This summer I was lucky enough to grab an internship at Unbabel, a Y Combinator startup that provides a language translation solution - “AI Powered Human Quality Translation”. Because they are based in Lisbon, Portugal, I moved there for the Summer with a couple of friends who were also going to intern in startups.

Unbabel is the first startup I ever worked for and going to work was always a thrill, ever since day one. I started by working on a couple of internal tools to replace some manual tasks commonly performed by the team. I faced various challenges from dealing with the Unbabel API to building simple interfaces for solving complex tasks. Everyone kept telling me that I would only be able to find some of the problems with my tools as soon as they were deployed and being used by the people who needed it. This was very true and so I had to get MVPs up and running as soon as possible to then work with the respective people to quickly find bugs and implement new features.

After this, I moved on to work on a Game With A Purpose related with finding mistakes in translations. This last project was the most fun and designing a game to assess translation quality was a challenge for the entire team. In other words, we created a new type of game where people cooperate with each other in real time to assess the quality of a translation. This data is of much importance to Unbabel and it was truly complicated to build a game that people will want to play regardless of its true objective.

The culture at Unbabel is just amazing. I could probably write an entire blog post about it. In short, everybody was really friendly and the office environment was just awesome. We also went surfing every week, which was a unique experience for me.

Throwback dos dias de surf no verão com a #unbabel

A photo posted by David Gomes (@davidrfgomes) on

To sum up, even though I had really high expectations for the internship, these were all surpassed. I was faced with all kinds of challenges and learnt so much, but all this while I had lots of fun with an amazingly brilliant team helping me.