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We are really fortunate that CS skills are in such high demand. That this is even an option is pretty amazing. However, the day may come when the market turns down and the thing that makes an employer hire the next guy and not you is a piece of paper that says he stuck it out in college. Good luck whatever you do!

If you are a good programmer and get turned away for that reason, thank yourself for that bit of luck.

I went through college, learned dittily squat when it comes to cs, and now I'm playing catch-up hardcore with js/functional programming/kernel hacking/everything.

Autodidacts rule the world today, and they will only continue to become more influential. Nobody can push you harder than you can push yourself.

While I agree with your points, rejecting a company because it makes that demand isn't quite right. If (hypothetically) you have 2 equally good programmers, and the only difference between them is one has a degree and the other one doesn't, then its natural to choose the former

If you have two equally competent candidates, hire both. It's surprisingly difficult to find good programmers though, so ending up with 2 awesome candidates to choose from is unlikely.

Yes, but this has been the case since I barely managed to get my high-school diploma, and tumbled on to the work scene (circa 2001). If you're bright, and you can program in a language that people use, there's opportunity. And that's been the case for a long while. And once you've been programming a while, no-one really cares about your degree - or lack thereof.

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