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I have recently joined a 15 people startup as a Junior Software Developer. It's my first permanent position. I works under CTO who is also co-founder of the company.
He usually create one task for me (generally takes me few days to finish), explain it to me, and then I start working on it. One one of the important thing is he is not at office a lot.
Two things generally happens with me:
I finished the task but he is not here anymore. So I have nobody to ask for another task
I am stuck in middle of a task (need some credentials, or want to discuss something). Problem with this is I cannot predict this in advance. I am working on the task while figuring out everything at the same time. And suddenly I get stuck and need immediate advice before I can make any further progress. He kind of feels annoyed when I ask for his advice even if I happily wait for more than half hour for it.
Since we are <1 year old startup, we don't have old legacy code that I can refactor in free time.
I still don't have full understanding of the complete system. So it's bit difficult to take initiative. I have even tried creating some minor feature in free time, but they never got merged. Most likely he didn't found them useful. It's very discouraging for me at least.
I have not that problem being out of tasks. I understand it happens a lot with junior employees. But I feel like guilty when I am not doing nothing. They are paying me to work, and I am not working.
Also what I am supposed to do in such cases. I find it very difficult to pretend to be working (I feel I am trying to cheat them by pretending to be working). Should I play games, visit Facebook, watch YouTube, or what?