in reply to
At what rate are YOU progressing?
I think i am coming to understand that one of the many good ways to progress in your skills is to be part of the community (which of course you are doing by being here). By keeping tabs on what problems people are solving and how they are solving them you'll encounter issues that may not have arised yet in your particular employment/hobby focus.
When I decided to register here i thought it would be "fair" if I tried to answer a question (one i could answer intelligently and legitimately, of course) for every question I asked. I've quickly found that answering other people's questions when i can is quite rewarding, and it makes me even more interested to see what others who also respond to the question have come up with. It is especially interesting to compare one's own response to solutions provided by those "gurus" among us. It gives you the chance to understand the difference of approach you may have. (note I am not saying that difference of approach is bad. I am saying that understanding multiple approaches to a solution is a very good thing).