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If you're working at an IT company as a programmer, let's say you're really good at what you're doing, you got decent knowledge in programming something and know how to realize an idea. Can you actually get a promotion to a leading position? What I mean is why should a boss or a manager promote one of their best programmers to a higher position where he would have less contact with programming, but more at planning or advising? Wouldn't he be better off promoting a less skilled programmer instead of pushing somebody up who might be needed at coding?

But if that's true, wouldn't it be a better option not to show your true programming ability to get an actual promotion to a higher and better paid position?

closed as off-topic by gnat, user34587, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Time4Tea, Dukeling Dec 10 '18 at 20:18

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    Is there an example of this happening at your workplace just now? Are you concerned that someone whose skills will not be put to the best use is being promoted? – user34587 Dec 10 '18 at 15:54
  • Please refer to the Peter Principle. A good Programmer will get promoted until they are no longer doing programming; are no longer competent for what they are doing; and are generally miserable. – Time4Tea Dec 10 '18 at 16:02
  • No, but an evil one can find other means of revenue gathering – Retired Codger Dec 10 '18 at 16:30
  • Basically NO, you have to change jobs to get a promotion. – Fattie Dec 10 '18 at 17:51
  • Are you doing more than your manager expects you to based on the contract you signed when starting? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Mar 25 at 16:14
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Nope.

As I guess this answer is not enough, let me develop : programming and leading are different jobs. The worse programmer can be promoted as leader, and be an excellent leader. I saw that happen. It's actually fair. The best leader should actually be promoted leader.

What is not fair is that tech-savvy people don't have much room to grow, besides expertise. If you don't feel like a leader, try to find expertise jobs. Or accept to stay where you are actually good.

  • Technical promotion prospects depend on the employer. Some smart employers who need a high level of technical skill offer parallel technical and management tracks. By the time I retired I was being paid like a second level manager but only supervised one person who had been hired to assist me. – Patricia Shanahan Dec 10 '18 at 16:33
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If you're working at an IT company as a programmer, let's say you're really good at what you're doing, you got decent knowledge in programming something and know how to realize an idea. Can you actually get a promotion to a leading position?

No, you won't be promoted to a leader purely on your programming ability. To be a technical leader, you need to have excellent communication, organization, teaching/mentoring/coaching abilities, etc.

Wouldn't it be a better option not to show your true programming ability to get an actual promotion to a higher and better paid position?

Unfortunately, this is the wrong way to go about this. You don't get into a leadership position by hiding your hard skills. You do it by building up your "soft" skills and proving to the organization that you are a better asset as a lead or manager than you are as an individual contributor.

A lot of a big software shops actually put engineering managers through coding interviews too and more engineering manager tend to be former software engineers.

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