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I guess being honest and saying you don't have any non-proprietary code to show them, but that you've spent the last 15 years writing code about 8 hours a day so that you probably know what you're doing, is out of the question?
I should say I know people who did that too and they are horrible programmers
That's probably what I'll end up doing, though. I'm not a horrible programmer, I don't think I would have lasted 30 years in the biz if I wasn't at least decent at it (15 years is just how long I've been doing .NET).
If you think 'goto' is evil, try writing an Assembly program without JMP.
I don't do github, but I do have a laptop that I can bring code samples on, plus I refer potential employers here if they want some code I've written.
".45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly" - JSOP, 2010 ----- You can never have too much ammo - unless you're swimming, or on fire. - JSOP, 2010 ----- When you pry the gun from my cold dead hands, be careful - the barrel will be very hot. - JSOP, 2013
This might be a hint that this is not the company for you. I would tell them that you don't code as a hobby anymore and you don't have GitHub code. In my opinion, any quality technical interviewer can ask questions and determine your skill level and if you'd fit into their organization or not. I've been in my current position for 5.5 years and got it during a 1.5 hour interview. Today, the same level position requires a 8 hour test/program/interview. I would not consider my current position if I had to take a day off work for the opportunity for a new position.
Tell them what you have told us.
If you are really keen on getting the job, you could also suggest that they set you a small project that would take no longer than a day to code then send back the resulting code to them.
I say this because I really dislike coding tests in interviews and have always done really well when I am set something in advance that I can then be questioned about during interview.
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
1. Imagine you owned the company you are interviewing for and you're interviewing a programmer.
2. Imagine you knew that the code is a representation of the actual business itself -- via business processes, etc.
3. Imagine that when the developer wrote the code that s/he would own a part of the business itself via owning the business processes it represents.
4. Imagine that the developer could walk out at any time leave behind a mess of business process behind that some other poor unfortunate would have to maintain.
5. Imagine your business might lose time, customers, and/or money because of that.
Don't try to "cover up" the fact that you've never used GitHub until now - the full history, with dates, is available, so they'll be able to tell you've hurriedly thrown something together for them to look at.
I'd have no problem telling any potential employer I don't have a GitHub account. Or that I used to have one at a previous employer...but that code is theirs.
I have a "portfolio" that includes code I've written for my employer and from my outside projects. I don't have any qualms about sharing bits and pieces of code from my employer, as it is only intended to illustrate my programming style.
I too do not have a GIT (yuck) repository. However, I do share my CP profile if someone wants. Apart from this I have a library of things that I simply copy and paste to applications I work with. For instance, encryption utilities, hashing utilities, basic REST API scaffolding. If they are hell bent and you too are for the job, I might just dump it all somewhere and share.
Tell them you would show them after they showed you some examples of people they hired in their hobby time.
If you have to prove how much you like your job outside of work hours, then HR should at least do the same for you.