I'm working as a Software Engineer as a placement intern (year-long) as a part of completing an industrial placement for my course. The company I'm working at isn't an IT company and thus being a part of the IT department means that there is only a small team of people (about 5). I was mainly employed to create a software as a full-stack developer which meant I picked my own frameworks and technologies to work in and I had been given a year to complete this. Though the software isn't fully complete, I had released a working beta version to use within 3 months of my time here which included the development process all the way to the deployment process. Since completing this, I've not had much to do and as the others work as a part of IT support for the company I feel that I'm left stranded with not a lot of work. My boss gives me tasks here and there but they're mostly "research" based where I have to learn something completely new and try to tackle a task. This gets tedious and boring because I'm not getting much or any help from him.

I find myself messing around on the internet reading random articles and browsing which is not only unproductive but is a concern because I should be doing work in work-hours. I have approached him about this issue and he has tried to make some time to sit down with me to go through tasks but it's just not enough. He also says that he's quite busy with his own work and has a lot of meetings (which is entirely true).

I'm wondering how I can overcome the barrier of being in the dark because as an internee, I feel like I've not learnt anything in nearly 6 months here. Most of the work I've done in terms of the initial project has been just me reiterating through what I already know and now I feel demotivated to come to work because I don't look forward to tackling any tasks or having much to do.

Is there anything I can do on my part to fix this issue? How can I enjoy work more?

Edit: some information about the software I was employed to write: The working beta is completely finished with full user-feedback. As the software is only designed for internal use, there is no extra process I need to go through with testing or getting further feedback as the people who are using it are very happy with it. In addition to this I've added a lot of features on by my own imagination and I believe it to be the case that the company thought it would take me longer than I took to develop something of this scale (due to my knowledge and experience with development). The software has a lot more potential but the business logic is not something I am acquainted due to the complexity of what else needs to be added, my boss hasn't had enough time to think about it. As far as the project is concerned, it's running and doing what it needs to; and from my point of view, I'd rather not continue on it for another 3 months straight because I won't be learning anything new from it which is a concern for me being a student intern.

closed as off-topic by Masked Man, gnat, Retired Codger, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Chris E Nov 7 '16 at 15:21

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  • 1
    Is the working beta now a finished product? Have you had feedback from users? What issues arose during beta testing? How well is it documented? Were there additional features requested? – Jane S Nov 7 '16 at 11:42
  • @JaneS I've updated the question. All the issues that arose were handled by me and I have documented the entire software to the best of my ability including software-documentation as well as code-documentation. From what I can see; there is nothing more I can do by myself alone because I simply don't know what I'm doing (or supposed to be doing) at this point. – Toby Nov 7 '16 at 11:49
  • @Toby How many people are using the product? – Masked Man Nov 7 '16 at 11:52
  • @MaskedMan One/Two people are using it to manage a big part of the company's stock. It's a stock-control system for internal use. – Toby Nov 7 '16 at 11:55
  • Have you considered 1. If more users would be interested to use it? 2. If existing users would want more features (not bugfixes)? – Masked Man Nov 7 '16 at 12:05

One thing you can do which has worked out well for me is to learn all you can about the industry, how it works, what it needs, how it supplies itself, target clientele, the workflow etc,. everything and everything. Be observant, take an interest in peoples roles, ask questions. Knowledge is it's own reward.

It gave me a good understanding of workflows and needs and further down my career a couple of times I have sold solutions by putting experience from one industry together with what IT can achieve. Mostly in automation, but also in fields as far from IT as linguistics.

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    +1, because the technical knowledge is not everything. Knowing the business opens a great number of doors, and it's the ideal moment to do this. – gazzz0x2z Nov 7 '16 at 13:09

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