Until you feel comfortable avoid anything that has to so with compiling; if possible avoid installing software that isn't in the Software Center.
Originally Posted by blossomrevane
However, if you really can't go without a given software and you're aware of the increased risks then using a PPA if available is quite easy. Usually with just 3 commands
Any other specific software giving you headaches? Feel free to post here. Chances are that someone already gone that same road and might have an easier solution.
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:softwareimcravingfor/andimnotalone
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mybelovedsoftware