I agree with Pierre. Self taught people, are passionate and self driven. But formally educated people can be just as passionate and self driven.
But, from my own experience, formal educators are really behind the times with technology. They are doing weird practices, like teaching C... but you are actually using C++ so you ignore structs. Things like that.
The damage from learning from someone who isn't actively being paid to do a good job, or isn't up to speed on latest practices, or doesn't have a diverse background - is that you pick up bad habits.
A formal education, can lead to a lack in critical thinking, if done wrong. A self-taught education can lack in fundamental understandings of how things work.
I can say something cliche and easy like "it depends on the person".
But I can also say, that I interview people on a regular basis. I seem to get farther with candidates who are self-taught than those who are coming out of an institution.
Maybe the question could be "which appears to be more successful?" instead of questioning what is better, we could focus on which ones produce results, get hired more, have higher salaries -- because the days of old where the degree dictated that, are gone.
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