"Geared Towards Professionals".
As someone who's been developing software on *nix systems for a heck of a long time, what I "need" is stability and tools. Any professional worth their 2 cents is going to be able to figure out how to download the tools they need (editors, compilers, etc) so that's pretty much a non issue. What I detest is making the default install "install everything and start it all up". Waste of resources and my time trying to figure out how to turn everything off. Desktop environments? Give me a simple window manager that works quickly and manages my windows: iconize a window, just do it without the spinning, flipping jumping jacks. Graphical file managers? Sorry, terminal window, pwd, cd, ls and sudo mount work just fine. Integrated search? What you've never heard of grep -ir? Gnome: gvfs, why automatically start up things like Samba, fuse, mtp, gphoto, network?
Sorry, most professionals involved in writing software prefer the OpenBSD "default deny" stance. Out of the box, just enough is turned on. If you need something, you explicitly turn it on. Results in a much more secure system than "default permit" and turning things off.
Unity/Gnome/KDE: Sorry, all too heavyweight and get in my way.
Having all kinds of things on by default is nice for a home user (replace a Windows machine) because out of the box grandma can watch you-tube videos of the grandkids and send them email.
Good luck to them.