What to keep an eye out for in an NDA


I recently got offered my first job as a Front-End Developer(yay!!!), but they want me to sign a NDA. I never had to sign one of these before for any of my past jobs, is there anything specific I should be looking for?


NDAs are pretty standard. It’s worth taking the time to actually read. It will probably all seem pretty much what you would expect. You’ll be agreeing to protect the company’s interests an acknowledging that they’ll fire your butt (and possibly sue you) if you don’t.

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As long as you don’t have loose lips or somehow think it’s okay to sell your companies technology to someone else, yeah you’ll be fine.

But do do do do read it.

I think I’m just worried about the parts where is saying I can’t work for a competitor for 2 years after leaving the company. There are a lot of 1-2 years time periods for things I can or can’t do after leaving the company. Want to make sure if I do choose to leave I am not stuck not being able to work for 2 years.

Those parts aren’t [generally] enforceable (legally so in many places) as they’re unreasonable in most cases.

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that does not/should not belong to an NDA

Yeah, that is something that would go in a non-compete agreement and not an NDA.

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Non-competes are a little touchier than NDAs. For the most part the type of work that we do doesn’t fall into the no-working-for-a-competitor territory. If you were working on a very specific, very specialized technology that is what makes your company competitive and then you quit to go work for a direct competitor that also makes all its money based on that same very specific and very specialized technology, I guess that could come up. What I care about when I look at a non-compete is whether they have a specific prohibition against contributing to open source.