You have to realize that 90% of Amazon AWS installations are Ubuntu LTS, that Google and Facebook run Ubuntu as its development platform (just look at dependencies of their C++ projects).
Basically, FAANG outsource (rather informally) development and maintenance of an OS (stable, Long Term Support) to Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) and paying them (directly and indirectly) for doing so. Social contract, so to speak.
So, just use Ubuntu. Arch or even Gentoo are very nice, but just run Ubuntu. It is the linux nowadays, thanks to FAANG.
It would run decently on any cheap modern laptop and would give you actual experience of running the same actual OS which FAANG mostly uses. You will get familiar with the core packages, libraries, etc.
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