In short: I forge relationships and market our product.
Why market the product? Because marketing makes technology sexy, the same way Ginger Rogers made Fred Astaire sexy. Also no one is actively marketing on my team. Besides me. Prime time for learning.
Here is a sample of what I did for my team in 2017, outside of coding. All of these are volunteer work, aka no one asked me to do it.
- Conceived and organized a meetup to gather user feedback about our open source project refocus
- Conceived and organized the knowledge sharing session between Site Reliability Tools in Salesforce and the equivalent team at Lyft
- Spoke and demoed our open source project refocus at two conferences
- Procured board games at our workspace to enliven the space and get creative juices flowing
- Organized and stepped in last minute to present refocus at the internal Tech Talk, and demoed its sky-is-the-limit customizability
- Organized the inaugural hackathon at our department
- Wrote and published the blog post on how to promote technology projects at conferences, published on Salesforce Engineering blog.
Notice a pattern? These are all transferable skills that I can apply elsewhere in my career. It also helps that I have the team’s and the management’s support: my team attended the first conference talk, and the company paid for the second conference trip. My manager’s manager congratulated me on the published blog post, and the Lyft knowledge share was also mentioned at the VP level. What I do makes our team and the company look good.
If you were wondering whether I slacked off at my regular job, I did not. These are all on top of regular coding work. I also stepped in and remediated the void created by the departure of a senior developer. I acquire soft skills on top of technical chops.
While recognition from the management is nice, learning on the job is its own reward.