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

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Sat Oct 13 08:38:00 CDT 2012

I'd agree with all of this with a couple of mods/notes

On 12 Oct 2012, at 19:33, Matt Warden wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 10:19 PM, S.M.German wrote:
>> 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.

Which is probably fair enough if technology doesn't directly contribute to the product or service the company's customers consider themselves as buying. 

>> 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
> company?
>> 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 you hit the top of that truncated ladder. 

Or, to put it another way, they have what they consider a working business model, and anything more senior than that is just cost that doesn't add any value, so would simply make them less competitive in the market. 

This doesn't make them Bad People, just that their goals are different from yours. 

It depends on your balance of priorities between:
1) further & ongoing career progression
2) staying with your employer
3) staying technical (compared to whatever line of business your employer is in)


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