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I'm currently in a 9 month internship in a small/medium sized company. On my first day in this job, I've been assigned to solo develop an application. I did, and the application is currently working in various clients, for 3 months up to now, and generating a big amount of money for them. Everything was going smoothly, I've been enjoying working here, being fully integrated with my colleagues.

But yesterday I sensed some trouble in paradise, due to a move by the administration that really sparked my attention. They have arranged a meeting with a software protection association with the purpose of "protecting" this program and making it unique.

At first sight, this would be perfectly normal since our area has a tight competition. Although, the timing of this move seems odd to me. My internship is ending in 2 months and, in my head, I can't ignore that this move might be due to the fact that they won't be interested in hiring me in full contract and protecting themselves from other companies that might hire me and steal their "project".

So basically my question is: Should I speak to my boss, directly, about my concerns?

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    What are your concerns? You wanted to make a clone of this app and sold it yourself, and you are concerned you won't be able to? – Mołot Apr 12 '17 at 9:24
  • @Molot my concern is about being laid off in the end of my internship. We're 2 months far from the final day and this move is making me a bit anxious. – kohhworlwide Apr 12 '17 at 9:25
  • If your internship was ending in 22 months how would that change anything. You really thing the company protecting based on the time of your internship? – paparazzo Apr 12 '17 at 9:47
  • @kohhworlwide at the beginning of the internship you usually sign a paper that all work you deliver is for the company. Therefore you can't really take your work somewhere else imho. – HamZa Apr 12 '17 at 9:49
  • @Paparazzi It ends in 2 months. Not 22. Yes I do. The intership is ending and if they have some decision, this would be a great timing for taking security measures. – kohhworlwide Apr 12 '17 at 9:49
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I suspect the timing would just be coincidental. Especially as regardless of them specifically protecting that piece of software its likely they own anything you create using company time and equipment. You taking your work elsewhere is therefore likely a breach of contract.

Putting that aside, if your concern is based around whether or not you are hired on a permanent basis. That can be done without mentioning the software protection.

Just ask for a review and speak about your performance. Say something along the lines of

As my internship is coming to an end in 2 months, I would like to take the opportunity to sit down with you to review my progress.

During the review bring up your successful deployment of the application, and your desire to stay at the company beyond your internship and ask if this is something the company would consider.

  • Hey David. I asked my boss to talk to him. He told me that they are counting on me for the future and that the company is very pleased with my work. Guess I was being thinking too much! – kohhworlwide Apr 12 '17 at 11:26
  • Great, glad it went well. – DavidT Apr 12 '17 at 11:29
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Your real issue here seems to be the fact, that you don't know if the company wants to hire you after your internship or not. This is a legitimate concern and you should try to seek clarification, so meet up with whoever is responsible for your recruitment. After 7 months of working for them, they should probably know if you are a good fit for their team or not.

If they are willing to hire you, negotiate on - if they don't, look out for a new job (they should still be willing to give you a good reference due to your mentioned success), as you'll need one 2 months from now.

If you are on a limited contract (at least in the software industry) you should plan your next steps a while ahead and not when it's due, whether it is extending the contract, moving to an unlimited one or seeking a new job, as the hiring process might take a while and you don't want to be unprepared for the end of a contract.

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