New (6 months) junior software developer in a .net shop. Haven't finished college yet. Only briefly touched on .net during the degree (Java degree).
There are many parts of the .net framework (along with 3rd party libraries) that may be useful to the tasks to which I have been assigned.
Is it generally acceptable to take time during a project to learn how to do the assigned tasks more efficiently? Even if it means taking a risk (such as trying out a 3rd party framework that may or may not be utilized...depending on how well it goes)?
Or is it better to flounder through the tasks and learn how things should have been done when there is downtime between projects?
There is no way for me to get a mentor, since I'm the only one who knows the technology (WPF) with which I work (which may sound bad, but we only have a handful (6-8) of developers, none senior).