I have not found this to be the case at my place of employ. Aye, the
gurus are often too busy for immediate clue transfer, no doubt
due to the workload caused by clueful geeks being so scarce, but I have
never had a reasonable question ignored. YMMV, of course, but I am young
and foolish enough to believe in a moderate degree of altruism among
geeks. If there were enough to go around, then what you suggest might be
the case, especially if there were a surplus. OTOH, such is not the case,
and it is quite plausible to believe that the scarcity of clued net-geeks
has left them in the position that they will gladly educate youngsters
(like myself) if only to offload some work, which has piled upon their
desks because there aren't enough of them to get it all done.
For the other part of it, I cannot overemphasize that I did not obtain
what little clue I have by continuously pestering the Oracles of all
things IP with whom I have the good fortune to have 24x7 access to
through virtue of common employment. I have read countless RFC's (some
even authored by those aforementioned Oracles), thick dry texts (Stevens,
Comer, Halabi, Hunt, Liu, etc), and numerous scattered references on the
WWW (yes, Virginia, there really is useful content on the WWW). Not to
undervalue the clued geeks, but responsibility for the education of
would-be clueful engineers is at least 90% student, at most 10% mentor.
As I gain clue, it becomes increasingly more apparent to me which people
asking me difficult questions have put forth the effort to find the
answer, and need only the right subtle hint to find it on their own,
and which are just looking for a clue handout and have not prepared
themselves with sufficient background knowledge for the answer. I have
become increasingly patient with the former, and increasingly intolerant
of the latter. Perhaps it is this phenomenon that makes the clueful few
appear to outsiders as pompous, arrogant elitists, but it is also this
phenomenon that ensures that those following in their footsteps will
indeed be of par quality.
I've also learned that the long, slow, hard way *is* the fast, easy way.
If someone wants the big-$$$ geek jobs, they can have it, but they have to
be willing to invest in themselves, my $Ye+3 bookshelf is a testament to that.
I am not out to prove myself, I am out to improve myself.
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