With no prior computer science knowledge, I started my journey with GNU/Linux Mandriva in 2005. While it was nice while it worked, I felt completely lost when faced with the login screen of a terminal. This was the reason for my switch to Gentoo in 2006. Even though I began following the Gentoo Handbook without understanding what I was doing, I have learned a lot over the years. Thanks to Gentoo, I can easily switch to any other distribution and have a good conversation with computer engineers. I must confess that I have unsuccessfully tried to get away from Gentoo, and tried many distributions such as Debian, Ubuntu or Arch Linux. Finally, instead of choosing a binary distribution, I built my own: a binary host for my laptops, desktops, and servers. Gentoo Freedom!
As for window and desktop managers, I started with KDE. However, compilation times motivated me to explore other possibilities. I learned a lot with WindowMaker and especially FVWM. I played with Enlightenment, IceWM, Fluxbox or Awesome. I also tried minimalist window managers like xmonad, wmii, Ratpoison and Ion. Now I'm in heaven with i3.