I am currently looking for a job as a junior UI web developer in another country, and I am trying to build an extremely simple portfolio (actually made of links to my apps), which includes a ToDo list, and eventually this application.

When I was employed in my previous company I was asked to create a management application that was used by the agents to control their appointments with the clients, but after a while I've turned it into a whole management application for almost all the internals of the company.

Now I want to edit the app in order to make it more simple, using different tecnologies inside it (like switching from Jquery to AngularJs) to display the skills I have written in my CV and uploading it on my GitHub, but I am not sure if this is correct under an ethical point of view or I should avoid it (maybe because other companies could not like this behaviour).

I might be doing a new app, but I have no time to develop something this complex but at the same time I have nothing to demonstrate that I can do more then a ToDoList app.

  • 3
    Did you ask your former employer if they would be ok with it? [Comment edited by moderator] Oct 10, 2017 at 21:41
  • Related might be helpful: workplace.stackexchange.com/q/1167/16 Oct 10, 2017 at 21:57
  • Putting it on github where it may be discovered by anyone can be anything from no big deal to very risky depending on how identifiable the work is and how much it's disclosure could hurt the previous employer. Unfortunately you can only guess how the previous employer will regard the transgression. Much safer to privately share high-level architectural slides and screenshots that detail the technology-stack, problems solved, and level of sophistication. If you must demo the application, do it on your laptop in your interview and don't transfer it anywhere.
    – teego1967
    Oct 11, 2017 at 1:18
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    Ethically OK, but legally most likely not.
    – pmf
    Oct 11, 2017 at 13:09
  • 1
    @pmf I wouldn't say it's ethical at all. OP does not own the code, so has no right to edit it and show the code off to companies that may even be competitors. Oct 11, 2017 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


It's impossible to say because each app and each company is different, particularly in how secret they regard which is their property.

Having said that, I would do it similar to the way you have described. Just make sure that you change not only some of the technologies, but the look and feel of it, insofar as possible.

One caveat. Do not use any code that you (independently) did not write. That code rightfully belongs to your former employer and using it could have ramifications. What this means is that you'll have to re-engineer what you wrote.

But I've done similar things (I've used screenshots) and wouldn't hesitate to do something similar to what you're describing as long as I make it different enough and didn't use their code. I would rely primarily on the application being demonstrable in its running form over just having the code on Git.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Jane S
    Oct 13, 2017 at 13:13

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