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- network like hell to get directly to someone with a brain and decision power
- check out small/very small organisations where they have little or no HR
Another thing though: you will probably not be able to rise very much in the organizations you work for without a degree, but YMMV
Flash was cool then so I moved to Flash, and though it has it's faults it's light years ahead of JS. Now things have changed so I wouldn't recommend going Flash anymore, but Haxe could alleviate the pain.
If you enjoy writing elegant code with a good IDE, stay away from the web unless you really need to. I decided to do web stuff anyway because of business reasons, but I do sometimes miss the Java work I used to do.