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I created an account just to reply.

I have been working successfully in the technology industry as a Developer for over 10 years. I have recently left a job where I led a good-sized team of Developers and I now run my own company.

Through countless interviews and meeting with clients, I have been asked exactly 4 times about my degree and educational background. I don't have a degree. No one cares. They do care about what you have done (experience, portfolio) and what you can do for them (your value).

Information Technology is perhaps the most accessible industry:

* You have access to the exact same tools as a Senior Developer at Google. How much did you pay for Apache, PHP, Angularjs, Go, Dart, Javascript, CSS, HTML, Ruby..etc. $0. All you need is a laptop and internet connection. For a few dollars a month you could even deploy your app to the same massively powerful technology infrastructure which a Senior Google Developer uses (Google App Engine). Do you know how lucky you are to have access to the same resources?

* If you wanted to be a Lawyer or Doctor or Accountant.. you would HAVE to go to school and get a Degree. Online you can find documentation, tutorials, discussion boards.. everything you need to learn. I would rather learn online myself than accumulating tens of thousands of dollars of debt to learn the same thing.

You are focusing way too much on what you don't have.

> I'm becoming flustered of only being able to do CRUD solutions etc.

There is NOTHING stopping you from learning more than CRUD solution.

> or I should be working on a meteor.js demo for practicality

There is NOTHING stopping you from working on a meteor.js demo.

Perhaps you feel alone and feel University would provide you with the structure and guidance you need. My advice is to find a good friend who is as dedicated to learning as you are. Have your own classes twice a week with your friend where you learn something new each class. (E.g., meteor.js). Try that for 4 months. Work hard at it. After 4 months if you are not progressing, then look at University as an option.

> Have your own classes twice a week with your friend where you learn something new each class. (E.g., meteor.js). Try that for 4 months. Work hard at it.

In addition to that, you can also attend local meetups on subjects (Civic Data Hacking, Python, Meteor.js, etc...) that interest you. You'll learn more about the subject and you'll meet other people who have experience in it and can provide guidance on learning it.

I would like to second "learn something new each *" (for anybody, university degree or not!). It is great if you can do so on your own. If you have a hard time, you can change your situation (pay money to take courses, work through free courses online, get a mentor, study with others, work on open source projects, etc., etc.) in order to get yourself to do the necessary work to learn [relevant] new things regularly. Note that the key is yourself, not external factors: you simply have to do the work.

Hey thank you this is an answer for the ages, I appreciate it. You've given me a different way at looking at my situation. I do have access to the same resources and I should capitalize more on that, much more. I do have a buddy I meetup with every Wednesday to work on a new meteor project. We just started doing that. I think part of my situation is that I'm forced to spend time at a place I feel is a bit backwards technically speaking. The upside is that I get to deal with all sorts of business affairs and lead a small team. My business skills have noticeably improved. I'm also not working hard enough. I know part of that is lack of exercise bit. It just feels like I want to run through the screen but in reality I just need to go for a run.

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