I learn by doing; always have. If I want to learn how something is done, the most effective way for me is not to read about it, or to listen to someone talk about it, but to get my hands dirty doing it. It’s true for so many things I’ve learned, but especially my trade of UNIX system administration. Ever since I first got root on a UNIX system (my first Slackware installation way back in 1994) it’s been this way.