> The problem isn't the managers, it's the cats.
If you're a manager that thinks like that, you're a shitty manager (which according to the above, is the norm).
The process of software development isn't a factory process, despite all the attempts to turn it into one. The qualities that make someone a good software developer does mean that they are more like cats - they've had engage in self-directed learning about their chosen field for most of their career, because it's continually refreshed. It's literally so new, that the gap between those writing the book, forging new tech, and those reading it, learning the new tech, is usually measured in months. This leads to an independent mindset. They are not pack animals. If you want good work, you need to learn to manage this kind of people.
The alternative is what we see in Indian outsourcing outfits. The reason Indian shops are so prized for outsourcing isn't their exemplary skill, it's the Indian culture of deference and respect - which means they are obedient, and toe the line, and work hard on what you told them to work on. They're not cats, they're dogs.
Managers love this because it seems like they are getting exactly what they wanted.
Alas, it means they are getting exactly what they wanted - and the Peter Principle reminds us that this is the wrong thing, because they are not competent to decide this, which means they are spending a lot of money on developing the wrong solution.