So far, I've been in two quite different IT environments.
One Environment where you are known by your technical competencies and knowledge, you are appreciated even for improving single line of code or eliminating single duplicate line of code. Environment where people visualize code rather than preferring business process diagrams and UML charts, one 'Attila' (best of all coders) of code is known as Software Architect who rather prefers to be called just 'Technical lead' or Senior Developer, this guy is hero for the newly recruited geeks. Environment where people value instant feedback and give them too. Everyone here talks about code and team develops code cultures among themselves.
The Other Environment where you are known by your degree and institute, you are known by your swaggering designation irrespective of your skills and special abilities per se (for e.g. Senior Technical Consultant - who would consult notepad bugs), or you are known if you've special flattering abilities which can trigger a laser of lime light on you. Where it doesn't matter how you code or what you code, but how you present it to management. Where there are special board of 'designers and architects' who analyze and model the solution in industry standard diagrams, the diagrams which can't compete an ounce of real life value. Team members try to hide the details and present problem 'abstractions' to the leads (not that it really matters to lead ). Environment where long feedback chain's ends meet nowhere. No one speaks about code, and if you mistake speaking about it, you'll be provided with 'the look' (not as terrible as the woman look ;)), meaning you're considered inferior just because you spoke about code. Everyone just keeps off the talks where code is inevitable, but would prefer to be called by a fancy technical designation.
There can be many other possible differences, and if you've worked in both environments, you will come up with a list of your own. I just wanted to highlight the variance in the importance given to the most important activity of trade in the same industry! I don't understand why coding is considered bad when this is the only thing which we do uniquely?
I'm a developer who loves coding, and I've no plans to leave it for management (highly non-tech) work. Ever since I left my first job, I've seen more people considering 'coding' to be low-level and inferior profile.
If you join big services company as Fresh grad, you'll quickly develop this feeling that 'coding' is laborer's work, and you should be doing something worthwhile. This is because the way people work (coders) in such companies is disgusting and any non-insane person will runaway from this profile. This doesn't make coding a bad job but it definitely suggests that you should leave that organization to continue developing software. I know many friends of mine who chose something else for developing software, because they think coding is bad, or may be because they could never code well.
And we also have groups of people in modeling corner, who've developed the feeling that coding is mundane and should be automated. We've tools today which can partially generate code. We'd have tools which can generate full code, but we've to code (or model the problem to extremities) the models. Coding as an activity remains part of software crafting with Modeling approach as well.
I consider 'coding' a skill, and take pride doing it. I don't know why people 'make' it inferior.