Community colleges are not equipped to train people for high-paying coding jobs. They can teach you the basics, sure, but any kind of advanced programming skill comes from interning, mentorship and/or *gasp* actually sitting home and coding, coding, coding. All night, non-stop, my-brain-is-a-compiler-now coding. Most people aren't fit for that, and it's not a crime to point that out.
I have no degrees of any kind. No community college, not even high school. I started by teaching myself programming 30+ years ago. Found that even with the dumb ass mistakes I was making, I provided as much, and often more value to my employers as the CIS grads we hired.
When I started, I had some real life experience with accounting, working with people, making payroll for my own construction business. Stuff not generally part of any programming degree. As the years went by, I looked for training where I could find it like online courses.
I make 150k+ a year as a consultant. Nothing at all with formal education (if it's real and useful) but after 30 years in the industry, watching people come and go, by FAR the most important thing is aptitude and nerdiness. And by nerdiness, I mean exactly what you're talking about. Actually being interested in goofy shit like algorithm optimization, ferreting out OS API secrets, etc., just for their own sake, apart from the business need of the moment.