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Re^2: Code Samples and Previous Employers

by autarch (Hermit)
on Mar 21, 2005 at 16:20 UTC ( [id://441226] : note . print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Code Samples and Previous Employers
in thread Code Samples and Previous Employers

I think people are mixing two things together here. If we're talking about full time employment, it's safe to assume that whatever work you did is not shareable, absent an agreement to the contrary.

For consulting/contract work, things are more complicated. When I was doing consulting, I tried to avoid signing agreements giving my clients ownership of the code. If they insisted on it, I made it clear that much of the code would probably be generic and generally the same as previous projects I'd done, and that I'd reuse similar pieces in the future. I also made them sign an explicit disclaimer on all my free software projects.

So if you're doing consulting, then I'd say that being asked to produce code samples based on previous work is entirely reasonable. But the original post sounded to me more like a full time job situation.

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Re^3: Code Samples and Previous Employers
by perrin (Chancellor) on Mar 21, 2005 at 18:22 UTC
    I think we would all agree that taking a complete project's worth of code from an employer and giving it to another company would be a gross violation of copyright. That isn't what we're talking about here.

    People who I interview routinely bring me code snippets from previous employers. These are on the order of "this chunk of code searches a big text file for these fixed-width fields and sorts the records on this key" or similar. They are nearly meaningless without context, but are plenty good enough to get a sense of the person's basic coding practices.

    I would never ask someone to bring code from a previous employer, but I do ask them to bring code samples, and that's usually what they bring. Some of them bring CPAN stuff, or code they write specifically for the interview that is tailored to the tools listed in the job ad (a good strategy if you can do it), but most bring stuff they wrote on the job, and I'm fine with it.