I have been in IT for many years now, and I started my career in the Servers (Wintel environment), and did not know anything about Cisco or Internetworking in general.
Around 2001, I did hear about Cisco and Cisco Routers and Switches, to understand more I tried cisco.com and I was impressed by the amount of documentation that was available for anyone to know more about Cisco Systems, its products and technology.
Soon, I was able to focus more on LAN Switching and Routing, and cisco.com was my favorite place to learn about the technology and products, until I once faced an issue about ISDN BRI, that is when through a search engine result I got redirected towards NetPro (erstwhile name for Cisco Suppport Forums).
Not only through NetPro/Supportforums, I was able to resolve my issue but also just by reading what other people were posting but also I was able to gain a lot of knowledge from the real world experience and issues of other people.
I was impressed the way community was dedicated to answer/resolve issues.
Earlier days, I was only browsing and reading about issues that others were posting, but around 2006 I decided to actively participate in the discussions and it has been a great pleasure and honor since then.