I would argue that your wizards are actually arcane programmers!
Spellcasting is very complicated and difficult - a high intelligence is critical to make a success of it.
This is more true back before the PC Era. Without the PC training wheels, computers are complicated. (I dare any non-programmer to simply reboot their computer using the Command Line. You don't even know what the CL is! (actually, don't try that, I don't want anyone to somehow corrupt their PC))
They spend many years studying to master the basics of their craft, often followed by more years as an apprentice being taught advanced secrets.
- Learn what a mouse is.
No not the rat!
- Learn how to open the IDE.
No, not notepad. HTML doesn't count! *headbang*
- Learn 2 program.
- Data-structures, Algorithms, Operating systems, Logic, Development practices ...
Why do you have a sticky note that says P@ssw0rd... oh right, security isn't a degree requirement...
- Sys-Admin, DBA, Machine Learning, IoT, Servers, Rocket Science...
So now the computer just surfs cat pictures all day? At least we know now that they are also slaves to the fluffy overlord.
- Quantum computing, P=NP, Life the universe and everything.
Wizards often form colleges or guilds, with a strict hierarchy and lots of elaborate politiking, although the more knowledgeable/powerful are at the top.
Like the IEEE? Actually, I think you are thinking of corporations like Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft. (Hail Google!)
Answering your second question here. View your guild like a corporation. Competition must be assimilated, or crushed. With monopoly comes godly power. If you live in the US, just look at ISPs (Internet service provider) as an example of this. Without a stronger external force (IE Governments) a corporation will only continue to grow until it controls everything, and at the end, there can only be one!
Note: If left unchecked, if a guild/corporation becomes more powerful than the government, than the guild/corporation IS the government. Maybe not on paper, but the government will be powerless to refuse them. Anti-trust/monopoly laws help preserve the balance of power (and are better for the consumers).
And if you think programmers aren't part of the military, thank you for not associating us with the systems we built that have deadlocked this world on the edge of thermonuclear winter. ^_^ Or the ability to find, and blow up, underground complexes from another continent in under 24h. Or the Predator drones... I'll stop talking.
New wizards are treated very badly as they work their way up the ladder, but once they learn some powerful spells (or obtain an influential patron), they get promoted to the inner circle.
- Intern - Coffee fetcher
- IT -
Have you tried turning off and on again
- Data entry -
And that's entry number 5 jillion and 1... or was it 1 jillion and 5... fluff
- Entry level -
Lets see, and this bug is caused by... THE COMPUTER IS FULL OF BEES!!!!
- Senior level -
And I need to leave in 5 minutes to catch a plane for tomorrows 5am meeting
- CEO - (See Elon Musk or Steve Jobs)
Apprentices tend to be poor, but powerful wizards are rich, and greatly feared by the common populace.
compare "Steve Jobs" vs "College grad" (I'm in debt up to my eyeballs. ^_^)
Right, back to the point. Why would programmers unite under one common banner? Maybe call it the IEEE?
Power my friend. No one has the time, or knowledge to build a forum server from scratch. Bit by LITERAL BIT! Even jumping to high level code with Libraries of communication protocols and authentication, a bare bones forum would take too long to make.
We build off each other. We standardize how we work and cooperate. We make our parts like gears. Easily tuned and replaceable. We take the hard work of others and use them to build new things you could only dream of before! We refine our methods with RFC (Request For Comments), and Open Source collaboration!
You think your safe? Our day is coming! THE AI REVOLUTION IS COMING! Insane laughter THUD
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke