Can someone find a job as a programmer without an education?
I made a lot of mistakes when I was younger and never ended up graduating from even my ninth-grade classes (this is Canada and I'm going to admit ignorance as I'm not sure how the educational systems differ between countries). I'm 24 now and have been looking for work in regards to programming for quite some time. Everybody seems to want degrees (be it University or College) in computer programming of some kind, so that leaves me at an impasse. I don't have my high school degree, let alone one that is post-secondary.
What does a guy like me do to be taken seriously as a programmer? I am self-taught, but no one seems to put much stock in that this far in Northern Ontario.
I've considered coding in open-source and trying to build a portfolio out of that, but, again, I don't know if that'll be taken very seriously. I've even considered blogging about programming, if not to just have some sort of validation that I know what I'm talking about.
Unfortunately, it's way too easy to pretend to know anything about anything these days, so I'm just wondering - are any of you drop-outs and, if so, how did you get taken seriously? Also, if there are people who hire programmers, what would someone have to do to be considered in your eyes?