This is a big problem in workplaces and as @jcmack indicated, it's not unique to software engineering.
There are many reasons why questions might be dismissed or responded to with harsh judgment. You can see a microcosm of this in action by merely reading about the recurring "Why is stackoverflow so mean?" problem.
Even though stackoverflow.com is not work, much of the same dynamics apply at work. To a large extent the way people think about questions in technical domains is reflected in their online communities like stackoverflow:
There is an expectation that someone asking a question needs to demonstrate that they've tried to answer their question in advance by either doing research or attempting some basic troubleshooting. People who don't do this are seen as "help vampires" and they're seen as a drag on productivity because they take time away from productive people they could have solved the problem on their own.
Questions are expected to meet certain criteria for validity. Questions that have a yes or no answer aren't valid because finding that answer is usually trivial. Open ended questions are ALSO considered bad because answering them requires someone to take serious effort when that effort should be carried out by the asker. Questions that indicate a false assumption or misunderstanding are considered invalid because it would require too much effort to re-direct the understanding of the asker. These questions are dismissed with something along the lines of "not-enough-knowledge-to-ask-a-question". There's a narrow band of inquiry which is considered "just right".
These are very strange attitudes that people have about inquiry. Things are definitely more relaxed in academia, and many (myself included) have experienced culture-shock upon crossing-over from academia to workplaces. I suspect that the root of these attitudes in tech workplaces descend from the Protestant work ethic and has been passed on for generations and even across cultural boundaries. There exists a revulsion against providing assistance of the "unworthy" which people sometimes label as "spoon-feeding".
Beyond what you see in reflected in the stackoverflow microcosm, there are other dynamics which contribute to attitudes about questions in the real working world, specifically I am thinking about "status" or "hierarchy". In any organization, regardless of titles and regardless of what people may say about openness, you have boundaries between different "tribes" that limit the types of interactions that are considered acceptable.
Asking the "wrong" question, even an innocuous one, to the wrong person in the wrong "tribe" can be perceived as a threat for a variety of reasons ranging from subversion of communication hierarchy (eg, getting help from IT without a ticket) to more serious concerns about job security (eg, what happens if by "giving" too much help to juniors, seniors end up on the next chopping block because they're no longer needed?).
All of these obstacles, however, can be worked around or bent by people who are willing to cultivate personal relationships with others in the organization. It doesn't have to be "personal" as in friendship, it can be as simple as providing non-transactional favors to others in such a way that they remember you when you need help.
Anything that enhances empathy between two people will make them more likely to react with consideration and less judgement to questions. If the person you're asking trusts you implicitly, they're going to not only try to answer your question but also correct any misconceptions they're detecting on your side. You still will need to be considerate in what you're asking, but at least if you get it wrong, the person answering you will be more likely to point you in the right direction rather than metaphorically "downvoting" you.
Developing that kind of trust, of course, takes time and it's not always possible with every person you interact with, but it still helps a lot to have a network of people that can talk to each other without being blindly reactive.