"... than any sudden improvements in the quality of code being written"
Any improvements in the quality of code being written will never be sudden - if they happen at all it will result from a complete redefinition of "software professional" making the requirement for formal expertise coincide with those of other more established engineering disciplines.
Software is the only engineering product that is accepted as created by entirely self-taught and unverified practitioners without recourse to ratified common standards. Not the case in civil engineering, not the case in electrical engineering - not even the case in plumbing or gas fitting. But as software gets ever more embedded in products otherwise engineered to more rigorous standards, these themselves get dragged down to its level. Witness several aviation incidents and near misses in the last few years.