I'm about to reformat my laptop and am considering trying a new Linux distro. Ubuntu was my first Linux OS, and I chose it because it seemed to have the most support and documentation for different software. For example, when searching for instructions on installing a framework like Ruby on Rails, most tutorials focus on Ubuntu. If I were to try something like Arch, would installations be much different, aside from using a different package manager? Would I be able to use the same instructions? This has been the only thing keeping me from using different distros, so I'm curious to know how much more complex it would be.
Don't fear trying other distributions. If your PC can handle it, maybe you can try them on a virtual machine (or just download a live CD to see how a distro feels like before installing!).
Ubuntu is based on Debian, so you may find that distribution familiar. Most of the things you use/do in Ubuntu will work just as well on Debian.
Arch lets you choose a lot of things, and you may find it a bit overwhelming (but at the same time, very interesting if you like to customize your experience). One fantastic thing about Arch is its wiki, which is very complete. You may find that
apt-get doesn't work here, because it uses other package manager (
pacman), but you will get used to those little difference very fast.
Go ahead and try every distribution you find interesting (and a couple of those who don't too), even if after trying them you don't like them, you'll end up learning many things.
As an Arch user I'd highly reccomend it. it's not extremely beginner friendly but you'd catch on pretty fast, the Arch Wiki is really helpful.
If you're worried about installing software, don't be. It's extremely easy on Arch, and if it's not in the Offical Repos you'll find it in the AUR.
For installation I'd use the install script (https://github.com/helmuthdu/aui). There's also plenty of youtube videos.