Well, I am with you here, Robert, but not just for the reason you gave. The whole description is
too damn long
it is not surprising people read only the first half of it and forget about the second half.
Here is the full text:
Q&A for professionals, academics, and students working within the systems development life cycle who care about creating, delivering, and maintaining software responsibly
The part saying the site is for "professionals, academics, and students working ..." is IMHO 100% superfluous - honestly, if someone is not actually working in the SDLC, does that mean he cannot ask or answer questions here as long as they are on topic? I am sure all of you agree we don't want to exclude anyone here who does not fit into this narrow scope. Same for the part "who care about creating, delivering, and maintaining software responsibly" - this is superfluous for the same reason.
What remains is a text which should express that we expect questions and answers to fit to the SDLC, except the coding part. Gnat reminded us that all SE sites tag line start with the word "Q&A site for <some folks>", I missed this initially. So this leads to a short tagline which is very similar what you originally suggested:
Q&A site for those who are interested in questions directly related to the SDLC (except coding issues).
The part about coding is important to make a clear distinction from Stack Overflow.
So no distracting noise, nothing which makes twisting or misinterpretation so easy as the current tagline, and nothing which is so long that people probably have forgotten the initial words when they reach the end of the sentence.
(However, remembering how long it took and how hard it was to convince the SE team to bring the site-name-and-topic-description change online the last time we did it, I can understand why we don't make everyone happy with such a change request again.)