The question seems to be soliciting legal advice as it only included when it was originally asked and a few of the answers agree that consequences are company specific:

Justin Cave (+176):

But even within a particular industry, there are going to be more straight-laced companies and more free-wheeling companies.

Eric Lippert (+4):

If you work at Microsoft, you will be fired once this is discovered.

I'm also not clear how it fits in any of the other categories defined as on topic in the help center:

  • Finding employment (resumes/cv/cover letters, recruiters, hiring-managers, interviews, negotiations, etc.)
  • Maintaining employment (promotions, pay increases, harassment, bullying, poor working conditions, communication problems, etc.)
  • Leadership in the workplace (motivating people, encouraging people, making decisions, holding hard conversations, intervening in unproductive situations, asking for and giving help, etc.)
  • Terminating employment (notice period, breaking the news, handing over work, reference letters, relieving letters, etc.)

If I'm completely honest, it feels like this question was only left open because it's a problem specific programmers and software developers which make up a significant portion of the users here.

I'm worried that by leaving it open and due to the very high score it received, it's serving as a model question that other users are basing their questions off of. This - now on hold - question seems highly inspired by it: Consequences for contractor of bypassing recruitment agency.

What am I missing?

  • 3
    It fits the "maintaining employment part". In SoftEng, it is common to see easter eggs, but the tendency tends to decrease lately, due to a lot of factors. This question has some interesting consequences, which are interesting. The problem is to word it properly, so the impact of that kind of question will not be bad for the workplace website.
    – Gautier C
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 7:28

1 Answer 1


It's on-topic because it's asking about workplace consequences, not legal ones. The original post made no mention of legal consequences and while that may be a part of the OP's initial concerns, none of the answers considered it a legal question. I've gone ahead and dropped the legal tag as well.

The second question you linked is off-topic because the OP is specifically requesting an assessment of the legal risks of doing something:

Am I likely to find myself in legal trouble for simply accepting the role?

That's not something we can answer, while we can answer the potential consequences on someone's employment or reputation with a company if they add hidden features to something they've created.

The fact that the question doesn't have a single close vote is good indicator that the majority of the community has deemed it on-topic and answerable. Borderline questions will typically (but not always) attract a fair share of close votes from some of our more steadfast users (like me).

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