IMHO, this is a fish/bicycle argument. Maybe if you're in the business of music i.e. in a band, you need to know how to sing in order to reduce the chance of being replaced as the guitar player. However, in my long experience, middle managers who THINK they have programming knowledge simply make life exceedingly difficult for those of us who actually do the programming. The manager types simply want to feel like they have more control. They'll say "Oh, just change the font in this report so the marketing flakes will be happy" not realizing the hoops you have to jump through when placing form over function. That said, it follows that mangers of programming teams should be cultivated from the programming team and not from some newly minted MBA class.