In the HVAC industry a newer and more generic term is Climate Control. Essentially achieving targeted conditons in an mostly enclosed environment. Client comfort is job-1.0 and saving money on the utility bill job-0.991
My title is Building Engineer and I operate 2 chillers(500 ton Yorks) and a large Hurst boiler as well as monitor and maintain 10 walk-in refrigerators, 2 walk-in freezers, 44 water fountains, 49 ice machines, several ventilation systems 2 energy management systems, circa 20 AHU's(air handling units) and 76 VAV's (variable air vents) And some other stuff I dismember like the cooling tower and pumps and ad infinitum.
Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes it's not. All in all though I enjoy fixing things and live where I always wanted to.
I've always enjoyed learning and though I never got a Bachelors. I have an AA and the education has helped me understand systems. Especially math and later algebra and calculus has helped me overcome problems. When you approach a broken machine you should be familliar with how it performs it's tasks before you can fix it. This can be applied anywhere. Whether the system is a group of players on a team, a simple mousetrap, or a Gentoo Desktop machine
Take a simple window air conditioning unit. It has at least 6 different sub-systems. Evaporator air flow, Condensor airflow, electric power, electric control, refrigeration system( this is further subdivided into a high and low side) and drain system. Now it could be much more complex.
Breaking what a machine down into sub-systems and defining the jobs these subs perform is part of diagnosing machines or problems. Checking off the most common problems first. Elimination saves time.
It comes to mind the cheapest part is usually at fault. Being least reliable. (I do not wish to think much along this line when it comes to linux software)
As this concerns Gentoo and desktops ...init system(sysinit,boot,default), build-tools( nee toolchain), logging
X system and many others. Time with linux would tend to lead one to use only say one desktop environment, and few apps. I currently have 800+ applications Time to streamline I think. As few apps as comfortable would mean less places for things to go wrong. This applies across the board though not just to Gentoo. Fedora, Debian if you are running a desktop of any linux Pick one KDE, Gnome, XFCE or any other that fills your needs and streamline the machine. If you haven't used it this month...odds are you don't need it.
It's kind of like cleaning out the car I guess...needs to be done once in a while. And it might even help my work flow. ;-)