Ben, Oxford, Mathematics

Casebooks Ben

I first heard about Ensoft at the Careers event held in the Oxford Maths Institute. Being at the end of my second year studying Maths, it had become suddenly important to explore possible career paths, and reading independent advice guides/company websites had become unsurprisingly tedious after the first few hours in the University Careers centre. I was aware that many of my fellow students had already secured placements over the Summer, and that many positions were now closed to me, but the deadline for Ensoft applicants was still some way off, and talking to the event representatives was enough to persuade me to have a go. I fired off an email, and several months later turned up for my first day of work.

The first days were spent being introduced to the other intern, Jonathan, the employees I'd be working closely with, and the projects I'd be working on. The next week or so was allocated to Entrails, a small Python module and utility program designed for tracing existing Python programs that was released under an open source license, and the remainder of my 9 week stay was used continuing work on a larger Ensoft-internal project started by last year's interns.

There was always someone around to help. We had a single "mentor" with us throughout the period, dealing with our low level questions. There was also a manager who guided us with higher level design goals, etc. Beyond these, many other employees offered us help with a wide range of issues (setup, a fatal server crash that was completely coincidental to my usage of the server, and chair adjustment).

The chairs at Ensoft are without doubt the most fully featured I've ever sat in with the corresponding longest instruction manual I've read. Thinking about it, most chairs probably don't have instruction manuals, but if you end up sitting in an Ensoft chair at some point, I strongly suggest that you request a manual.

The quality of the chairs is indicative of the outside-work activities available at Ensoft: weekly cooked breakfasts, cricket matches, almost-daily lunchtime pub outings, jogging parties and competing Friday restaurant excursions. I used the pool table, and table tennis is available too.

I really enjoyed working at Ensoft, both for the software produced and the experience of working full-time in a software company. I consider myself lucky to have found, among all others in the industry, a small company with such a genuinely supportive atmosphere as Ensoft. I would recommend to anyone interested in the industry both the internship and the company in general.