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What can a programmer do if he or she has signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), but is asked to do a program that requires lots of learning?

I think the problem would require graduate level studies on the subject and part of that would require me to discuss elements of my work covered by the NDA with those associated with that education.

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    How would a non disclosure agreement prevent you from learning? – sf02 Apr 9 at 15:06
  • I does not prevent learning but it does prevent asking help for example by some researcher from university. – thinking_too_big_problem Apr 9 at 15:11
  • I've done an edit, check if this falls in line with what you are asking as it probably will improve your question – fireshark519 Apr 9 at 15:17
  • Have you talked to your colleagues about this problem? What advice do they give? – David K Apr 9 at 15:24
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    this question has UTTERLY NO CONNECTION to "too broad". IT is an absolutely, perfectly straightforward question. The OP misunderstand the nature of NDs. Note that, indeed, Noblesse has perfectly answered the question. For God's sake - don't just click "close" if you don't even understand what's being asked. Good grief! – Fattie Apr 9 at 18:22
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Non disclosure agreement means that you won't tell outsiders about the project you've worked on and developed, for example the technical environment, how the code works and other details. You can learn whatever you want and add that to your resume and no one can prevent you, your resume means what you can do, so why would you want to hide that, make sure you can differentiate between skills and the project itself that was created using those skills.

  • Great answer to a good question. Many new workers/freelancers are confused by what an NDA is. nice one. – Fattie Apr 9 at 18:23
  • Often these nondisclosure agreements contain words saying that things you learned from publicly available sources are not covered. So you can read a book or take a university class. You can't tell others about your company's secrets, but you can learn things. BUT: If your company is doing clean-room reverse engineering (like Phoenix did for the PC BIOS back in the day) you should ask somebody in the company to be sure. – O. Jones Apr 9 at 21:07
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Read your NDA and know what it covers and doesn't cover.

Generalise your query

Chances are the NDA covers the data you are using, not the actual software itself. So what you can do is create generalised situations and examples with no NDA'd data and use that to ask for help.

Ask for documentation

If your NDA does cover the software you are using, chances are you are using in-house or otherwise highly specialist software. You can instead ask for documentation from the author or vendor. This will be your best bet for getting any learning material.

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