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Is it necessary to share code from my own projects, when being interviewed for a software developer position?

Some background: I am a young adult, in my 20s. I haven't yet gone to college for financial reasons, but I have been passionate about computers since I was 5. The job that I'm applying for is a junior Android developer.

I have more than 5 years experience with Android(though I have NOT worked as a software developer before), my experience is mainly courses I have been to and lots and lots of reading I have done in my spare time.

I have a few apps published on Google Play, and other projects not Android related on my GitHub.

My question is: In case I get a chance and they ask to see my code do I have to share all of it, or just parts?

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I would probably do the following:

  1. List the apps published on my CV
  2. State that the code is available on request
  3. Provide the code to them via a secure channel (password protected file/Private repo etc)

I can understand you not necessarily wanting to open source the code. I'm assuming the apps are free so they can download and view the apps? If not, provide them with APK's for the apps too.

If they request the code, give as much as they want. It's unlikely that you are sitting on an app that will make millions (otherwise you wouldn't need to look for a job :) ) so the risk, I think is minimal.

You want to give them as much as possible. You are at a slight disadvantage as you haven't been to college, but also at an advantage as you actually have apps in the store.

Another option is to create a sample/test app. Even if it's functionality is limited(i.e. A to-do list or something). You could then put that on github and give them a link. It may give them enough insight into how you work.

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You can share exactly what you are comfortable sharing. They can decide that it's not enough to hire you. And we have no way to tell who "they" will be or what "they" will think or want.

Your best bet would be to get your smallest application that is publicly available and polish that code to your best ability. Then show the parts that they want to see.

  • Should I mention anything about copyright? Also, I can understand why smallest, but all of them are more than a few thousand lines of code. Would that be a problem? – Wade Tyler Jan 11 '17 at 9:10
  • @WadeTyler Code you wrote belongs to you. Putting it online or showing it to people does not change that. Putting a copyright notice on top of files reminds people that it's not theirs, but ultimately will not hinder them to copy it. – nvoigt Jan 11 '17 at 10:33
  • I would just add the standard "Be careful if they ask for too much, they may want to try to get free consulting in the form of an interview" – Retired Codger Jan 11 '17 at 15:10
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Sample code is not used to see if you can build an app, it's used to show that you can solve problems in a logical way while maintaining standards. To this end, a lot of employers now are issuing code tests as part of interviews, or looking at sample code that you have written.

What they will want to see is a small part of your app, something either self contained or something that does not rely too heavily on other parameters and variables. This snippet should have a clear objective, should solve a problem and should be commented clearly.

You do not need to show the whole app's code, just enough to prove that you can do the job.

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