It feels a lot of developers online either went to a prestigious computer science program in university or are self-taught. However, not many talk about community college in those communities. It’s very much a different experience, and I was in it. I’ll try to cover what it’s like at a high level, and how I thought of it. The actual location isn’t important, but it might not be hard to guess. (And if you were there, you can probably tell who I was.)
I have to admit that I was at risk of being a failson – useless and surviving on the goodwill of your family. (It’s a precarious situation.) Wasting away with potential is an awful fate. That’s why I decided to get some paper from a respectable institution. While I did have a decent amount of knowledge for computer stuff, it could easily have been useless trivia for irrelevant things. It’s hard to tell if it’s something useful in industry or as a base for academic research. That, and horror stories from friends about not having a degree hurt their career prospects pushed me to get some kind of higher education.
There’s plenty of options with higher education, but only a few are actually relevant. No way I’d be able to handle Ivy League, but a state/provincial university would basically be as good, and hopefully cheaper. In my case, I actually had one right next door to me, so moving for school wouldn’t have to become a problem.