in reply to
Advancing oneself personally and professionally as a programmer (discussion)
Get the degree! I'm 41 and for many reasons did not finish getting my own. IT wasn't a real option in 78 (unless you found COBAL/FORTRAN appealing). I have survived and know that I can figure a way to keep the money coming in, but what I don't have, no matter how articulate, creative, or acurate I am, is the type of validation that comes from the degree. When I enter into conversation with my peers my opinion is always a little less and never quite as valid. Not because of any lack of perception or intelligence, just simply because I don't have the damn piece of paper. I can monetarily compete, but always from a weaker social position. It may take 20 years but you will regret not getting as much schooling as possible. Your life may take turns that deny you the wonderful pleasure of recieving knowlege in a good environment. Get it while you can as it is one of the few things that can't be taken from you once you have it.
Sidenote: One big reason I didn't finish my degree was due to indulging in Castenadas philosophy and checking out Shroons, Peyote, LSD, and whatever. While fascinating and makes for adding color to my life it sure the hell wasn't worth the 20 years of uphill climbing I've spent since those days having to prove that I'm a valuable member of society