Patrick, Cambridge, Maths

Casebooks Patrick

The whole process of getting an internship at Ensoft was beautifully simple. On arriving at the start of my second year, and having no idea what I wanted to do in the summer, I found a stylish leaflet in my pidgeonhole advertising Ensoft. I looked them up, and liked what I saw, so I just sent off my CV and waited a bit. There was one day of interviews, conveniently held ten minutes' bike ride away from my university accommodation, and the day itself was actually really fun - a puzzle-book aptitude test, and a couple of laid-back interviews.

Ensoft were really helpful when I asked for assistance in finding accommodation, and before the internship they were very responsive by email when I had any questions. I felt pretty well-prepared before I even arrived. They made sure to let us know about a couple of company social events well in advance. On that note, the company laser-quest-slash-paintball competition was a particular success, and the annual Summer Party featured bouncy castles.

From the moment we arrived, we were given lots to do, and quite a bit of freedom in how we did it. Our mentors were always there if we needed help and we had regular chats to make sure we had enough to do and the resources we needed. I hadn't realised how much easier it is to program when you have access to people who have come across most of your difficulties before!

Everyone was very friendly, and I went to a fair number of meals out with various people. Lunchtimes were often quite full, actually: Ensoft has a lunchtime crossword-solving group (which I joined in a junior capacity), a board games group on Tuesdays and sometimes Wednesdays, and the regular Friday Thai-day trip to the Thai restaurant, alongside whatever trips to new and exciting restaurants occurred to us.

Definite highlights were the regular cooked breakfasts and the bottomless biscuit tins. I was oddly impressed with the chairs, which are customisable in dozens of different ways. Lumbar support is a new sensation for me.

We worked on two open-source projects: Endroid (a staple of interns at Ensoft), and Sextant. Both were fun, in very different ways, and I'll make sure to look in on them every so often in the future. We created Sextant from scratch, which was especially satisfying, and that provided the excuses for our mentors to give us impromptu talks on the whole software development procedure. You can even draw on the glass walls, which I thought only happened to scientists in adverts for shampoo.

The whole internship was great fun, with interesting projects and brilliant people. Absolutely recommended!