Analyze your boss. If he has been in the same management job for many years , he is probably set in his ways, and may have little ambition to move up. In that case, dont assume that your boss has a plan for his programmers to move up either. Such a long- term boss is likely to hope that his programmers stay in their jobs and provide stability to the department. On the other hand, a newly promoted programming manager is probably still flushed with the excitement of his promotion and expanded responsibilities, and may very well be receptive to and supportive of his programmers when they show ambition.
Analyze the careers of previous programmers in your company. If the job track record is up rather than out, you have excellent prospects to move up in your company. However, if the last ten corporate programmers have opted out of the company rather than up for their next job, you might want to focus on that prospect also. The human resources department should be picking up on that expensive trend for your company and inquiring about it, but sometimes it doesnt.