Kristoffer Andreasen


Junior Developers Bring Knowledge, Documentation, and a Fresh Pair of Eyes

Six months ago, I joined NNIT and embarked on my journey as a Graduate. So far the journey has been incredible and I’m just about to start my second module in a new department. Being a graduate is rather different from joining a company in a specific position. The three separate modules in the program allow us to explore areas we wouldn’t otherwise be able to. This comes with multiple advantages both for NNIT and for us as graduates. However, because we are given the opportunity to explore these previously unknown areas, we might lack the specific skills at the beginning of each module to perform some of the tasks. This often entails a very steep learning curve in the respective field. I will in this article provide my view on 3 additional things a junior employee always will be able to contribute with to add value to their department, regardless of their experience with specific operational skills.

  • Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge sharing is defined as the sharing of knowledge between individuals. This can be any kind of knowledge and it is not limited to sharing information in an organization. However, it is and should be a big part of a professional organization. Any given department will always benefit from having a well-defined structure for sharing knowledge. Similar to the diverse nature of information sharing, the actual structure can encompass a multitude of knowledge processes. One way would be to simply initiate a weekly sharing of interesting links within the department’s field of interest. Then you could incorporate a small comment regarding any new links in a weekly department meeting.

What skills do you demonstrate?

The very notion of knowledge sharing is a direct indicator of passion. Being responsible for coordinating and locating new articles or publications in a given field will show your employer that you are eager to follow the movements in the industry. It will also provide a great foundation for discussing future strategic initiatives in the department.

  • Documentation

Documentation is famous for being a love/hate relationship in organizations. If it isn’t up to date, valuable knowledge may be lost when employees are changing departments or companies. However, too thorough documentation will only slow down the high pace of a department eager to move forward with new solutions. A good starting point for documentation is the key areas of a department. Try to review key processes and see if the necessary documentation is in place for other new employees to replicate these processes. Some areas will of course always be difficult to document if they are highly technical. However, creating documentation and writing about subjects is definitely one of the best ways to understand and remember the subjects.

What skills do you demonstrate?

In the right setting, documentation will show that you possess the ability to determine the truly vital processes in a department. Apart from this, you get the chance to demonstrate a clear understanding of certain subjects related to processes in the department.

  • A Fresh Pair of Eyes

This point touches upon one of the general clichés concerning new young employees. We have all had the talk with someone emphasizing the significance of having a fresh pair of eyes look upon the processes in a given department. While it has become a widespread catchphrase, it definitely is true. With the pace of change today, every department needs to keep up. This involves optimizing all processes as much as possible in order to release time for other valuable activities. After some time in a department, you will get a solid understanding of how time is distributed between certain operational activities. Once you have established this overview, take a step back and break these activities down to smaller tasks. Chances are that some of these tasks could be candidates for either automation or optimization. Try to initiate actions on these small tasks and remember that even tiny optimizations will save time in the long run. Time you will be able to leverage to keep your department as efficient as possible.

What skills do you demonstrate?

Suggesting improvements to processes is essential to keep departments efficient. The moment a department becomes stale, it will fail to remain competitive in today’s IT industry. The ability to take a step back and assess your work in a larger perspective is highly valued in any organization. This is often the foundation for internal optimization projects and will demonstrate a clear understanding of core lean principles.

This concludes my write up with actionable suggestions for junior employees in any department. This list obviously only constitutes a tiny fraction of the things you can contribute to as a junior employee. However, it is my experience that it’s basically always possible to change something within these three areas. I will always continue to do all three and I suggest you add them to your list of things to keep in mind when starting out in any department. This goes for both junior employees and senior employees. Feel free to drop me a message with suggestions regarding other relevant areas.

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