Years ago there was an article where a judge declared that programmers were not professionals. If I remember correctly, a architecture company was trying to sue a software company because a bug in their software had negatively affected a project they were working on. According to the judge, they couldn't sue the programmers because there was no universally accepted professional standards. Unlike engineering or accounting, there were no certifications that could be used to judge the output therefore they could not be sued for failure to meet those standards. The jist of the article was that programmers were more akin to craftsmen or artisans than to professionals. The judge was talking about the defintion in a legal context - not in it's common usage.
I think it's been over a decade since that article came out. Maybe things have changed since then but I haven't referred to myself as a professional since then.
Sorry, but i guess that hasn't changed a bit. Not even J2EE professionals are the same level as a engineer. ;)
Software engineering... yeah, right! It's one thing to build stuff out of concrete things. It's another thing entirely to build abstract stuff atop hundreds of layers of other abstract stuff, all running atop a real concrete thing which is itself error prone and subject to failures due to minimal variations in its phisical conditions...# rmalafaia