National Careers Week 2023: Cultivating careers at 3Squared

To mark National Careers Week 2023, we spoke to our graduates here Jake Minor and Dom Petrauskas about all things 3Squared, software development and testing, and their career development so far.


Jake Minor, Associate Software Engineer

Photo of Jake Minor
Jake Minor, Associate Software Engineer

Can you tell us more about your current role at 3Squared and what it involves day-to-day?

“As an Associate Software Engineer, I am responsible for developing and testing code for RailSmart PathPlanner, as well as collaborating with the wider team and business so that I can ensure that the features I develop fall in line with the products requirements.

“Once I have caught up with any updates and planned my goals for the day, I attend my morning stand-up and then after that, I can start coding. Primarily I work on RailSmart PathPlanner, however I have also had the opportunity to lead the development on the company’s internal UI package.

“Depending on the day, I attend and contribute towards a variety of meetings around the project such as refinement, bug triage, external meetings with stakeholders etc. and internal wider business meetings such as the social committee catchup, development team meetings, WAMs, and Lunch and Learns

“As of most recently, I have also been leading the engagement with Sheffield Hallam University by getting 3Squared involved in their Scrum Weeks. This engagement started off the back of a suggestion I made to one of the senior members of staff, demonstrating 3Squared’s willingness to listen to staff suggestions and support personal growth.”


How has 3Squared supported your career development so far?

“Since returning to 3Squared 8 months ago off the back of a 14-month placement, I have already received so many opportunities from the company to support my development.

“One of the main ways 3Squared has supported my career development is through how friendly everyone at the company is. Working with such approachable people on a day-to-day basis has allowed me to learn so much about software development and the operations of the wider business, by having the freedom to ask questions.


“Another way the team has supported my career development is through the training on offer. For example, I have been able to attend DDDNorth and have begun working  towards becoming an Azure Developer Associate.

“Finally, the company has supported my career development by allowing me to take responsibility for projects such as RailSmart Path Planner, the internal UI package, and the Sheffield Hallam engagement. By giving me these opportunities, I have been able to learn and apply a variety of different technical and non-technical skills.”


How has your experience in this role impacted your outlook regarding future opportunities?

“I believe that my role as an Associate Software Engineer has directly impacted my career path and future opportunities. My role at 3Squared has allowed me to explore and develop a variety of different technical such as Database management, API development using dotnet, UI development using Vue.js and Typescript, UI automation testing using and Mirage to a range of interpersonal skills such as collaboration with different departments and communicating with key stakeholders.

“My experience at 3Squared has given me a clearer understanding of where my passion in software engineering lies and using this understanding it will allow me to hone my skills and understanding what I would be looking for in the future.”


Do you have any advice for those who are looking to take a similar career path?

“My main advice for anybody who is looking to get involved in software engineering is to be passionate, willing to learn and to get stuck into coding!

“Overcoming the fear of writing code for the first time because it is “too technical” or “hard to understand” is one of the toughest parts of coding in my opinion. There are a variety of good online resources to start with, which are freely available for anyone to use. In my case, getting stuck into them sparked a real passion and curiosity.

“Even if you think that the code you are writing is inefficient or basic, it’s okay as everyone starts somewhere! In my experience, it’s so nice to have these early projects to look back on after a few months or years down the line, as you can see the progression in the quality of code you are writing.

“My last piece of advice is to never to be scared to be wrong, even after the 5 years that I have been writing code (which I understand isn’t a long time in the grand scheme of things!) I have found that there is always someone else who knows more, and they’ll be able to tell you how to improve your code.

“Surrounding yourself with people who have more experience and can tell you when you are wrong is crucial to learning, especially in software engineering. I noticed that after my placement at 3Squared, that my ability to write quality code had skyrocketed due to being surrounded by people who had more experience using the technologies and techniques which I had been learning at university. I believe that this heavily contributed towards graduating with a First in Software Engineering!” – Jake Minor, Associate Software Engineer



Dom Petrauskas, Graduate QA Engineer

Photo of Dom Petrauskas
Dom Petrauskas, Graduate QA Engineer

Can you tell us more about your current role at 3Squared and what it involves day-to-day?

“A typical day in my role as a graduate QA (Quality Assurance) engineer consists of numerous testing-related tasks, though these do not necessarily involve using the products. Running triage meetings, attending planning and estimation sessions, and contributing to internal resources are some of the other responsibilities that come with my role.

“As for the hands-on testing part of the job, there are always opportunities for exercising the products using a variety of techniques, including functional, API, automation, and performance testing.”


How has 3Squared supported your career development so far?

“During my time at 3Squared so far, I have had ample opportunities for developing not only my technical skills through working with different technologies but also my character by having responsibility entrusted and support and encouragement provided. It also goes without saying that much of this is credited to the individuals that I have the pleasure of working with.”


How has your studies interconnected with your real-life experience at 3Squared?

“Having spent a little over a year on placement through university, the exposure to ‘real-world’ software development allowed me to better organise my own assignment work during the final year.

“When applying for placement roles, I specifically wanted to try testing simply because it contains many distinct fields, each requiring specific skills. Because of this role, I have been exposed to many principles which overall has given me a good grasp of professional software development  and consolidated my career path. Some things cannot be learned, and I was glad to have had the opportunity to spend my placement applying the theory learned in the years prior.”


Do you have any advice for those who are looking to take a similar career path?

“For anyone interested in pursuing a career in software testing, I would gladly vouch that it is more than just clicking buttons. Assuring software quality is about learning and understanding software from a different technical angle and it can be as technical as you make it, not to mention the fun you have doing it.” – Dom Petrauskas, Graduate QA Engineer



Thank you to Jake and Dom for their insight into life as a graduate at 3Squared. To find out more about joining our team, head to our careers page.