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Consider that I am working for a company which is selling a software and not publically disclosing most of their customers. I am, of course, under NDA. If I were to apply/interview to/with a different Software giant, which is using our product, it'd be a lovely topic to talk about. However, considering the nature of our software and the size of the giant, I deem it very unlikely that the people I would have contact with would even know about our product, and even less so that their company is using it.

Since I am under NDA, I suspect that, even though Company Bar is using our Software, I'm not allowed to talk about it, correct?

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  • You can certainly mention that you were involved in the development of a product they use and go into some detail about your role on the project, the languages you used, etc. As long as you don't say anything that would make someone go "ahh, so that's how they did it..." you should be fine. – AffableAmbler Apr 19 at 21:41
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    Language on how to address this without disclosing would be a suitable topic for this site. But the simple "can I talk about this?" is off-topic here as that depends entirely on how your NDA should be interpreted and that's a legal discussion. – Lilienthal Apr 19 at 21:54
  • Yep, I developed major features of that software @StephanBranczyk. – Joe Apr 19 at 23:26
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    @Joe, Definitely, carefully read your NDA, but if I were you, I would leverage my LinkedIn network. See if one of your contacts works for the company, or has a connection to someone within the company. Your contact can brag about you much more easily than you can. Also, your contact is much more likely to reach a person within the company who actually knows about your product already. And if you don't have a large LinkedIn network yet, work yourself on getting one. Go to tech meetups, do mock interviews on pramp.com, participate in related tech events, and expand your LinkedIn network. – Stephan Branczyk Apr 20 at 0:30
  • If you "deem it very unlikely that the people I would have contact with would even know about our product, and even less so that their company is using it", why do you think "it'd be a lovely topic to talk about"? – mustaccio Apr 20 at 12:12
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Since I am under NDA, I suspect that, even though Company Bar is using our Software, I'm not allowed to talk about it, correct?

Yes, them using it does not give you a right to break a NDA. Do not try and rationalise your way around this.

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    No worries, I'm not trying to rationalize my way around it :) – Joe Apr 20 at 12:43
  • Great, I don't see it as more than a mild icebreaker anyway, not worth any potential problems. – Kilisi Apr 20 at 12:46
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IANAL, and I can only guess without seeing the NDA, but I'd assume you can't go to the interview and talk about how they've bought the product.

But you don't need to! Just go to the interview and mention that you work on that product. As you said, it's unlikely the people who are interviewing you will be the ones working on your product, if they are, mentioning that you do work on it will be a non-NDA violating way of starting that conversation. Assuming your NDA doesn't forbid you from mentioning you work on it... again, I Am Not A Lawyer.

If there isn't anyone in the room that knows about your product, mentioning you know they purchased it isn't going to make a conversation about your product more likely. It's more likely you'll make a bad impression by proactively disclosing what could be considered private information to Company Bar, even if it isn't covered by an NDA.

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I am not a lawyer and this is in no way legal advice.

In general, you should be able talk about your experience and general technologies/languages you have used, not necessarily in the context of a particular product. You also are likely to be able to speak to your high-level function with regard to a product or your team. Getting granular with technologies used in a product or sharing any code or other potential trade secrets is ripe for trouble.

You should focus on your holistic role on a particular team and your personal skillset.

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