RTFM is an acronym.
The IT industry loves acronyms. Allegedly Microsoft even issues its employees with a thick book of acronyms (I think I had a copy once!)
In this case RTFM is a slightly derogatory one. It means “read the f’ing manual”. It is used by some IT people to suggest what they think users need to do.
There are a few more, JFGI for example, meeting just f’ing google it. There is even a website for that one. Just F’ing Google It!
When I started my career in IT 20 years ago I read a lot of manuals. I had to read a lot of manuals to get certified. It was the same with my degree. At some point in my teens I had a light bulb moment which was, “what separates people who pass exams from people who fail exams”? “people who pass exams sit and read the course books cover to cover”. It was an early example of RTFM!
Since then I’ve taken almost 20 Microsoft certifications along with some Cisco and RSA along the way. Each required reading one or more manuals. I’ve read several manuals on every product or piece of software I’ve come across, and definitely every one we sell and recommend.
When a new technology comes out the first thing I do is get on amazon and get a few books on it (other book shops are available, but not for long!)
Now most people don’t have time to read books on every IT system out there.
They have their own careers and I’m guessing most of the good ones are up to their ears with books, manuals and training on their own specialist subjects, which have nothing to do with IT (one can only hope!).
So rather than throw out RTFM as a derogatory term at users who know less than us (and only a sick twisted mind could possibly want to know more) we are taking it back. At Jolly IT we want to own RTFM. Its our job!
I can honestly say I have made a career out of RTFM.
You come to us and use us because we have RTFM’d (I think that’s the verb) and we are proud of it. We don’t expect you to RTFM, as my signature states most of the time: