I often receive emails from people asking me to help them out. Some people seek merely clarification on a blog article, or a recommendation, or a pointer to someone else, and I'm happy to oblige. Others, though, ask for dedicated support and mentoring through the early stages of their career. This I don't do, and it's not just because I'm a jerk (I am a jerk, but that's not the only reason). I want to take a moment to explain my reasoning, because I think this attitude of hand-holding is ultimately harmful to the industry.
There are three main reasons I won't tutor or mentor people one-on-one.
My time, like everyone else's, is limited, and the question you think has a "quick" answer typically doesn't.
When I write a blog article, it takes roughly the same amount of effort on my part whether it's read by ten people or ten thousand people (the difference being negligible data transfer costs). Emails, excluding mailing lists and CCs, are one-to-one. This means that if I answer your question about IPsec VPNs today, and someone else asks the same question a couple weeks from now, I have to come up with the answer again. This isn't efficient (see reason #1).
Couldn't I just forward them a copy of the first email? Sure, but that's messy and reliant on my own memory. Why not put it online somewhere it's more easily organized and readily accessed? Follow this line of thought through a couple more iterations and you arrive at the solution that Packet Life has become.
#3: Personal Growth
We've all heard the old adage: "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for life." Packet Life is my attempt at handing out metaphorical fishing rods; I don't deliver individual fish via email. The idea here is that people interested in becoming good engineers need to develop sharp critical thinking skills, and these skills can come only from looking for answers on your own.