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Submission + - Career model for developers at a non-IS company?

mcmonkey writes: What should the IS career model for developers in a non-technical company look like?

I am a developer for a large manufacturer. 85% of our software is off-the-shelf, and primary support is either through the vendor or an off-shore consultant, with the remaining systems home-grown. Most of the folks in IS are business analysts and management-types. 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.

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

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. 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. Past the 'expert with 5 to 10 years experience' there isn't any where to go other than in to non-technical management or out of the company.

Most of my career has been at smaller companies without a formal career ladder and promotion process. This was never an issue for me--I was changing companies every few years and was able to move in to positions of increasing responsibility (and compensation) without ever getting a promotion.

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

What should the IS career model for developers in a non-technical company look like? What steps should be in the career ladder? Can there be a technical career path for developers at such a company?

Submission + - Antarctic Ice hits an all-time record high level

dtjohnson writes: "Two weeks after a new record was set in the Arctic Ocean for the least amount of sea ice coverage in the satellite record, the ice surrounding Antarctica reached its highest ever level. Sea ice extended over 19.44 million square kilometers (7.51 million square miles) in 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The previous record of 19.39 million kilometers (7.49 million square miles) was set in 2006." Ice extent is reaching an all-time record high on the bottom of the planet just after ice reached an all-time record low on the top of the planet. What can it mean? Either there will soon be more ice at the top or less ice at the bottom or the planet will become seriously 'bottom heavy.' Now there is something to worry about...

Submission + - Scientists discover nearby 'diamond planet' ( 1

MrSeb writes: "Scientists at Yale University have discovered a nearby super-Earth that is a “diamond planet” — a planet that has a mantle made of graphite and diamond. The planet, called 55 Cancri e, is just 40 light years from Earth and orbits the binary star 55 Cancri, which is located in the constellation of Cancer. When the planet was first observed last year, it was originally thought to be a water planet, similar to Earth, but new information has allowed the scientists to infer that the planet is much more likely to be a diamond planet. The Yale scientists estimate that as much as one third of 55 Cancri e’s mass is made up of diamond — the same as three Earth masses, or roughly 18×1024kg. This is a few trillion times more diamond than has ever been mined on Earth. The identification of just a single diamond-rich planet is massive news. In recent years we have identified hundreds of rocky, Earth-like planets — and until now, we had assumed they had similar make-ups. It is now fairly safe to assume that there are millions of diamond planets in the universe."

Feed Science Daily: New Rapid Chlamydia Test Could Enable 'Test And Treat' Strategy (

Researchers have successfully completed the clinical trial for a new rapid test for the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia. The researchers believe the test, which is able to detect chlamydia in less than 30 minutes -- and often much faster -- could be a valuable addition to screening programs already in place, as well as providing a crucial diagnostic test in the developing world.

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