You say visual programming seems to unlock a ton of value. What can you do with a visual language that is much easier than text? Difficult concepts might be easier to understand once there is visual representation, but that does not imply creating the visual representation is easier. And why should pictures be more approachable than text? People might understand pictures before they can read, but we still teach everyone to read.
Think coordinates, graphs, nodes, edges, flows, and nested diagrams.
“Visual” is especially meaningful in that many relationships are shown explicitly with connected lines or other means.
So yes, for many things a diagram, tree or table structure actually layer out in 2-dimensions to match what it represents is easier to understand.
Surely you appreciate diagrams in educational material despite the text. Surely you have drawn graphs or other kinds of diagrams when you need to visualize (spatially) relationships between parts of something you are designing?
If not, you just have a different style of thinking than many other people.
That contrasts with text code where connections are primarily discovered by proximity of code or common symbols.
Of course text is visual in that it’s a visible representation.
Spreadsheets are a good example of a combination of text “code” embedded in a visual table representation.
> What can you do with a visual language that is much easier than text?
Experiment an order of magnitude faster than you with text. What might take me 2s with a UI might take you 20s in text ore more. You also don't have to care about coding style, naming a ton of variables (just your nodes) so it removes lots of boilerplate.
Visual programming is usually domain specific so the UI fine tuned towards a certain problem. So comparing C++ for example to Max/Msp is missing the point. Visual programming is about solving domain specific problems while text based programming is general (to an extent... don't write device drivers in PHP).