Definitely ++ on this and most of the followup comments!
Most of my programming jobs have been of the "lone coder" variety, where somebody handed me a task and left me alone except for weekly checkins ("Looks cool! Does it parse Japanese and Chinese yet?"). Good for the ego, but poison for learning more than the occasional tidbit.
I've had exactly one development job where I worked daily on the same project as another programmer. In the 6 months there, I became comfortable with CPAN, references, OO Perl, HTML::Template, CGI.pm, use strict, and the -w flag. I also learned a lot of non-Perl things: Apache configuration, code reviews, and the technique of swearing loudly at the computer as a stress release mechanism. Mind you, this was my first full-time development position, but I suspect that the learning rate would be similar in another job working in a close team.
I am very happy to note that Perlmonks is a comparable environment. Every day I come in and see people doing things in Perl that never even occurred to me. And it doesn't stop at Perl, either. Reading tilly's old comments sparked an interest in LISP, which I've started playing with today - mostly to take a break from re-reading Programming Perl :-).
Anyways - I'm definitely "aspiring", and it's nice to be around others who are aspiring or already there.
"All you need is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure."-- Mark Twain
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