use an IDE, I prefer Emacs some prefer Vim or Nano.
You can get plenty of cross platform libraries for most languages offered. If you are really sick you can write a demo in Lisp or Fortran.
Just be sure to mention what packages the user should install first. This is preferred to those silly and redundant .dll files.
I don't get mine for a week yet....