Bloody Ocean Reconnaissance disguised as Job Interviews

Had a situation recently where an emerging closed-source vc backed competitor to one of my long-term open-source projects reached out about a possible job… however upon the end of my second interview, I realised that I had just been baited and there was no intention to actually hire me, it was just a guise to gather my expertise for their own roadmap development, roadblock solutions, and other competitive benefits, so they can better compete with my own project, rather than hire or even collaborate.

Just writing this here so others can be cautious in the future.

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Thanks for the heads-up!

Yeah, if I was contacted by some company developing their own programming language I’d be very skeptical.

Would you mind sharing both the project link and the company/vc name? Much appreciated.

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Sorry, but that is risk without reward.

I believe a better strategy than public shaming and the wars that can come with that, is developing strategies to protect oneself in the future, which we could collaborate on here.

For the future, this is what I’ve come up with:

  1. Ensure there is explicit written and verbal confirmation from both parties on the intent of outcomes of meetings and information exchange (i.e alluding to job and working together, with no intent of job offer), to prevent any hiding behind ambiguity and provide defence.
  2. Do not engage in IP disclosure without tit for tat mechanics at play. If they ask you how you solved one of your problems, or would solve one of their problems, if it is related to their work, this is free consulting and is not honest, and is protected as a conflict of interest. Keep questions related to non-conflicting skill disclosure, or require a mutual exchange of IP, have them share their own IP as you share your IP.
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