I am 4 months into my first software development role and for the most part I'm really enjoying it. My only problem is I currently quite often find myself without enough work to fill my day, causing the hours to drag. Usually when this happens, I ask my line manager if there is anything else he'd like me to do, and he'll produce something to keep me occupied for the next couple of hours. However, I feel like it's getting to the point where I could be becoming an annoyance, constantly hassling him for more and more work as I finish the tasks he sets me before he has had a chance to prepare the next piece ahead of me in his own time.

I understand that it is probably difficult finding work that is suitable to my skill level as I am in the infancy of my career, however I'd like to learn and progress as fast as possible as I consider myself to be quite aspiration and have a real passion for coding.

How can I go about securing a more stable working routine to make the best use of my time at the office?

  • You should discuss this with your line manager. – Roland Aug 17 '17 at 9:46
  • As a Junior, you've probably a lot to learn. Going through the codebase or the documentation of your project/platform might be of use. Or you could maybe find a gap in the project and fill it in (unit testing, functionnality, ...) ? Getting to your manager asking for more work is anyway a good idea, maybe you could come to him with propositions on what to do, so that you can get the occasion to work on things interresting you, not only be kept busy... – Laurent S. Aug 17 '17 at 10:04
  • @SebastianProske That post is substantially different in that here OP can get more work, they just have to ask, but in the linked post OP doesn't get more work despite asking - the advice given there might be good for that situation, but seems largely inappropriate here. – Dukeling Aug 17 '17 at 11:21

Your situation is not that unusual for new starters, especially those who are just starting out in skilled roles and it sounds like you're doing the right thing - asking for more work when you need it. 99.9% of managers are going to prefer the employee who asks for more work to the one who sits around with nothing to do and doesn't tell anyone. Allocating tasks to employees is a pretty major part of a manager's job!

If you're concerned that it is becoming a problem or an irritant to your manager or if you are finding it difficult to get hold of them when you need to ask it might be worth having a chat with them and asking a) if there is something else they want you to work on when you haven't got any "current" tasks (this could be learning about the codebase, studying a relevant technology etc) and b) if they are are happy with how it's currently working or if there is a way they would prefer you sought out more work.

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