So the role of the programmers was one of silent insubordination: the goal was to save management from themselves. And we’ve seen this replayed with a succession of technology hypes ever since.
I’m reminded of a remark from Frank Soltis that I saw many years ago. The gist of it was that if you want to know the next big thing in IT, you should read in-flight magazines. His reasoning was that executives travel they flick through these magazines — they probably don’t understand what they’re reading, but by the time they land they do want to know why we don’t have a purple database.