I recently did a phone interview with a company. The interviewer told me that he didn't like like to get people to write code on the spot without access to stack overflow or documentation because that's not how programming works in real life.

He emailed me a small programming task to complete in the next couple of days and asked me to email my response or share it on github or something.

I've completed the task in a private repo on Github, but I'm not sure if I should share the full, "un-curated" commit history with the interviewer.

Should I email him the code, or should I make the repo public with all my changes?

  • 1
    wonder if you read what interview tag says, "DO NOT USE..."
    – gnat
    Jan 19, 2017 at 9:36
  • 3
    Career advice is off topic, but for whatever it's worth, my current employer explicitly wanted to see the commit history for a kata I did for them during the interview process. Good commit habits are part of being a good developer.
    – RubberDuck
    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


I'm not very familiar with all of github's settings, so I don't know if you can make the repo visible to only 1 other person or a small set of people. If you can do that, that would probably be ideal.

As someone who interviews people for my employer, having access to the entire commit history for a small project for a candidate would be ideal. It would allow me to see a little bit into their thought process. Seeing how a developer thinks, and especially what mistakes they made and how they fixed them in an actual project would give much more useful insight into a candidate than either asking them random questions or having them do something under extreme time pressure on a whiteboard.

Another option is to do it under a pseudonym and make it public. That way your current employer won't see it and suspect you're looking to leave, or anything like that.

  • Unless you pay for a private GitHub repo, a repo is public and readable by everybody.
    – user22815
    Jan 25, 2017 at 23:53

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