I got my first programming job only knowing basic algebra and trigonometry. I went on to study calculus, statistics and discrete math ending up with a Computer Science degree. There was precious little in any of these math courses that were useful to me as a programmer. I worked in data compression, image and signal processing, and pattern recognition. These fields required higher math but that is what mathematicians were for. They understood the how and why. My job was to determine the requirements and code it in a way that was robust, efficient and maintainable. There were a lot of programs I wrote where I had a general feel for how they worked but the math was way over my head. I say don't try to understand 'em, just rope 'em, tie 'em, and brand 'em.