In recent job interviews, companies want to see the source code that I've written in my previous projects, to check my skills. I would be happy to do this, but in most cases, I can't! Either I'm legally not allowed to or I don't have access to the code any more.
In a corporate environment it is in most cases unthinkable to ask for such a permission. Copying source code, taking it for your portfolio, showing it later to other companies, this is highly against any security standards of any IT company.
It could possibly work if I had the new company sign a strong NDA before reviewing my portfolio. But in a big company it is practically unimaginable to organize that, it is not a standard process. (I never asked it - I simply never considered to even ask if it was possible to take example software from my employer).
- Given NDAs and such, can we consider it appropriate asking a candidate to show source code that was created for a different company?
- Is it appropriate to hold it against the candidate if he can't show source code (or only minimal) from a prior employer?
- Should I ask permission to take examples of my source code to use later as portfolio reference?
- If I do, how will it reflect on my reputation?
- How do others handle the demoralization and frustration, that after many years of work you can't show a single line of code that you've written?
- How to handle the situation where I need to write things over and over again, often multiple times, because I can't copy-paste from my previous project?
Extension: It is Germany. The target companies are mostly partner companies of German multis.