I'm a self-taught programmer and I'm finding myself increasingly concerned
about my future.
I've had several jobs in the past, all of which were in the finance industry.
Back-end software for eCommerce, point-of-sale systems and such.
The last company I worked for had a very toxic environment. Extremely
micromanaged, abusive, etc.
The reason I'm concerned about the future is that I've just turned thirty, I
have no formal qualifications and I'm unlikely to acquire an honest reference
from my last employer.
Much of the interesting things I've worked on, the things that have taught me
the most, that taught me the value of many idioms and patterns, were all done
in my spare time. The kind of things I'm passionate about are those that are
often unseen such as compilers, data structures of various kinds, device
drivers, kernels, linkers and memory management systems.
I'm afraid that I'll be ignored because I don't possess a degree and I don't
have an extensive work history.
Does our industry still accept those who taught themselves?
Is the initiative and determination of a self-taught developer still worth
What can I do to secure my future?