In Praise of the Self-Taught Programmer

Programming is one of the few professions where you regularly see self-taught practitioners. They have little or no formal education in the subject, but they often do quite well. In some cases, I’ve worked with some who were considered outstanding in their area of focus, like machine control or real-time. Granted, early in their careers, these folks often produce nasty messes that happen to work well enough but are simply not maintainable or not extendable.