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The Downside of Being a Self-Taught Developer

Techmade
3 min readOct 4, 2023

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When I first felt the thrill of a script running flawlessly, a world of endless possibilities unveiled itself to me. From that dimly lit corner in my room, the digital landscape seemed inviting, yet imposing. Over the years, the journey of teaching myself the intricacies of development presented a mosaic of challenges and triumphs. Here’s a chronicle of that adventure.

“Everyone says you can be a developer without formal education. They’re right, but there’s so much more to that narrative, some of it written in lines of code, others between them.”

Embarking Without Boundaries

While my college-going peers had their academic routes charted out, my path resembled a blank canvas. It was liberating but occasionally daunting. I would spend weeks mastering Python, only to realize I’d missed out on understanding essential data structures.

Insight from a Forum: “Sometimes the vastness of what you can learn makes you forget the foundations of what you should learn.”

The University of Online Forums and Late Nights

Traditional institutions had lecture halls; I had online forums. The hours spent on these platforms, deciphering errors, understanding best practices, and learning from global peers, was my unconventional classroom setting.

Seeking Real Connections in a Virtual World

As friends narrated tales of hackathons and tech seminars, I felt a void. While I had a plethora of online connections, the tangibility of offline networking eluded me. I realized that there’s a rhythm to face-to-face interactions, a vibe that’s often amiss online.

Validation: More than Just a Resume Entry

Walking into interviews, I often felt the weight of the blank space where my formal education should have been listed. It was an uphill task, convincing employers that passion-fueled projects and GitHub repositories were as valuable, if not more, than a degree.

Coffee Shop Musings: “In an industry driven by innovation, why is the validation of skills still

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