Learning to code without instruction in data structures

Is it possible to think like a programmer without all the courses computer science students take while pursuing their degree?

You could learn to code with just the basics in discrete math and data structures but you’ll struggle a lot and or you will eventually find yourself in a situation of needing to learn how to interpret trees, make queues and stacks, work with lists and arrays, work with 2D graphics using math and other things.

But the good part is that you don’t need to go to school in order to learn all those things, there’s thousands of MOOCs, courses, videos and tutorials/books for you to learn.

Thanks. Is it true that people that in the IT field are consistently spending their free time studying to keep up with the advances in technology?

The learning never stops, yes, and that’s true when it comes to companies that strive to constantly improve and optimize their codebase and provided service.

Some companies prefer to stick with legacy codebases in fear of failure or for the always valid reason that it costs a lot of money and the “why break it when it works” mindset. But that should not stop any engineer from always learning new technologies and paradigms.