Your system probably works in a very specific situation, obviously has for you, but as a general premise, it's not very successful
I have to disagree. At least within the context of systems administration and support. One of the requisite skills of being "successful" (or just keeping your job) is developing the ability to remain effective even when you don't really know what you're doing
. And although that statement may sound paradoxical, anybody involved in networked systems will immediately grok the essential truth beneath the gallows humor.
As Stoic discussed above, the way to get there is to hit the basics really hard - and understand them to the point of where it borders on intuition. After that, it's mostly a matter of filling in the details. And 95% of systems work lies in the details.
Really good systems admins and engineers are often characterized as being "weird" or "spooky" when they're fixing something. I know I go into this strange and silent "space" when I'm doing what I get paid for. Sometimes I'll fix or do something and somebody asks me about it afterwards. That's when I have to think and slow my brain down to "explain" how I figured it out. And for the record, I'm not always completely
sure how I figured out half the things I do while I'm doing it. It's sort of a Zen-Sherlock Holmes moment. I just know
. Or at least strongly suspect
. And there's no guesswork involved when that happens. Like Washburn Hoban said in the movie Serenity: I am a leaf on the wind, Watch how I soar!
And I'm far from being alone in operating like that.
If anything, the only niggle for me is identifying the specific detail
that's causing the issue. Because I already know what the actual problem
is. So at this point it's just finding the correct resource or specific setting that's needed to fix or do something. (And that
part of the solution can take some time to locate depending on what you're working with.) This is where knowing the basics cold (ex: from the symptoms, I know
it's an AD "name resolution" problem) and remembering details (ex: hmm...last time I saw that it was caused by a DNS resolution error because some idiot messed with the DNS forwarding settings...now where the heck was the panel where you can change that...) comes into play.
And here's the key point: it should work in a similar manner on any other network
. The details and terminology may be different - but the underlying basics and likely resolutions will remain the same. As long as you really understand what DNS is
, and how it works, you can extrapolate.
And if, in the process, you discover something completely foreign or new to you, then it's once again time to ferret something out and get up to speed on yet another detail
. But that usually gets easier with time since most "new" things you'll encounter will build on what you already know. That's because, in the systems world, the inertia generated by the trillions of dollars already locked up in existing infrastructure
effectively blocks most radical departures from the way things are currently done. Major changes, even if they're necessary and for the better (IPv6 anybody?
) will take years before they finally see major deployment.
So there's almost always
adequate time to get up to speed on major shifts in the technical landscape. Even for somebody as Luddite as me when it comes to Windows 8. (I may bitch. But I will
master it regardless of how I currently feel about it.)
So Stoic Joker's approach is not a specific or single instance sort of thing. It's pretty much the day to day reality - and way it works - for most of us in the network and systems field.