http://www.abinitio.com

Ab Initio Software

Software Engineering Intern

June - August 2020 • Lexington, MA

What I liked

For the first couple of weeks, we'd do a lot of coding together. But once I got the hang of things, I was able to do a lot of implementation by myself. I really enjoyed working on my project with my mentors, who were almost always available to lend a hand or point me in the right direction. One of the things I like about the culture is that it is truly a learning culture. I was never looked down on for asking questions or making mistakes. Rather, I was always encouraged to ask questions and learned how to fix and prevent future mistakes.

What I wish was different

Due to COVID, my internship was remote. All things considered, I think they did a very good job of helping us stay in contact with the team. It was a bit harder to start small talk because we couldn't see each other's desks.

Advice

Everyone is so nice and welcoming! Don't be afraid to be yourself!
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Software Engineering Intern

June - August 2020 • Lexington, MA

What I liked

The people are all incredibly smart, dedicated, and willing to drop anything and help out. They also put a lot of thought and effort into ensuring that the remote internship was a good experience. There was a wide range of projects, and mine evolved to become something bigger that will be carried forward by the team.

What I wish was different

Working remotely wasn't ideal; I wish I'd been able to meet my team face-to-face. Under the circumstances, though, it was as good as I could've asked for.

Advice

Don't be put off by the secrecy. Once you're inside, it's great.
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Software Developer Intern

June - August 2020 • Lexington, MA

What I liked

I really enjoyed the people I worked with at Ab Initio. My team was always free to provide help and guidance when I needed it and we also had social video calls to get to know the team better. I was given a project to work on over the summer that I basically had full ownership over, which was very fun! In addition, I knew that what I was working on would actually be used in their software and was something that customers wanted.

What I wish was different

Due to covid, the internship was remote, so I wish I had gotten to meet everyone in person.

Advice

Although there is not much information about Ab Initio online, I believe that this company has some of the smartest engineers and is a great place to work in terms of challenging yourself as an engineer, getting involved with interesting problems, and being a part of a fun and supportive culture.
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Software Engineering Intern

June - August 2019 • Lexington, MA

What I liked

I got full ownership over a full-stack project and saw it all the way through, from backend calls in C++, to APIs in Java, to the user interface in React/Typescript. I got to collaborate with lots of different people on several teams and had a voice in many design decisions. Everyone was so helpful and my two mentors were always around to help me debug or give words of wisdom. The perks were pretty awesome - free, delicious lunches every day, talented baristas that will make you any drink for free, and a shuttle to take you to work every day. The office culture was very friendly and I realized right away that I was surrounded by very intelligent and curious people who were also eager to help with anything I was struggling with.

What I wish was different

Ab Initio is pretty secretive, which I think is unnecessary for them and hinders communication.

Advice

I highly recommend working here if you get the opportunity!
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Software Engineering Intern

June - August 2018 • Lexington, MA

What I liked

Collaborative environment

What I wish was different

More interesting work

Advice

Everyone there legitimately wants to help and is actually super friendly. On top of knowledgeable, they only hire genuinely nice people.
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Software Engineering Intern

June - August 2018 • Lexington, MA

What I liked

Great people, challenging problems, and amazing culture. I learned so much over the course of the summer about building software and improving my software engineering skillset. Ab Initio gave me a lot of autonomy over the design aspects of my project: the software design, the language, the interface design, etc. Plus, Ab Initio structures their intern program such that they aim to ship any and every intern project into production, so you know your work will be used by someone. The food is to die for, and they have lots of quirks including surprise/spontaneous events hosted by their design team. There's an inside joke that goes something to the tune of "Ab Initio is a food company that writes software to pay the bills." Definitely recommend this place if you're a foodie.

What I wish was different

The tech stack is a little bit older and you should be (or will get the chance to be) very comfortable with unix tools. Sometimes a steep learning curve and you're not going to be hand-held.

Advice

Keep an open mind about this place and you'll soon learn to love it and enjoy all that it has to offer. Ab Initio encourages you to take charge of your own work/projects so there won't be all that much hand-holding. However, there's always support when you need it.
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