Career Stories

From Intern to Software Developer: How One Engineer Prioritized Happiness and Growth

a person with eyeglasses smiling
Nadav Green, a software development engineer at Audible.
| Courtesy of Audible

Internships come with so many benefits, including opportunity to see if a company’s values align with yours. Just ask Nadav Green: When he landed an internship at Audible, not only did Green receive valuable on-the-ground training that prepped him for a full-time job at the company, but he also understood what it was like to be part of the team.

“My internship was so much fun,” Green explains. “Besides learning a ton, I felt valued. We would often play virtual Escape the Room, Jeopardy, and Family Feud as a team, and group events like dance exercise and cooking lessons helped us bond as a cohort.”

Audible’s investment in its employees is what made working there so appealing to Green, now a full-time software engineer at the company. “It was important to me to intern someplace where there was a lot of opportunity for professional growth, and resources to support that,” he says.

Here, Green shares his advice for finding a work environment that energizes and inspires you—for the long haul.

Can you share what led you to Audible and Software Engineering?

Software development was a shift in my career. I initially started out of college as an accountant at a small consulting company whose design principle focused on human-centered design. After three years, I decided I wanted to work on something that was a little more challenging and had more upward mobility from the company I was in. I joined a bootcamp where I learned JavaScript, React, SQL, etc.

I was interested in Audible after speaking to an acquaintance who worked there. He made me aware that Audible was an excellent place for growth. Audible expects a lot from their engineers, which provides not only the opportunity to grow and challenge yourself, but also the space and resources in order to grow.

My connection shared with me how supportive he felt his manager was. At Audible, your manager helps you become the author of your own career journey, and teaches you to advocate for yourself and your goals.

What was the internship program like, and why did it make you want to pursue a full-time role at Audible afterwards?

I had a very fruitful virtual internship experience. My internship team has ownership of Audible’s audiobook and podcast metadata. My summer project involved translating podcast metadata from a database to XML, storing the XML in a S3 bucket, and making that S3 link available to our consumers. This was a very interesting project because I had not worked with any of these technologies before.

I had a mentor for the internship and she was amazing! She gave me enough time to work on a solution by myself, but still provided help when required. She really wanted to see me succeed and met with me every week in order for us to discuss my progress in the project and my feelings about the internship.

The internship was also fun! For the first cohort of virtual interns, Audible made sure to have opportunities for engagement and connection. We played virtual Escape the Room, Jeopardy, and Family Feud. There were virtual events such as dance exercise from home, and cooking classes. Audible even provided us with ingredients so we could all learn together. Additionally, I was sent a care package for the summer. Audible’s culture is extremely supportive, and I felt that even though we were virtual.

What was the transition like to your full-time role?

Audible provided an excellent transition from intern to full-time employee. I ended my internship with the expectation my internship would be reviewed for the possibility of a full-time role, but it was not guaranteed. I really appreciated this because I was not led astray with a “you may or you may not.” This provided me with the opportunity to explore options without placing all my eggs in one basket. The response from Audible was quick. I received a response two weeks after my internship concluded with an offer for a full-time position. Once I accepted, Audible was very flexible with my start date.

Starting the full-time role was just as frictionless as beginning my internship. I was able to leverage my knowledge from my internship to launch easily into the full-time role. My team provided me with an onboarding guide, a launch mentor, and a few weeks to get accumulated with the tasks I would be working on.

What skills did you learn during your internship that you still use today?

I learned not to reinvent the wheel, to learn from the people around me. A lot of day-to-day tasks that are being completed have been completed before. For something fairly simple, such as a one-line update to a configuration, or if there is an emergency that someone else has solved, don’t waste your time reading a 10-page guide for a five-minute solution. For larger changes, you'll innovate and collaborate with your team. Your team will value your insights because as a new team member you provide a fresh perspective. The senior engineers are also very accessible, and happy to help and mentor you.

What are you currently working on that excites or inspires you?

I am currently working on a new internal widget to assist our listeners through the payment process. This is exciting because it consolidates payment logic that exists in different teams. This in turn can allow Audible to quickly and easily launch different types of payment instruments for our customers and encourages collaboration. All this work interests me because we are able to provide a solution to a need. The most important part of being a developer for me is providing a customer-centered solution to a request or problem.

What do you like best about the company culture and its core values?

Audible’s “Be Customer Obsessed” and “Imagine & Invent Before They Ask” People Principles are very important to me. They really speak to Audible’s goal of creating the best product and experience for their customers. The goal of every innovation is to bring additional benefit to the customer. 

Here are a few of the tenets of “Be Customer Obsessed:

  1. We work ceaselessly to hear the voices of our customers.
  2. We obsessively focus on other key stakeholders as if they are customers, too.

Audible has really made customer and stakeholder value the forefront of their mission. I really wanted to work at a company that cares about putting their customers first because that’s how you get the best product. Inventing a state-of-the-art product is an amazing feat to be proud of and celebrated but does it make sense if the product does not bring people joy? I’m proud to work on a product that brings people joy.

What advice do you have for interns that will help them have the most rewarding experience possible?

I think at the forefront is to have fun! I think we have transitioned (are transitioning) to a place where career happiness is just as important, if not more important, than climbing the career ladder. I think it is very important to enjoy the work you do and where you work. At Audible, I have fun with my team members and the work we do is engaging and challenging in the best way.

One piece of advice that is repetitive but still holds true is to ask questions. No one will think lesser of you if you ask a “stupid question.” At Audible, your teammates want you to succeed, your success means their success as well. It’s an environment where support and growth are emphasized.

If you do hit a roadblock, I think it’s advisable to spend some time researching your question, and if you are still stuck then ask someone with more experience. Your mentor and managers are there to help you.

What is your favorite listen?

The Autobiography of Malcom Xnarrated by Laurence Fishbourne.