Knowing how to build and install software is good, but knowing when and where to install your own packages is what proves to be useful. Linux distributions try to cram in as much software as possible on installation. You should always ask yourself if you should install a package by yourself instead.
Here are the advantages of doing it yourself:
You can customize package defaults.
Custom software usually survives operating system upgrades.
When installing a package, you often get a much clearer picture of how to use the package.
You always get the latest releases.
It's easier to back up a custom package.
It's easier to distribute self-installed packages across a network.
These are the disadvantages:
It takes time.
If you don't actually ...