Greg pointed me to this old (1989) IEEE Software article: Structured flowcharts outperform pseudocode: an experimental comparison by David A. Scanlan.
In the paper the author empirically shows that significantly less time is required to comprehend algorithms represented as flowcharts. He ended up saying “I am not suggesting that we should all
retrieve our flowchart templates from the attic, but I am suggesting that we continue to move toward graphical documentation. We must develop methods that optimally combine graphics and text”.
So, as you can see, the discussion modeling vs programming (or what it is the same, about the benefits of modeling) is almost as old as computer science itself (well, I´m exaggerating a little bit here but you get the point). It’s a pity that even if some papers like this one already showed the superiority of modeling (at least for some tasks) a long time ago, many practitioners don’t want to listen.