Imitating a potential employer's product?

  • Hello all!

    I usually lurk, but I'm coming out of the woodwork to ask for some advice from all of you lovely software professionals.

    I am a college student and I'm applying to summer internships. I have an upcoming interview with Facebook. One of the things that I threw on my resume was a website that I wrote for my extended family, reasoning that even though it was more of a personal project than a professional one, it showcased my web development skills-- I added lots of features like a discussion board, an interactive family tree, and a photo album, [i]complete with an image tagging system similar to that of Facebook's[/i].

    It only now occurs to me that Facebook might not appreciate me ripping off their great idea, even though this is a rarely-visited personal website. What do you guys think? Am I overreacting? Is it laughable for me to assume they would care about my tiny personal site using their idea? Or is it completely tactless for me to have included such a thing? How should I handle the topic if it comes up in the interview? I note that they have even put in a [url=]patent application[/url] for image tagging.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback!

  • As long as you're not marketing it or trying to sell it and simply using it as a personal tool and to show your development skills I'd assume you're okay.

    That is a good idea by the way. These side projects set you worlds above others because it shows you are serious about wanting to be a developer.

  • Unless your website is used by a large part of theinternet connected world population i very much doubt they will care, unless you are interning for their legal department.

  • Some bigwigs might raise an eyebrow, who knows? Chances are you won't be interviewing with them, though, and will be interviewing with the very people who developed this kind of thing themselves and would rather be flattered by your imitation.

  • Thanks for the reassurances! I'm definitely not marketing it or making any profit; I was just worried because it is out there on a real site (not simply my portfolio.)

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