You non-programmers are judging this from a user perspective, not a programmer perspective. The user perspective to using a computer in the darkroom is "take the thinking out printing and make an idiot punching buttons on the computer". Programming is about a desire to understand a process thoroughly, and use the computer to help that process. It requires learning about the process of printing rather than ignoring them. It's about the brains of it rather than the computing idiot.
I don't program, but went to college for it. It taught much ingenuity, teamwork, and problem solving skills that I use regularly in all sorts of situations.