Linux has stages of developement.
2- Computer Usage (non administrative) : Surf the web, wordprocessor ,etcetera.
3- Administrative (configure files that are read by an interpreter) ( Script programming and everything except compiled programming).
4- Development (writing compiled programs for a certain architecture, debugging etcetera).
If you are really new I would recommend you read a few guides and tutorials for your Distro of choice. I say the major split with Linux Distros is what kind of binaries they use as in Deb. or RPM. There are other differences but this is a major defining one.