I've read that Arduino's are actually not necessarily a good option for getting into robotics/embedded systems, as there are many shortcuts and you don't learn the real way of how it all works. When I started app dev, I jumped straight into it and never had any practice with simpler things such as Scratch or other app builders. I got straight into the IDE and learned the programming language. If Arduino's are just for hobbyists, I want nothing to do with them.
I'm able to grasp things quickly and study intensively, should I start with an individual microcontroller or still stick to the Arduino? If a microcontroller, which one and why? I understand the differences between the Arduino and a stand-alone microcontroller, have no previous experience programming hardware, but that was the same with app dev and I got on just fine with the programming.