in reply to Climbing the corporate ladder

I know that you say that you know about the benefits of networking, etc. But I still have to say that how you look for a job should be the first thing that you focus on to overcome the lack of a degree.

First of all if you don't have a degree, then it is likely that any kind of automated cut will cut you. Unfortunate but true. And, short of getting a degree, there isn't much that you can do about it. Therefore it pays to look for jobs in ways that are unlikely to be hit by an automated filter like that.

Since you've got Perl experience, I have to recommend Anyone posting jobs there has someone involved in the hiring process who understands the Perl community. Such people are more likely to be able to evaluate the quality of an applicant. Likewise get involved in your local perlmongers group if there is one. (You can always start one if none exists...) That is an excellent way to get contacts. For instance if you were in LA, you'd have heard about 3 different companies hiring within the last month. And you can ask on the list for the names of good headhunters.

And if you're spending time on the job boards, don't. To understand why not just read this article. About 2% of hires happen through job boards. And your lack of a degree puts you at a disadvantage there. No amount of work on your resume will change the fact that those are not effective for finding you jobs, and that your lack of a degree really hurts you there.

And a last option to consider. Work for yourself. There is no question that you're willing to overlook your own lack of a degree. When people hire consultants they generally ask different questions than when they hire employees. You might just find that your lack of a degree is less of a barrier there. But be warned that being successfully self-employed has its own challenges. Nor is this an easy market to do it in.