Context: I had was on a 4 month school internship in a software development company. After these 4 months, I stayed at the company as we discussed it before the internship. It's been 2 months since working there as a non-intern. Just a few days ago I was legally hired there as an actual employee (so, for the 2 months I was working with no contract whatsoever). Also, I should mention I already have a huge experience with all the technologies that the company uses as I have had a part-time job for the past 3 years in a different company, so I see myself as a pretty skilled developer.
The current situation: for the past 2-3 months my work has been very boring. I don't get a lot of stuff to do. Usually my tasks are "go research (something)" or "check out (something) and see how our company could use it", so it's a pretty boring work, and does not involve programming at all. I don't get any big programming tasks either, maybe just a few fixes on existing projects. Sometimes I don't have anything to do at all, so when I ask for a task to the boss, he says he needs to think of something I could do and gets back to me after a few hours with something boring or not related to programming again. I asked for the reason why I don't get many tasks to do, the answer wasn't very clear but I understood that the company has other issues to think about that are not related to programming and there is generally nothing to do, which I don't think is true as there are other developers at the company who always seem busy working and discussing the programming stuff. The company is a small one with just 8-10 employees.
Question: what should I do in this situation? I want to work, have new challenges, and be busy at work, but I am not given the opportunity. It makes no sense to me that they would hire me and keep paying me salaries, but don't really make me do anything