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.
Why do all of the tanning beds have vodka racks?
Citizen: This is a public service announcement to inform you that your electric meter may be off by between -32% to +582%.
Legally required reminder:
You are required to pay for the electricity you use, promptly and accurately. Tampering with an electric meter is a serious criminal offence.
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.
Computers don't actually think. You just think they think. (We think.)