Over the course of my career to date, I’ve come across more technical details than I could hope to remember. When I happen on something unfamiliar, I try to look into it enough to be sure there’s not a complication I need to grasp. I’m not looking to get it totally, merely to absorb the key concepts involved.
Thinking this way – in principles and patterns – has helped assimilate knowledge quicker than a narrow focus on detail. Some things do warrant close examination, though it pays to think clearly about how much and how often.
We’ve a finite amount of time and there’s an infinite amount of things to learn.