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back to article You can't know it all

I pride myself on my depth of knowledge. I read quickly, and I read profusely. I study everything from medicine to technology, physics to music. For reasons that are likely part genetic, part neurotic hangover from my upbringing, I have an irresistible requirement to learn and understand everything. So how exactly did I miss the …

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Well said, and applicable to life in general

A little humility goes a long way, as does an open mind: I've spent literally months trying to get a network admin to understand that my telling them their network has a problem is not a personal attack on their ability, experience, knowledge, masculinity or position in the societal pecking order, but a simple application of my own ability and experience and most of the time I don't even crow about it when I prove them wrong, because I've been there myself, heading down completely the wrong path and becoming blinkered to other options.

Of course, these comments will now fill up with people who do in fact know everything and will not be shaken from that belief (if you wish to see a caged self-selecting sample group, check out the comments pages on the "Reg guide to Linux" series, but be warned, it's not pretty).

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Happy

@AC

I think the author wrote an excellent set with the "Reg guide to Linux." I even enjoyed the first page of comments on the first article. After the second page, I just stopped reading comments on any of the rest of the series.

There is so much more to do than wade through that. Like write articles for El Reg!

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::heh::

"Asking for help and advice isn’t a failure, it’s a sign of professional maturity."

True ... But on the other hand, as a great one stated:

"Disclaimer: Any resemblance between the above views and those of my employer, my terminal, or the view out my window are purely coincidental. Any resemblance between the above and my own views is non-deterministic. The question of the existence of views in the

absence of anyone to hold them is left as an exercise for the reader. The question of the existence of the reader is left as an exercise for the second god coefficient. (A discussion of non-orthogonal, non-integral polytheism is beyond the scope of this article.)"

Onwards & upwards ... it's the only way to go ;-)

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Sounds very familiar

Yep, been there and have the t-shirt ( and the dunce's cap too) many times over. While I enjoy learning and technology for their own sakes I no longer feel I *have* to try and keep up with everything thats going on.

Instead of how and what and where, I try to make sure I understand "why" as well as I possibly can. Details I can look up as necessary but the principles have to be applied at all times.

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Thats a fine article, I must say

Nice one.

DS

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Headmaster

"before preconceptions and prejudice settled in"

How does preconception and prejudice settle in AFTER you've evaluated that which you are judging?

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@AC

So you've never picked up a shiny piece of tat, drooled over it a bit, though "WOW, this is COOL!" then flipped it over to see the vendor's logo and done the proverbial "oh, it's made by APPLE. *sigh*"

(Replace Apple with any company that irritates you at the time.)

This is but one example of “HOLYSHITTHISISCOOL” followed by the prejudice setting in, but there are many more scenarios.

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Unhappy

what a surreal moment

It was very strange to read an article about someone else and find it so applicable to myself. I'm in an enviable position of continually be placed on projects that are an extension of my current experience, and this is great to keep me aware that I don't know every thing.

The unfortunate thing about the article is that I’m not as unique as I though I was.

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And never forget ...

There is no absolute "best", only "better" for the particular problem and circumstances you are tackling and facing, and "better" is always a very subjective thing.

At the heart of every fanboi rant and flamewar-fest there is usually the element of, "this is best for me so it must be best for you, your solution doesn't suit me so it's a poor solution, if you choose that solution you're therefore a tosser".

I get heartily sick of blinkered views which dictate there is only one true way to do things. I had to write a Wake-On-LAN packet sending App, knocked it out in a few seconds flat in VB, worked perfectly. Then ensued the hour long and pointless lecturing from others that C is better, more powerful, more capable, VB is bloat and slow, Linux is better than Windows, blah, blah, blah.

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Anonymous Coward

I'll be your consultant...

... and I'll disagree with everything you say, then google (possibly useful) answers why.

For a mere 100UKP/hr. Cheap at twice the price. Consulting Naysayer. ISAGN.

And yes, for good decisions you need dissent. You see it mentioned occasionally in the better management treatise.

As to clicking around for GPOs on unix, well, that doesn't have to be. Where's the unix GPO _command line_ tools?

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Anonymous Coward

Can I forward this to a couple of network admins?

There is a saying here - "Its never the network, even when it IS the network"! Open-mindedness and CCNAs are rarely found in combination.

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Grenade

True...ish

I agree, and yet just because there are many valid ways to accomplish something that doesn't mean that there are none that are just plain wrong in any set up. The criterion for me comes down to does it work reliably and accomplish what it's meant to without exposing us to serious risks of data corruption or security breaches. If yes then we can have a polite discussion about whether it is the most elegant, efficient etc solution possible. If no then it's wrong and needs to change.

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Happy

Commuties of Practice?

This entrie article is basically a summation of Social Capital and Communities of Practice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_of_practice

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@Anne-Lise-Pasch

Indeed. Upon reading the article, it would seem that "Communities of Practice" sums up a reasonable chunk of what I was trying to convey. The only element that is missing is the idea of "if two people in business constantly agree, then one of them is redundant."

Nice to know there is a term that covers my ranting. Thanks!

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FAIL

One bad thing about GUI management

Is that they leave the /etc/whatever.conf file free to be modified, but that's now where they keep the actual configuration. NetworkManager is my prime example. it "maintains" /etc/resolv.conf, but the actual config data is in /etc/sysconfig/...... So, if you absolutely know what you're doing* and update the correct tile in the correct manner, NetworkManager will destroy it

Of course, I'm learning...by grepping the entire filesystem...

*on a real Unix system, Unix system V release 4 or Solaris or AIX.

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@AC

This is why I was so impressed with Likewise. The creators took the time to LEARN all these little quirks about the distros they support. They researched so others don't have to.

Doesn't make your life easier if you are used to SSHing in and mangling the files yourself, but it does make it easier to manage that ONE Unix system that is based on a distro you aren't familiar with.

(As a Red Hat man myself, Unix GPOs to manage Debian based systems just makes my life easier. I could certainly figure out all the weird and strange places Ubuntu shoves it's files...but for one system amongst hundreds, why bother? I only tolerate its existance because it was a pre-canned appliance that solved an immediate problem, and I haven't had time to make a CentOS VM to replace it…)

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Excellent!

This sort of stuff is why I still read this site every single day.

Re: "For real, in person": For the LIFE of me, I can NOT fucking get this across to my manager. He thinks I can go from not knowing Java at all, to coming up to speed on a large totally-undocumented company-wide project by making a couple of phone calls to some of the developers in Romania and Belgium. Developers that are under impossible deadlines with no time to teach Java to a total newb over the phone.

Pretty much everything fundamental I've learned has been by hanging around someone that really knows about it, keeping my mouth shut, and listening. It has to be in person. Email and phone calls just doesn't crack it.

And despite the commentard jokes, the comments on El Reg are a lot higher "quality" than just about anywhere except the old-style non-alt newsgroups.

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@Gene Cash

El Reg lucked out by having an excellent crop of readers who are intelligent, skilled, and willing to share their experiences.

But bear in mind that the non-alt newsgroups didn't have the Moderatrix. Don’t get me wrong, I love our Commenttards, but some of those newsgroups were excellent and professional without the requirement of moderation. I frankly think it was a different culture back then.

On today’s internet, you have to wonder how much the quality of the comments are due to having fantastic commenting contributors, and how much the mods are responsible for the signal-to-noise ratio. Raw stats about how many comments are filtered wouldn't even tell the table, because the mere fact that it *is* moderated has to have a positive SNR effect.

Still, regardless of the reasons “why,” you are correct; the quality of comments (outside of bootnotes) is better on El Reg than most other places on the net.

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zzz
Headmaster

Another thing to remember

There is a subtle difference between being able to do anything and being able to do everything.

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Errr ....

Any chance of ensuring this becomes the very first page you see on every IT related book, tutorial, website, t-shirt, and becomes a mandatory first and last read for those studying IT in school/college/university.

Indeed, perhaps this should be the first thing you MUST read regardless of the field you're in?

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