Actually, I don't think they have a high opinion of me. It's just the main managerial style. Programming here is more or less regarded as a blue collar occupation.
Few times they implied that my past experiences are worthless, especially the Perl related ones.
They also told us on multiple occasions that the most important skill for us consultants is managerial skill, rather than programming. They outright said that programming is an afterthought.
Keep in mind that they call us consultants, but we are none of them. We just hop from gig to gig without any preparation. The most poignant description of IT jobs in Italy is "body rental". Incidentally, this is illegal, but nonetheless overlooked by authorities due to few loopholes in the law. There are few if any software houses. The whole landscape is mainly made up of "consultancy" companies.
Anyway, I took on your suggestion and I'll make some side projects for growth and reward.