Ask For Opportunities

1 min read

Engineers often say to me “I don’t get to learn [INSERT_CONCEPT_HERE] on the job. How do I get to practice it?” I say bologna! Ask for the opportunity, or better yet make it!

Talk to your team, your manager, other teams, etc. You can say things like:

  • I want to learn more about X. Can you tell me who will be working on X and when so that I can participate? I will do my best not to neglect my other duties.
  • I noticed that we have problem Y. I believe that solution X will help. Can I use a 48 hour hackathon to build a prototype to prove that it’ll work?
  • Hey team, I know we don’t use X here but I created some code snippets of how we could use it. I’ll add it to the team Confluence space in case we need it in the future.

There are no mind readers and a company is not built to give employees whatever they want. In most of these examples, the value proposition is that it will benefit the customer and/or another team.

The best way to get what you want is to help someone else get what they want. Win win.

Written on January 17, 2023

The opinions expressed here are my own and do not reflect any individual or organization from my past or present.


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