Michael Church wrote an interesting answer on Quora, describing a logarithmic scale of programming skills and (even more importantly) hints to follow to get from n00b into the top N% (for some small value of N):
- Budget 7–14 years;
- Study voraciously;
- Build things when you don’t know that you’ll succeed;
- Network to get new ideas;
- Job hop when you stop learning.
Replace “programmer” with “networking engineer” and read the whole answer ;)