I think being promoted out of programming is often because people have a too narrow definition of what programming is. If you consider coding to be the job, then yes, it's easy to be promoted out of it. But's it definitely possible to "rise" all the way up to a CTO level and still be a programmer.
Programming is about finding technical solutions to problems. This includes the code, the people, the processes around it. Programming is centered on the technical part, but it isn't necessarily the dominant part. People will have comfort zones, and promotions often risk disrupting them, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's not programming anymore.
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