So I've been developing an API for the company I work for for a year. Recently, I plan to move to another workplace and have done an interview with the recruiter.

She asked to see my GitHub page for code review. To tell you the truth, I'm still a rookie (the API I mention earlier is my very first professional work in programming) so my GitHub page is dominated by hobby projects (apps that are mostly unfinished sadly).

Is there any ethical way to show her the API I've developed because it's my magnum opus so far? Should I just show her even though it's a private project?

  • 7
    Ugh. I HATE it when recruiters think that the only way to prove you can code is to show your code on github. Not every company has open-source code on github that everyone else can see, and not every programmer spends all of their downtime writing code just to put it on github to prove that they can code! Jun 7, 2017 at 14:33
  • 2
    Anyways. The codebase could have been implemented by several developers with all the implications. There's no way for them to differenciate your code from the code made by your co-workers. As part of a team you can not attribute yourself the merit or the demerit of the project. So, focus on your own projects
    – Laiv
    Jun 7, 2017 at 20:37
  • @Laiv, actually, I've developed the API by myself. My co-workers were working on the website and whatnot :3
    – Dorklord
    Sep 24, 2017 at 12:23

3 Answers 3


That API belongs to your employer, not you. If you showed that to another potential employer, or even a recruiter, you'd be telling them that you can't be trusted not to share work that doesn't belong to you.

It really doesn't matter that you have only incomplete projects on GitHub. They still show your coding abilities, and show you are interested enough in coding to create your own work. They should also show how you have explored new ideas and learned new things over time. It's hobby work: you aren't being paid to do it, so a decent recruiter will understand why they aren't finished. Don't be dismissive of your own achievements.

You can of course talk about the technologies you have used at work, what you have learned over the year etc. Just be careful with regard to the specifics of what it does and how it does it, and do not show the code without permission.


Absolutely not, unless that "private API" has some form of license you can comply with. If you wrote it for them, it is almost assuredly their intellectual property (I suppose this could vary depending on where you are, but it's unlikely to).

If you do show it, you could be liable for breach of NDA or other possible legal action from your current employer.

Instead, I'd talk to the recruiter about this situation, perhaps try and finish one of the hobby projects, and then try and interview well. I guarantee you're not the only candidate with the bulk of their work behind a corporate ownership.


Basically, the API you developed is not yours; it's for the company you're employed with, and by the power of NDA, you cannot.

Suppose you told your new employer that you cannot show them, giving NDA as a reason, and they've insisted to see the API you developed for them, it's a large danger sign that the company you're interviewing with is a shady one and you might not want to work with them, even if the offer is very lucrative.

Keep looking.

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