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"The opportunity to contribute more than just lines of code should be offered and encouraged, but don't be surprised at how few will be interested."

I learned a long ago:

1) I can offer the best ideas that go beyond lines of code, but it usually comes down to the decision of someone in a higher position than me (manager, sales, the CEO, etc) and if they just don't feel like utilizing your ideas, they won't. Fighting this is more trouble than it's worth.

2) Most companies, unless you are in a startup where you wear many hats, don't want you offering your ideas. They have the ideas and want the developer to make them into a reality.

3) Most of the time, a project manager is the person that thinks about the bigger picture. I don't really want to have the responsibility of both roles..without the salary increase that comes along with it.

I love thinking about the bigger picture, which is why I have my own company I'm building on the side. But I would much rather just get my job done as a developer for my day job.




There's no shortage of ideas, especially within a company. If you want your ideas to win out, you should take advantage of what you do best… making things.

If you combine your idea pitch with a working prototype (doesn't need to be polished), it's odds of getting adopted will be far more likely.

If your idea isn't one that can be prototyped, e.g. "Ask Microsoft for a billion dollars", then you may as well just pitch it, just like anyone else.


Just out of curiosity, when would you think these prototypes should be best built? Surely not on my free time, right?

If the company is not interested on listening to new ideas, and you're keen on participating in something you would like to help build, then perhaps this is not the right company for you.


I have a project right now that I am thinking of building a prototype for on my own time and pitching to my company, because the company will basically have to sell the idea to another business. Why would I do this? Because then I can say how much I want to be compensated for my idea getting the company new business.


I honestly wish you all the best, and hope that works for you.

Just please be aware that after you've delivered, you loose power for negotiation. Therefore I would probably rethink the timeline choosen for agreeing on a reward "then I can say how much I want to be compensated for..".


I certainly do not intend to deliver anything that works before asking for compensation, I intend to show something that works and then negotiate how much it is worth.


Maybe on your free time, yes.

But only if you think it will demonstrate enough value to get you something you desire: cool work, a promotion, etc.

This requires a good understanding of what your managers and the larger organization will value, and whether they reward people who show they can deliver on those items. People's careers _do_ get bumped from these kinds of efforts, but I've seen a lot of engineers spend 40 hours prototyping something that management just won't value.


"If you combine your idea pitch with a working prototype (doesn't need to be polished), it's odds of getting adopted will be far more likely."

I have a family and only have so much free time. Even if I didn't, why would I spend my free time building anything for a company and not get compensated for it?

Even if you go through all of this, there is no guarantee you will get the responsibility and pay increase.

I honestly don't really care about any of my ideas winning out. I'm perfectly content getting told what needs to be completed and coming up with a good solution.




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