This question kind of splits into two separate questions, but they are related. I'll try to keep it away from a strictly legal question.

I'm currently an undergraduate Software Engineering major and am currently gaining a second year of internship experience. After graduation, I will need to seek full-time employment opportunities as a developer. I want to build a higher quality portfolio to demonstrate my knowledge.

Can I include the source code from school projects in this portfolio along with personal projects, giving credit to classmates or professors who helped? From what I have observed, the university I attend repeats the programming assignments every 2-3+ years, but with a slight twist each iteration. However, I guess the online source code could be a "partial solution" to these assignments if found. Is this considered cheating of some sort?

If so, should I? Do employers care about what programming assignments were completed in college to help solidify concepts, or are they more interested in what personal/workplace projects I have been a part of?

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    I could swear this is a duplicate of a question in Academia, but can't find it right now... As pointed out there, beware of appearing to promote cheating by other students. I wouldn't do it for anything that was a direct class assignment, for that reason, but something where you designed the problem as well as the solution might be appropriate.
    – keshlam
    Jun 22, 2016 at 23:09
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    When you joined the University, you most likely signed a contract, this is standard practice. Find it and take a look, it may contain a paragraph related to your question. Jun 23, 2016 at 18:35

2 Answers 2


Regardless of weather you can I suggest that you should not display source code to projects. A demo of a project might be OK in some circumstances, but rarely will it buy you much in the interviewing process to hand them a bulk of code that you and others wrote.

As an interviewing manager, I'm not particularly interested in seeing source code from school projects. I may ask questions about school projects, but am not going to want to review that code. I'll instead ask coding questions in a very limited context to see how you think about problems that I'm interested in.

  • Seconded. When I was hiring, I didn't have the time or inclination to review source code. Particular for new college grads - it's all bad anyway (and you'll agree when you look back in 5 years). [Not to say you shouldn't be proud of the work you did. You did your best. 10,000 hours of practice from now, your best will be much, much better.]
    – Chris G
    Jun 23, 2016 at 22:19

I answered here to a similar question with the opinion that you should have a code example that can be seen on request. For group projects I suggest against sharing the entire source, just highlight/excise your contribution.

Student work has a weird stigma to it so be prepared to explain why your snippet is special compared to everyone else's mergesort/shader/analyzer/filter/etc.

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