There is definitely a lack of people who are a serious about their computer science as they are their science area of interest. (I will spare you the rants, other than to mention that my doctoral work is evenly split between experimental and computational work.) "Programmer" is a bit of a gloss. I mean, technically, yeah, I'm a decent programmer, but I'm a much better designer, auditor and analyst - perhaps "engineer"? I build things and make things work. As a matter of preference, I don't actually like to spend much than a third to a half at the outside of my working time on code, and I actually enjoy managing small teams. And I left my original lab for a number of reasons*, as much as I loved it, but partially because I really wanted to be in a situation where I could be doing bench work. (And I really had to fight to do bench work, because most PIs really wanted to chain me to a computer. Though by the time I was applying to grad school I'd gotten decent bench skills.**) Or at least have research students working for me who were doing bench work. A lot of my current research is possible because of surgical techniques I developed early on this lab.
Relatively little of what I've done in research has directly used my skills from tech. It's much more been a generally confidence that I can jump into a situation, and learn about it, and be smart and stubborn at it and beat my head against it until it works. I don't think that's about having a particular job title***, or skill set per se. Which isn't to say that I think it's easy for everyone.
* Partially because I didn't want to have people asking me to support the dratted database for the rest of my life.
** Though, word to the wise, never work in two labs at the same time. Especially if you are trying to get a paper out at the same time. Particularly if you value your car.
*** Admittedly, I go way out of my way to encourage my research students to learn to code, and to do so in a practical fashion that helps them with their research.