I work at a larger startup with a maturing codebase. I've only worked here a few months. I have few issues to work on currently because we are near a release. I don't have many assigned issues / bugs compared to other developers who are polishing new features, and adding regress tests. I am not really sure what to work on, but I know there is plenty to do. It is tough to find motivation as well since the work tends to be more tedious (QA).
What would look best for me to work on, so that I could seem more like a go-getter, self starter that actually does useful things in this situation? I worry that I will look lazy if I'm not actively producing anything- whether it be code, documentation, or tests. I could try to optimize, bug-fix it without breaking anything- which is risky and doesn't provide much benefit, or test the code more manually (which is probably the best thing to do, but doesn't really give me any recognition from my peers and is unfortunately very boring.) I would like to rework some of the UI and refactor but I can't do that close to a release. I'm really struggling to figure out what is the best thing to do to seem positive and hard working, and to find motivation. Any ideas on how I can be more productive?