The Reddit question wasn't really what I would consider relevant for HN, but I personally found the ethical issues at least a little bit interesting. I commented on it: my thoughts being that he should stay under the radar of management and do side work to earn more money. This is by no means ethical, and I'm assuming a fairly dysfunctional company structure, but in my experience that's the way things work in the real world.
Over the last fifteen years, I have taken full responsibility for my own education.
Reading has played the most fundamental role in my education. I have always loved learning from well-written books. At times, it might have been a disadvantage to not have a mentor to guide my progress or to answer questions. I'm certainly not a "gifted" learner and I have often spent long hours trying to understand a page of a book. But it is always incredibly satisfying when I finally do.
I think the most rewarding thing about taking responsibility for your own learning is gaining both humility and confidence. I am humbled by the amount of things I still have yet to learn in the enormous field of computer science. But I have also gained an enormous confidence in my _ability_ to learn. I know, from fifteen years of experience, that I can learn anything I want to as long as I apply myself.
Another benefit is that books are far cheaper than classrooms, they're portable, they go at your pace (you can turn the pages as quickly or slowly as you want), and you can keep them on a shelf to refer to for the rest of your life. And e-books are even better!
Having the information normalized as you suggest would be great. Breaking it up into a ~5 point scale (especially if it took advantage of visual cues) would save some mental effort. Perhaps relative font sizes?