Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

NDA / Protecting your code

Active Member
Matt M Member Since: May 9, 2017
1 of 6

Hi all, I'm used Upwork for many design and minor projects, but never for serious coding help.


Basically, we need someone to work on the code that's in place, but they obviously can't know how much work is needed without seeing the code.  Does anyone have advice on how to protect your code but allow prospective coders to look at?


If they were stateside, we're have them sign an NDA, but that is useless for us if we hire someone outside of the US.


Thank yoiu!

Active Member
Mark D Member Since: Feb 23, 2017
2 of 6

I think you answered your own question; " that is useless for us if we hire someone outside of the US." American coders, trying to get a start on Upwork, are competing with foreigners who are happy to work for $5 hr. I am experienced, honest, hardworking and utterly discouraged!

Active Member
Matt M Member Since: May 9, 2017
3 of 6

I'm sorry for your frustration but this does not answer my question.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 6

@Matt M wrote:

I'm sorry for your frustration but this does not answer my question.

 In general, Matt, freelancers are a lot more interested in earning money than they are in using your code. Any freelancer worth hiring has seen thousands of codes and are in no way, shape, or form interested in stealing yours.


If you are sufficiently worried feel free to hire within your own jurisdiction and hire locally.


Upwork does have a built in NDA as part of their Terms of Service but seriously your best way to protect your code is to hire someone with an extensive successful history who would not dream of risking their account for the sake of a bit of code.


That kind of freelancer won't be in the "cheap" sector but as with everything else in life you get what you pay for.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 6


If you are interested in protecting your source code, I encourage you to consider various ways to do so.


But NDAs do NOT protect source code.


Even if you hired somebody living in the same city as you, NDAs do not protect source code. NDAs are merely a legal contract that outline certain expectations regarding freelancer/developer behavior. They have no technical mechanism for protecting source code. And they have no legal force either, unless you actively pursue a matter... IF you actually find out that somebody violates the NDA.


Note that professional, ethical developers are NOT interested in stealing your source code. They are interested in working on your behalf and getting paid to do what you ask them to do. That's it.


If you want to protect your source code, here are some tips, none of which involve NDAs:


Make sure it is backed up securely in a place that only you and your inner circle have access to.


Make sure that you and only you control the domain name registrar account where your domain name(s) are registered.


Set up separate development servers where the developers do their work.


Separate various areas of functionality and grant access to developers only to the areas they need.

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
6 of 6

Preston hit the key points.  Additionally though you might be able to share a portion of the code depending on what you need from the freelancer.  Of course I don't know the language you are working in, but if it's object oriented you could look to send the key classes and associated methods for review.  You may not necessarily need to supply all of your code.  Again though it really depends on the scope of what you are asking the freelancer.  


Also, and I hate to even say this as it should be verboten in all situations, but make sure the code does not contain any embedded username/passwords, hash codes, etc.  If so, make sure they are changed after or don't supply them at all.