re: The issue is that HR/recruiters still mostly expect people to have degrees. Most of the time your application will just end up in the garbage bin f...

I never finished school (I stopped at half of high school), because my informatics and systems teacher gave me an F as final valuation in both the matters. Looked like programming stuff wasn't my destiny at all.

You know what? I worked for 3 USA startups in the past 5 years, the one I'm working for now was in the 2017 CNBC Disruptor 50 companies.
At work I am one of the most performant developers and my (graduated) teammates seek for my advices often.

I get at least a (serious) job offer each 1/2 weeks and nobody ever complained about my lack of school degree (except for when they want me to relocate to the USA and I can't because your laws suck).

School, for programmers, is a huge waste of time.
If you can afford to waste all that time then good for you, carry on and get your piece of paper.
If you want to get a job and start producing stuff, just prove your skills creating some cool projects on GitHub and the rest will come.

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