Tag: tech careers

Supporting Software Careers: Sheffield Hallam and 3Squared

Photo of Sheffield Hallam students presenting their Scrum Week project.

Supporting Software Careers: Sheffield Hallam and 3Squared

Sheffield Hallam University and 3Squared’s 19-year thriving partnership has recently seen the team support Hallam students in a new ‘scrum week’ project. Since the partnership was established in 2004, 3Squared has had the pleasure of supporting many students, and we have been delighted to offer over 60 students full-time roles at 3Squared.

Photo of Sheffield Hallam students presenting their Scrum Week project.

Having worked on a similar project during his second year studying Software Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University, our Associate Software Engineer, Jacob, Minor suggested 3Squared could get involved with this year’s ‘scrum week’.

Scrum week sees Sheffield Hallam’s University Software Engineering and Computer Science students work on a software brief, in turn gaining an insight into the lifecycle of software development. We set the groups the task of building a ‘live map’ detailing train services running across the UK.

Through the project, students develop skills across the board, from coding to user interface design. Students have the opportunity to interact with real clients to gather requirements, design and develop a solution and effectively manage a project.

To reflect the typical software development schedule, the ‘scrum week’ project ran for 9 weeks in the form of ‘sprints’. After the first sprint, our team visited the groups to see the level of development made. The demonstrations showed that the teams had already made great progress in achieving the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for the project. This also gave us the opportunity to discuss plans and ideas and to help them further enhance their solutions for the next sprint.

Image of the software.

When the project came to a close, Jacob Minor, Associate Software Engineer commented: “We’re pleased to see the students enthusiastically approach the task and create impressive final solutions. This was a great chance to ‘pass the baton’ to fellow Sheffield Hallam students and to help foster their passion for software development.”

Jacob also gave a demonstration of our BulkSmart solution’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.

Jacob’s experience when he was an undergraduate supported his career development, propelling his learning and giving him the chance to apply what he learnt in his course to a real-world situation. This led him to his current role as Associate Software Engineer with us at 3Squared. Now the opportunity to run the ‘scrum week’ project himself has allowed Jacob to build his skills in project management.

Ross Bray, Technical Services Director said: “For 3Squared, it is fantastic to get involved in projects like this, allowing the company to give back to Sheffield Hallam and potentially spark an interest in students. Providing practical opportunities gives students tangible, real-life experience in software development, helping them to grow their understanding, knowledge and ultimately, their career.

It has been brilliant to support the next generation of software development talent here in 3Squared’s home, Sheffield.”

We’re looking forward to inviting the students to 3Squared’s office to give them the chance to showcase their projects to our wider team. Our team is also excited to get involved with future ‘scrum week’ projects!


If you would like to find out more about opportunities at 3Squared, head to our careers page.

National Careers Week 2023: Cultivating careers at 3Squared

Photos of 3Squared graduate.

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 Cypress.io 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.

International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023 – 3Squared

Graphic featuring photos of women from across 3Squared.

The 8th of March marks the annual International Women’s Day (IWD), and this year’s theme #EmbraceEquity spotlights true inclusion and equity. This refers to how individuals have different circumstances, and therefore, require different resources and opportunities in order to reach an equal outcome. The IWD organisers are calling on everyone to fully #EmbraceEquity, today and beyond.

Graphic featuring photos of women from across 3Squared.

To celebrate this year’s IWD, we spoke to women from across the business about equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), career development, and more.

Can you share more about your career path?

“In terms of my career path, I figured out what I didn’t like before I found what I do like – working in law firms and property management before realising that finance is what I wanted to do. It’s still not what I expected to be doing after I graduated from university with a degree in history, but if you fancy a conversation spanning renaissance Florentine art and IFRS accounting standards then I’m your woman!” – Rachel Scholes, Finance & Facilities Manager


“I didn’t take the traditional career path. I didn’t study at university or take a course. I had seen my friend coding and was confused but intrigued by it. I wanted to try it for myself so made the most out of Google to learn how. I then stumbled across UI/UX design which I hadn’t heard of at the time but loved the idea of it so dived headfirst into learning about that. Over time, I built my portfolio up with designs I’d made for family and friends and then 3Squared offered me my first full-time role and my UI/UX career kicked off from there.

“My advice is that if you’re thinking about this career path, just do it. And if you can’t find a path to follow, make your own.” – Nikita Campbell-Smith, UI/UX Designer


Do you have any advice to offer women who want to follow a similar career path and/or join this sector?

“Though it can be cliché, the advice that I would share with women wanting to embark on a similar career path is to be authentic and find an organisation and a boss that values the person you are. It’s not sustainable or enjoyable to try to fit into a culture that is not right for you, and you will not do your best work. Once you find your fit, you will produce your best work and opportunities will inevitably follow.” – Martine Dodwell-Bennett, Divisional Director


“In terms of advice, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone has different learning styles. Studying whilst gaining experience at the same time really worked for me, but you have to discover what works best for you. There is lots of variety in marketing, and developing a transferable skill set also enables you to work in different industries – so there are lots of opportunities available.” –

Marie Hanby, Marketing Manager


“My main advice is never to stop learning and always be willing to listen and absorb information from everyone you meet – no matter where they sit within an organisation.” –

Claire Booth, Head of Customer Support


Can you speak on the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)?

“This sector is already generally inclusive for women. However, I think it’s important to learn how to challenge constructively. Asking questions ensures you design the right solution for your people based on relevant insights.

“Importantly, in an inclusive culture, people feel that their contributions are valued, and their voices are listened to and respected. As a business creating an inclusive culture, hiring diverse talent, and supporting individuals to develop and champion talent mobility, we are supporting greater equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.” – Emily Wilde, HR Manager


“In regards to EDI, I think it is crucial to have a range of people and voices within any organisation. The more different voices involved leads to a variety of viewpoints and ideas as well as innovative problem-solving concepts. I have found that that the more diverse the group is, the more open the teams are to new ideas and potential improvements which can only be a good thing!” – Noni Bryson, Project Manager


“I strongly believe in diversity should be a building block of everything tech companies do.  Diverse workplaces increase the likelihood of uncovering issues in the development process as different perspectives and experiences can be taken to account. By having a diverse team of testers, companies can ensure that their products are tested by individuals with different perspectives, experiences, and cultural backgrounds.” – Priya Jana, Quality Assurance Engineer


Is there a woman in particular who inspires you?

“The woman who has most inspired me is my grandmother Lady Isobel Mary (Molly) Wood. She was one of the first women to go to Bristol University early in the 20th Century. In 2009, already aged 100, she returned to the university (with all of the family in tow) as the guest of honour at Bristol University’s own centenary celebrations, where she was awarded an honorary degree and warmly welcomed as their oldest living student. She lived to be 105, dying in 2014 and saw so many changes – she said the most amazing thing was women in Britain getting the vote.” – Claire Booth, Head of Customer Support


Thanks to the team for sharing some wonderful advice and insights!


You can read our other blogs on similar topics, including Working as a woman in the rail technology industry and Diversity and inclusion at 3Squared.