If you don't know what else to do to contribute

Sometimes it's hard to know what to do to contribute to your company. Of course, besides coding all day long.

I think the best approach is to ask your manager.

But maybe you don't have to because I can convince you to use any of the following ideas:

  1. Find a relevant book. Read it. Use something from the book in your current project. Socialize it with your team.

  2. List (in order of importance) the three biggest technical problems you are facing with your current project. Propose a solution for them. Lead that charge.

  3. Make yourself responsible for managing the Technical Debt in your project.

  4. Come up with three ideas to delight your client or users. Three things that they aren't paying for, neither expecting them. Three things that will delight them.

  5. Find a process that's clunky for your team. Find an existing tool that fixes it. Socialize it with everyone. (Here are some examples of relevant tools in this category: Postman, PageSpeed, MailTrap, Loggly, Crashlytics, HockeyApp, RequestBin, ...)

  6. Are you doing Scrum? Fix it (I know there's stuff that's not working fine.) Aren't you? Then fix whatever process you are using today. Here are some questions to get you started.

  7. Go ahead and find which one of these will help you get to the next level: TDD, Continuos Integration, Pair Programming, Code Reviews, Refactoring.

  8. In your project, work in any of the following three aspects: Performance, Scalability, Flexibility. Propose solutions to improve any of these (or all three).

  9. Every day find one task that if delegated to a teammate will make the whole process move along more efficiently. Talk it through and try it out.

  10. Help your teammate become as good as you are.

All of the above are related to software development. That alone will be a great start.

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