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I am an IT professional working in the US.

I have recently moved to a new team and would really like to impress my new teammates. All of my teammates are highly technical and smart people so there is pressure already. However, I believe that i have more knowledge in domains such as Machine Learning and areas related to AI related. I have some nice ideas about projects that my current team can do, and also about how to improve some of their current work using ML or AI.

How should I bring up my suggestions to my manager, and even to his superiors? Everyone seems very open to idea exchange, but I do not want to sound condescending, or "smarter than thou."

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    You say "improve." Improve how? Does it reduce costs? Does it save development time? Will the other developers be able to take your ideas and run? Or will it take training? In a business it all comes down to saving time and money. Sometimes, improvements cost more time and money than they are worth.
    – Keltari
    Oct 26, 2015 at 19:13
  • thanks for the comments. initially, there would be a learning curve. but the long term gains in time and cost are undeniable. plus it gives us the ability to catch up to our competitors while learning new skills
    – AbtPst
    Oct 26, 2015 at 19:20
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    Why do you need to suggest these ideas to senior managers? Why not suggest them to the team? Find a small problem that is relatively easy to address with whatever technique you want and suggest that to the team. That can be the proof of concept. Oct 26, 2015 at 20:49
  • makes sense. basically i just want to prove myself and be useful to the team. if i can do that while applying my knowledge and doing things the way i like, then that would be ideal
    – AbtPst
    Oct 26, 2015 at 21:03

1 Answer 1

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Unless you are directly asked for input, the best thing to do when moving to a new team is simply observe for a while, whether that's a couple of weeks or a couple of months.

You don't know the history of the team, the dynamic between individuals, and what might have already been tried in the past.

Once you are more familiar with your new team, you can, as mentioned in the comments, start to suggest ideas to your teammates.

Directly approaching managers or senior managers can be seen as a threat by your colleagues (and even your manager). You simply don't know right now.

It's great that you have ideas and want to share them, but to do that most effectively is to watch and wait for the proper opportunity.

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  • thanks @mcknz. really appreciate the feedback. i guess since its my first job, i am a bit anxious. i'm a bit scared of becoming dead wood. i'm sure it wont come to that
    – AbtPst
    Oct 26, 2015 at 21:19
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    I know that when new people join my team, it's expected that it will take them time to get up to speed and learn, so I highly doubt you're in danger. You can also contribute by just learning, and asking questions of those around you.
    – mcknz
    Oct 26, 2015 at 21:21

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