I have been working in a big-shot multi-national corporation as a developer for two years now, with a possible future as a software architect in some eight to ten years.
Now I want to enroll in a PhD program. I am planning to quit my job and join some university for PhD programs. Now most of the universities needs some research papers, of which I have none. They also require recommendations from professors, however I have already quit college two years back and don't have a working relationship with those professors.
How should I secure letters of recommendation? Will a letter of recommendation from my manager help? Does academia really care about professionals wanting to enter back into the world of higher education again? Will I be able to apply to competitive universities with my profile?