If you can keep non-empathic, vocational programmers working on just such systems, sure. But I’ve found that limited resources and varyingly clueful managers mean that that sort of isolation rarely happens. Not a bad thought, though.
API design, I would argue, the latter of your two examples, really should require a bit of empathy. I’m sure I am not the obly one to cheer a clean, clear API and curse an overly complex, impractically too theoretical, poorly documented API.
As always, thanks for listening!