In a new post to his blog Kevin Schroeder talks about why he thinks that chickens and programming are related and why everyone should work on a farm, for at least one month.
Firstly, it would probably make a bunch of people shut up about a bunch of pointless things. [...] There's another thing that I think people should do. Well, not quite people; programmers. Every programmer should spend a month both as a system administrator and in front line tech support. [...] Why is that a big deal? Because people seem to like to be creative in how they work with software. I know I do. But a problem arises when problems arise.
He notes that, after experiencing the "chickens" and how they work with the software you're developing, you get a better idea of how things should work and what's expected when you click that button.
Good programmers are people who take look at all the things they affect; operations, support, customers, and build a system that balances the needs of as many stakeholders as possible. And the only way to do that is to spend some time in the trenches.