Agreed. I started when I was 25 and this August will be my 20th year in the business. I've been steadily employed in various industries in WV, MD(DC Metro area) and Northern VA (DC Metro area) since 1992. I've never been layed off, although luck plays into that since I was at WorldCom through about 6 or 7 rounds of layoffs.I started out in C/C++ which was mostly us using C++ compilers to compile C code. Eventually I got into Visual Basic, then VB.Net and finally settled into C# about 5 years ago. I know quite a few people my age or older that are still SE's.
Contrary to what was written in the article I've seen a lot more people flame out after going into management versus staying a programmer. It's been my experience if you're good at what you do there will be a place for you in your company as an SE but if you go into management you're a lot more likely to get fired as a scapegoat as much as anything else.
As to what the writers are smoking, they're writers. A friend of mine that has an MBA in Finance (but works as an SE) pointed out to me years ago that financial columnists for most news organizations are making a lot less than us. They aren't necessarily more in the know just because they're writing an article published by Bloomsberg, CNN, etc. Every time I see a moronic article with glaringly obvious interview tips, etc I think about his comments. Should you really be taking interview advice from a jr. writer? Even if for what ever reason my job goes away or I'm replaced by someone younger, I won't be answering to an English major unless I take a temp job at McDonalds.