Engineering (used to be) a profession. MBAs destroyed it. Programming has no control over entry, standards, or base education requirements. It is not a profession.
Again with these imaginary definitions! You need a dictionary, friend.
A "profession" is however I make my living. Prostitution (whether it be to a pimp or an MBA) is still a profession, even if you like to pretend that the fact you grovelled to Uncle Sam for permission to work somehow makes you better than the plebes.
I see you think highly of MBAs, though - So we at least agree on one point.
So you are good with riding the subway surrounded by people who are coughing because they could not get treated for their tuberculosis?
Why don't all you old guys open a consultancy
An awfully lot of programmers do exactly that, but working as a contractor isn't for everyone. Personally, I do a bit on the side, but enjoy the stability that a 9-to-5 gives me.
I'm a EE, I have written hundreds of thousands of lines of code that are still in production
Then you of all people should recognize the difference between good design vs throwing "young people willing to gut out horrible code" at the problem.
but it isn't, and it never will be, until there is a force of law behind it.
What does the law have to do with whether or not something is a profession?
Maybe your amazingly robust website is not 2-3 times better, but only 1.2 times better and you should only be making a few dollars more than the 20 yo grad.
In programming, experience is worth drastically more than the pay differential for the same. A seasoned coder can crank out in a few hours what a recent college grad would literally spend a few weeks on; and it will be far more stable and maintainable.
Yes, I am conservatively some 50x more productive than my junior peers. A big part of that comes from knowing what to ask the customer up front, knowing what won't work, and knowing when to just build the damned birdhouse the customer requested rather than a 400 unit Gehry-inspired avian housing complex "just in case" the customer wants to upgrade in the future.
Which is why they want kids to "learn computers" in Kindergarten.
No doubt, the earlier we expose kids to real programming (as opposed to the drag-and-drop programming equivalent of the old Radio Shack "hundred-in-one electronics projects" kits that Code.org keeps touting as some sort of mythical progress), the higher quality programmers we'll eventually turn out; but that doesn't mean you'll see a substantial increase in the number of people who can, and can stand to, code.
Early exposure might mean a few more people realize they have what it takes to code, but programming is hard, despite all the rose-scented farts Google, Microsoft et al keep encouraging us to sniff. The vast majority or people have neither the aptitude nor the patience to ever master the relevant skills.
How can he be absolutely correct that the figure is meaningless if you found a meaning to the figure?
Well, I know this is Slashdot, but some of us can read beyond the subject line... He said, "45 years spread over a bunch of drives without a failure doesn't mean that we can expect any individual drive to last 45 years". That statement is entirely true.
Going further, most people will, charitably, choose to infer a context that makes sense when reading something that could otherwise seem untrue. If you're in a theater that has "Cool Hand Luke" playing, and yell that title to your friend across the room at the ticket counter - Only a "special" few would choose to interpret that as complimenting the fingers of some guy named Luke.
Help fight continental drift.