Do I think you should strive for qualifications? Yes...
Are they necessary? Not anymore.
There was a time when it was almost impossible to acquire a tech job without qualifications but oh how times have changed.
I was young and wanting to get into tech, I applied to a job listing 'exaggerating' my experience (I did work experience at a company and instead of putting down 1 month, I put 3... (Should've put 6). It was a small startup and I had the interview with the CEO. As soon as I was called into his office I knew that there was some hostility towards me. Before I said anything, and I quote - "What makes you think you could get this job?". My heart sunk and I went into panic mode and started speaking gibberish (I've never been made to feel like that). It went on with him making constant remarks about me being young and not having any qualifications and that he didn't know why I was even selected to come in, etc. I'm still in panic mode and have become upset (not visibly but inside I was burning). I managed to stay put and finally got put onto an aptitude test (which are stupid btw) and a coding assignment. I spent 20-30 minutes on the aptitude test and about the same on the coding task. I finished and went down into the lobby while he and his senior engineer reviewed. I was called into his office and he was different, very different. He was happy, saying how I did a great job and that he didn't anticipate this from me, bla bla bla. I was offered the job. I refused. Why? Because I'm not working for someone like that. I'd rather go back to being a lifeguard (which I did).
Don't be that guy... And if you meet someone like that, thank them for their time then politely see yourself out.
As an ex-recruiter, this was my #1 place to explore when headhunting. You can literally see everything which is why I always emphasize the importance of GitHub to those that have no qualifications. You are showing your skills, your thought processes when writing; your commit messages are a gateway into your mind (don't look at mine they're gibberish). Believe it or not but you can really tell a lot about someone from their GitHub account - How active they are, their level of experience, do they cut/paste from StackOverflow, or do they actually take the time to deconstruct and re-build? Do they commit buggy code? This doesn't remove the need to actually meet with the person and offer them a task to complete but many headhunters shortlist based on this.
We live in an age where technological advancement has had a massive boom, Computers are cheaper, faster, and more efficient/accessible. There is nothing stopping you from learning and picking up new things. I don't believe that a piece of paper should dictate how good you are at something. There were many a time when I picked the candidate that had no, or very little qualifications because experience and knowledge are king .
I believe that everyone in tech should have a portfolio, and if you do have one you should be constantly adding to it. Your portfolio could be your GitHub account (see what I did there) or it could be a simple - this is what I've made and have it showcased somewhere, I suspect this is a little easier when doing things with a frontend and more difficult for backend developers but I'm sure you can think of something.
The tech industry has changed and is changing every day, for the better I hope. I'd be very interested to hear about some of your experiences, good or bad.
It's my birthday but no gin... yet,