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Another way to look at it:

If I need to hire someone for a specific task, e.g. a web development specific job in a specific framework / language, I might prefer someone with "street smarts" and a proven portfolio vs a fresh Stanford CS graduate, yes.

If I need someone to work on algorithms, big data, analytics, machine learning, unless they are top of the line in Kaggle, or high rank in TopCoder et al, then a degree will be pretty important for me.

As for you, as I said in another too long to read comment. do you want to be that first guy that will always need to learn the hot new framework, grunt + angular today, gulp + react tomorrow, you always have to keep up to be relevant.

When you have a degree you still need to stay up to speed and be relevant, but at least you have some fallback. It will be easier to find a job for a 45 years old person that had a CS degree and had all his career worked on a mainframe as a mediocre mainframe developer, than for a "once guru mainframe developer that used to speak in conferences and got to be on the front page of the printed edition of mainframe monthly" but with no CS degree.

Also if you would like to get into the "big ones" (Google / Facebook etc...) it will really help to have a degree. You'll need a really impressive portfolio to be noticed without a degree. And you also need to know all that CS theory to get passed their technical questions.

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