I am a software developer in the U.S. pursuing a position with a new employer. As part of the interview process, I was asked to make some minor modifications on a piece of code the employer provided. Per the employer:
[Applicants] don’t need to know a lot about much to put it together, but how they compose the solution will help us understand their ability in a way that talking really can’t.
I completed the changes to the code and published them as requested. This code is shared publicly, so other applicants can easily view the work that I have done, just as I can view theirs. I took a look at one of the applicants' code who published their changes over a week after I published mine, and I noticed the code looked incredibly familiar. I reviewed all of the changes by this other applicant and compared them to mine, and aside from some very minor differences**, the code is essentially identical. It is incredibly unlikely that the changes would have been so similar had this other applicant not reviewed my code and copied it.
My question is, is it my place to bring this to the employer's attention? I am uncomfortable knowing that someone has copied my work and is using it as their own, but I am worried that contacting them about this would have undesirable consequences. I have only been in contact with the recruiter for this employer, and I am unsure if the other applicant is also working with this recruiter.
** The only differences in the code were in the comments, variable names and formatting; all of the logic is identical.