[thelist] Career model for developers at a non-IS company?

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Fri Oct 12 13:33:50 CDT 2012

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 10:19 PM, S.M.German <smgerman at comcast.net> wrote:
> I would like to
> stick with this employer for a bit longer, but the lack of a clear career
> path for technical IS workers is an issue.

Then why do you want to stick with them? (honest non-snarky question)

> (This is not just an issue for me, but a recognized need.  There is
> management support for major revision of the technical career model.)

If you had to put your money where your mouth is, would you bet on
things changing the way you want them to, or would you bet on the
status quot continuing?

> For the few technical folks within IS, there isn't a clear career ladder or
> path for moving to positions of larger scope and higher responsibility.

Then structurally it cannot keep employees once their market value
reaches a certain level. They know this, and they are probably okay
with it, given your description which sounds like your role is viewed
as a medium-priority cost center.

> There is a career management document which is good for junior developers.
> It describes the progression from performing specific assigned tasks to
> leading small projects and working without immediate oversight.
> But the career ladder--as documented and in reality--breaks down past that
> mid-career point.

Do you think that's an oversight, or an indication of how long (on
average) they expect a professional in your line to continue with the

> Now that I am looking to settle down, I would like to have an active role in
> shaping the career model.  But I do not have any first hand experience of a
> functioning technical career ladder or promotion process.

There's no secret. The goal from the company's side is to increase
your role and compensation such that the gap between your compensation
and your market valuation does not increase materially beyond the
point where it was when you decided to accept the position.

Matt Warden

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