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I was just wondering if it's ok to bring up interviewer's work and their GitHub contributions during interview? Since I was given who I am going to be talking I looked up their Linked In profile and saw they worked on multiple high profile cool projects and looked at their code in GitHub.

Would it be ok to bring these up during the interview if opportunity arises or would I be percevied as "nosy"?

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    Unclear. Bring them up in what context/situation? – Khalil Khalaf Feb 7 at 22:59
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First and foremost, during the interview it is of no consequence. When they're interviewing you, that's their time to ask the questions and get the feedback from you.

When they give you time to ask questions, you might be able to bring this up as a sidecar conversation. Unless the work is predominantly done on GitHub, it's more of a hobby than anything pertinent to the job you're applying for. It may be useful to get a feel for the kind of person you'd be working with, but I wouldn't dwell or elaborate on it too much.

To the tone of nosiness - if I didn't want anyone to know that I contributed to GitHub, or if I worked at Initech, or if I know Ruby, Java, Python and Kotlin, I personally have the ability to safeguard that. It's fair to look at any information that's made publicly available online, so long as you're not asking pointed and overly intrusive questions about that information.

  • @Abigail: I'd argue that you've gleaned very valuable information from that interviewee. – Makoto Feb 8 at 14:23
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It is irrelevant during the interview and should not be brought up.

I wouldn't ask about it unless you have decent rapport with the interviewer and only after the interview is finished and it comes up as casual conversation.

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I'd take the view that casually mentioning something on an interviewer's LinkedIn profile is just showing that you've done your homework. People put information on there to be found, after all. Just wait until an appropriate context comes up or, if one never does, when they ask if you have any questions.

Certainly don't bring up anything from outside the corporate segments of the internet though, as that will just make you look like a creepy stalker. People are still going to look though.

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The appropriate behavior depends a great deal on who the interviewer is and your relationship to their work. If they’re Joe Bob Beetfarmer and they’ve made a few commits to PooTwiddler 2.0, which you’ve heard of but not used, I wouldn’t mention it at all. But it is perfectly ok to acknowledge that you’re being interviewed by the main author of a software package you’ve used extensively in the past. It’s a great way to help build a personal rapport.

I’ve been on both sides of the desk on this one: I’ve had interviewees tell me how they’ve used my stuff or read a book of mine, and I’ve fanboyed over an interviewer who wrote software I used every day for years.

Tl;dr: if you have a genuine connection to the interviewer’s work, by all means bring it up. But don’t just tell them what’s on their GitHub for the sake of demonstrating that you can read.

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