This is more an answer to the underlying question "Why does management treat us coders so disrespectfully?" rather than to the question, say, "How can we increase nerd productivity?"
Students of management school today must learn very quickly, that in westernized countries most markets are mature and there is market saturation for most goods. Today's markets are hyper-competitive. Therefore, most innovations (for which the market is by definition not saturated) are driven to maturity and saturation very quickly.
Marketing management textbook say: For a company that wants to survive, marketing is central, selling is more important than producing things.
From a management perspective, production (or in-house software development with the goal to sell it as a good or service) is important but it is not mission critical.
The methods of factoring out production have been perfected over the years, and still are. Look at companies that do not produce anything themselves, but only do product design and product distribution. These companies include Apple and Nike for instance. They are considered leaders in their field, most admired.
Reducing production departments is more than a company tool, it is a decades-old megatrend.
I'm not saying that this is a good thing, it's just what people have been learning at business school.
Accounting and Corporate finance are also important. Many corporations can easily receive as much cash inflow from the capital marketsas they do by selling products goods and services. For Microsoft as an example, see this article from 2000. (It talks from the tax loopholes W.R.T. stock options and stocks which were higher than annual sales in 2000. MS can make a lot more money with other financial instruments such as bonds, loans, derivatives... I haven't looked)
So what can you do?
- work at a company where there are fewer layers between coders and
- work at a company which have technical people in top
- (co-)found a startup
- use gut feeling to look for
companies where the culture just seems to be right. No-one fully understands how to establish a good culture. Being profitable helps a lot.
- work in IT infrastructure (which is mission critical for most companies these days). But here the "cloud trend" is about to change everything. I'm not saying that becoming a sysadmin is the way to go.