Earlier, when I was was working for Big S, an ERP major, I was pampered by the eco-system.
One’s area of work is so compartmentalized that you hardly get to know anything outside unless you make conscious efforts to do so. Help is very easily available and it denies “learning the hard way”. There are, of course, some exceptions.

Now, my source of learning is from my colleagues and the Internet. Sometimes I wonder if it is any advantage at all to be “knowledgeable” about something, as Google makes information painlessly available. I am indeed convinced that searching and finding is way different from understanding, but then, merely searching and finding the right stuff is indeed a big deal and it is a breeze.

To help understand things, I turn to forums and discussion groups. People are always willing to share their knowledge. Questions that others ask trigger certain lines of thought that never occurred before. It enriches the overall learning experience.

Recently, I had some really dumb doubts regarding MapReduce and its infrastructure. Click here to read the discussion. Many thanks to Benjamin Manes.