This month’s ‘Meet the team’ features Jake Minor, Associate Software Engineer, who initially joined the team on his placement year whilst studying at Sheffield Hallam University, and who returned to the team as a graduate last year.
Hi Jake, can you tell us about your favourite thing about working at 3Squared?
“My favourite things about working at 3Squared is the amount of opportunity for growth which is present at the company.
“Since returning to the company after graduating 8 months ago – I’ve been able to take on responsibilities such as leading development on RailSmart Path Planner and our internal UI package, enhance the company’s relationship with Sheffield Hallam by getting the business involved in the Scrum project, contributing towards key decisions around the companies process whilst feeling supported by more senior members of the team. By having this responsibility, it had helped me to feel like I’m really contributing to the business and allowed me to improve my technical and non-technical skills as a Software Engineer in a structured and well supported environment.
“Another thing which contributes to the opportunity of growth is down to the talented and passionate individuals which 3Squared employs. Working alongside these people who have different passions and skills about their area of expertise has helped me continue growing as a Software Engineer and a Professional as everyone is very friendly and willing to teach you something which they know about!”
What initially drew you to the role and working for 3Squared?
“Whilst looking for placement opportunities during my second year of university, 3Squared came to Sheffield Hallam and delivered a talk on what it was like to work at the company. The talk covered topics around the Rail industry, the company’s culture and the technologies stack. The talk was very laid back however insightful and the employees who were involved it genuinely seemed like they enjoyed delivering it and were passionate about the work which they were doing. Off the back of this presentation, I was exposed to how enjoyable the culture is and how interesting the work is at 3Squared!
“Once I had finished my placement with 3Squared, members of staff I’d been working with or had become close to kept in touch and the company continued to invite me to different socials which they were hosting. This really made me feel as if I was part of the team and in conjunction with my extremely positive placement experience drew me back to the company after graduating.”
What excites you about the industry and the world of rail technology?
“The main thing which excites me about the world of rail technology, especially the technology which we develop at 3Squared, is that I know the work which we do is making a serious difference to the Rail Industry. Knowing that people are using the solutions which I contribute towards and get genuine value out of them to make their job easier which in turn improves the efficiency of the Rail Industry is very exciting!”
Can you tell us more about the project with students at Sheffield Hallam that you’ve been involved with?
“During the second year of the Software Engineering and Computer Science degree, students are required to complete the Scrum Project. The Scrum Project requires the students to interact with real clients to gather requirements, design and develop a solution and effectively manage a project.
“The Scrum project is a great opportunity for Students to get real life experience with clients and an understanding of how to run a project effectively and successfully. It also allows them to explore the different roles required to create quality software and how each of those roles interact with each other across the Software Development Lifecycle. My experience of doing the project propelled my learning and allowed me to apply my knowledge around managing and contributing towards a software project to my university assignments and my Placement interview at 3Squared!
“From 3Squared’s perspective, getting involved in the project allows us as a business to provide an opportunity for students to gain an understanding over what we do at 3Squared and potentially spark an interest in Rail Technology. It also allows 3Squared to find some potential placement or graduates which could effectively contribute to the business.
“The process started off with myself getting in touch with Sheffield Hallam on behalf of 3Squared and expressing interest about getting involved in the Scrum Project. Once we had confirmation from Sheffield Hallam that we were on board, they required us to write a project specification which the Students could develop in a 2 week period.
“After brainstorming potential project ideas with some of the senior members of the 3Squared development team. We decided to challenge the students to create a National Map. As an MVP, we asked the students to display the movements of active trains which were happening across the UK. Once we had an idea of the MVP, I started to write up the specification which explained: key terms which the student may come across during project, a suggestion of technologies that the students could use; these were based on the technologies we use at 3Squared, what the deliverable should look like and a range of screenshots of our solution.
“Once the specification had been reviewed by a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam, the project was put forward to the students and our project gained interest from 11 students in total with one remoting in from Australia! Once the teams had been formed, we went down to Sheffield Hallam to introduce ourselves and answer any questions the students had about the project specification. During the visit, I also gave a demonstration of BulkSmart’s National Map to give the students a clearer understanding of what we were expecting them to create and to allow them to ask questions about our implementation.
“On the 13th February, the first Sprint week commenced and on the 17th February a Senior Developer and I went down to Hallam to review what the students had made during the week. During the visit, the two teams gave a demonstration of what they had created in the week and we were really happy with what the students had achieved! Both teams had managed to achieve the MVP for the project within a week and had spoken about plans to further enhance their solution during the next sprint based on their own ideas and our feedback.
“The final review for the students project is on the 31st March and we’re really excited to see the teams final implementations and we’re hoping to get them up to the 3Squared office to demonstrate what they’ve done to the wider team!”
Thanks for giving us an insight into life at 3Squared, Jake. If you would be interested in learning more about how you could join the 3Squared team, visit our careers page here or get in touch via [email protected]