I am currently looking for my first job in software development. A recruitment agency has asked me for some example code to show to a prospective employer.

The only relevant and substantial code I have at present is my final degree project. However, I am intending to patent and copyright this app for future personal release, so I am a little wary of letting the source go to other companies.

Should I redact/censor the sensitive parts of the code I submit, although that will render the app inoperable? Or is there another way of protecting my idea / code whilst still presenting it as an example?

  • 4
    This is probably too situational to get a universal answer: some interviewers will be fine with partial or censored code, some will consider it useless. I think your question may be answered by the answers on this question.
    – Lilienthal
    Feb 22, 2016 at 11:43

2 Answers 2


All the companies I interviewed for so far didn't try to actually run the code, AFAIK. They just wanted to check the quality of the code.

So, as long as your code is good, censor it. Maybe tell them why you censored some of it when you send them the code.


Just like on Stack Overflow, you could prepare a Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example.

Your application isn't all new and perfect and shiny. It is bound to have code that just does the boring work. Like a public algorithm you implemented? Or a subroutine that is necessary, but not really patent-worthy? Or any part of the program that is just plain old coding work.

Extract that part. Extract the unit tests for that part. Deliver it.

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