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I would like to change employment. As part of the application process the new prospective employer would like me to provide a code sample. I cannot provide any of my work as that is proprietary and/or trade secret. Also there are onerous restrictions in my current contract (some of my work is subject to the Official Secrets Act) which says that my employer owns the IP of any works created outside of my employment.

Should I submit work that I have working on in private in my own studies to my the new prospective employer, and should I inform my current employer that I am doing so or should I keep this secret from him?

My employer doesn't have any right to know that I am looking around. The only right that he has to know that I am leaving is when I provide written notice.

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    This seems like essentially a duplicate of Should I tell my boss I'm leaving before going job-hunting?, although I don't really understand the motivation of wanting to tell your current employer in this case. They mostly care about you making money from said works, not using it for other job applications (although whether you're strictly within the law would be a question for a lawyer). – Dukeling Jan 10 '18 at 21:35
  • No, because I am not going to tell them that I am leaving. Its none of their business. – user70119 Jan 10 '18 at 21:37
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    I'm puzzled by the last phrase as well and since we've covered this topic ad nauseam before I'll put this on hold with links to the most relevant questions. You'll also want to read: Interviewee offered code samples from current employer — should I accept? – Lilienthal Jan 10 '18 at 21:39
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    @JoeStrazzere the OP would have to be carefull to wrote code that had nothing to do with work esp given the fact they have signed the OS act - even telling some one you have signed the official secret act can be an ofence in its self "allegedly" – Neuromancer Jan 11 '18 at 11:41
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    I think this is roughly either duplicate or asking for legal advice. But a way to sidestep this would be to get permission from your current employer to do an open source project that way you can show your new employer code and not worry about legally dubious contract terms. – Jeremy French Jan 11 '18 at 15:05