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Phone job interview asks about technical problems in microISV

I had a phone job interview recently. The company is a large one and its main products are significantly different to the software my microISV sells.

Anyway I was asked about the big problems I had solved. I did talk about a couple of problems I had solved in my microISV and what I did to solve them.

However when asked further about this, I said I can only talk in vague terms and I can state what the problems are but only talk in broad brush terms about how they were solved. I did say in broad brush terms how I solved the problems, but did not go further.

I am very sure the company and individual in question don't care about my software in the sense of copying it, but I can hardly tell someone over the phone how to duplicate my software. Yes, the hard part is writing the code, but sometimes as well the hard part is knowing what to do.

So was I right about this? If you take part in a telephone job interview, are you right to be cagey about saying what exactly you did that makes your microISV software your microISV software?
NewToASPX Send private email
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
 
 
They want to know how you approach these issues, not the specifics of what was wrong.

More about attitude than lines of code.
Scorpio Send private email
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
 
 
This is your second post about this company.  In your first post, you said they're in the same area of business as you.  In this second post, they're asking you questions about how you solved things in that common area.  Maybe it's just me, but alarm bells are ringing loud and clear.  Sounds like they're picking your brain for their own benefit, rather than yours.
PSB136 Send private email
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
 
 
In answer to PSB136, there are two different companies I am talking to at the moment.

The first company I spoke of, in my previous post, is a small/medium sized company that approached me via my microISV website.

The second company is a much larger one doing very little in common with what I do.
NewToASPX Send private email
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
 
 
Ah, I see.  I was worried for you!  :)
PSB136 Send private email
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
 
 
I don't go on interviews any more but I do find myself in social situations where competitors in a friendly way pick my brain and I don't catch on right away. I've done so much clever proprietary stuff it's hard not to talk about it when someone brings it up in a conversation and starts asking questions. There's been a few times that really cool stuff I was doing ended up being cloned by a competitor after they got me talking during drinks at a conference or trade meeting. I'm more cautious now. You really can't be too paranoid when dealing with IP that's worth a lot.
Scott Send private email
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
 
 

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