I have been working at Applied Precision as an intern (More than a year)
It's a small company working on exciting products. The hardware is state of the art and the company iterates quickly on new products. There isn't a wall at all between R&D and engineering, and I was able to contribute in a variety of facets. My work was very self-driven and I was given a great deal of autonomy.
The codebase and tools used are quite old and in some cases out of date. At one point I had to do maintenance on a program written in FORTRAN. There were also times when I felt like my internship lacked direction.
I applied online. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Applied Precision (Issaquah, WA) in December 2009.
Most of the employees were very friendly, welcoming, and genuine. HR was good about communication until, what I assume was, the point at which I was no longer a candidate - I had to do the check in by phone, they never called me back, and I never officially heard that the position was offered to somebody else. To me this is very tacky - anybody who has been through 3 interviews deserves a call back at the very minimum. This seems to be very typical of companies anymore however. Everybody has to interview with the founder - Ron. He is very proud of his company's achievements, and should, however, he seemed to be a bit arrogant and very obviously lost interest during the interview when he wasn't getting answers that he wanted to hear.
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