Working in the software industry means that you’ll most likely be working with teams. You’ll be part of a team that needs to perform a certain task, depending on your role. A good way to improve at work is to help out your team, and to become a better “team player”.
Think Of How You Can Help The Team
A big part of becoming a better team player is coming up with ways you can help your team. Think about what your team does and how they do it, how can it be improved, and how it can be done. Some ways could be:
- Is there any manual process that can be automated with scripts, formulas, macros or other programming?
- Are there any helpful links that you can share with your team to help them?
- Have you done the same task at another company and have a different way of doing it?
This can be quite a big task, but it has its benefits. It’s so big that it even has its own role – “business process improvement”. These people are responsible for looking at processes and how they can be improved.
You don’t need to go and analyse every process that’s being done. Just have a think about how your team currently does something and if there is any way it can be improved.
This can be done regardless of how long you’ve been there. You can be there for a week, or years. Sometimes it can be easier being there for a short time, as you have fresh ideas and the ability to question what is being done.
Another way to become a better team player is to share what you do easily with others. Over time, you may develop your own way of doing certain tasks, which may be quicker or easier than the normal way.
When I was an SQL developer, we had to implement code that was well formatted. It should be tabbed in from the edge, aligned properly, and well spaced. This took a bit of time as we were writing code, but it made it easier to read and maintain. We were doing this manually for a while, but I found an extension for our IDE that allowed us to set our formatting preferences and run it. It would save a lot of time when writing code. I shared this with our team, explained what I used it for, and it helped us all work a bit better.
It doesn’t have to be a link or a program that you use. If you are pretty good with Excel formulas, scripting commands, or other kinds of shortcuts, you can share them with your team and help them do their job better. My post on the top five software developer tools includes a few suggestions.
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Another way to be a better team player, and arguably the most important, is to give credit where credit it is due.
You might have heard this saying before. Basically, it means that if someone does good work, give credit for them, and don’t take the credit yourself if you don’t deserve it. This might seem obvious, but I’ve seen quite a few people that don’t give credit to others, and it just looks bad.
I’m a big believer of being humble and selfless in the workplace, so I’m happy to give credit (probably more than I should). If you did the work to achieve a goal, then that’s OK. If there were others involved, or if others did the work and not you, then give the credit to them.
What other tips do you have for helping out your team and becoming a better team player? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Career Action Tip: Brainstorm ideas for how you can improve the way your team does something. Start with the tasks you do, and see if you can apply some kind of automation to them.