Technical Interviews

Tag: speaking Author: acrxo Date: 2009-12-28

Prospective clients are asking for production level examples of my work. I've been stuck in Research and Development mode for the past couple years, and don't have anything that I can think of to show them.

Suggestions?

ENetArch

Is this question valid in this forum?
this isn't a "forum"
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about Workspace

Other Answer1

I have never been asked to do this. However, this would be a difficult request for those of us who create enterprise applications. Interviewers cannot see our web pages (or desktop apps) because they are on a private intranet. Even public sites often have authentication.

For the underlying code, that is the property of the employer. Technically, you are not even supposed to have a copy of the code, even though you wrote it. It would be unethical to provide a copy of a company's source code to an outsider.

comments:

Providing examples of work does not necessarily mean sharing source code. The question may be misworded. I often see employers looking for engineers who have experience with production code e.g. something in the hands of end users.

Other Answer2

Tell them your last company owns that IP and won't let you take it outside their company.

Other Answer3

Did you tell them that you've mainly been doing R&D?

I'm sure you have plenty of code from prototypes which you can supply to them, as long as it's not horribly written as a lot of prototypes are =)

Seriously, just tell them you've been doing R&D and perhaps let them know how you would make your code more production ready.

Other Answer4

Tell them that you have been stuck in R&D and don't have any.

comments:

But do not use the word stuck. Some people would like to be stuck in R & D.
His words, not mine. I wouldn't mind a little R&D time myself.

Other Answer5

Get involved in some open source projects if you have the time or initiate your own.

Has any of your R&D work made it into production in any way? Even in concept?

Other Answer6

As others have said, they have to accept that most of what we've all created in our careers is owned by The Man, and not ours to show off. Here's what I do:

  • I contribute to user groups and open source projects, where I can show off my work, or at least talk of it in greater detail. Even a small, creative, utility can be a demonstration of your skill.

  • Before I leave a job, I ask them if I can save snapshots of some of the screens (but not the code) that demonstrate the application's functionality, and sometimes charts and graphs from the docs. They have always said yes. If you're still on good terms with some past employers, they may take the time to send you some.

  • I created a portfolio page on my website talking about the skills and technologies used in projects I've worked on, including short descriptions and any images I have.

  • If you have LinkedIn, you can get recommendations from past employers, where they talk about all the wonderful things you've done. Again, this is something you can do after the fact, if you're still on good terms with them. But here you only need to be on good terms with one or two people, not the company in general.