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Is there a way to block files, coding, etc. from being copied when giving a new programmer ftp access to do research prior to submitting a quote?

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Not unless you install a DRM chip in the brain of the programmer. – b0fh Jul 22 '10 at 22:03
Bringing in new developers is usually a sign the current developers have failed in some way, typically resulting in messy code that a new developer wouldn't want to steal. Your ideas are probably therefore worth as much as your code, and you're going to have to share those with the developer to actually achieve anything. – kaerast Jul 22 '10 at 22:35

I would recommend having an NDA agreement or other legal document in place before letting someone poke around if you're concerned about proprietary code/data being stolen.

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Good luck enforcing that NDA. – PaulWaldman Jul 22 '10 at 21:20
@PaulWaldman: Ouch -- Hope the person who agrees to sign an NDA doesn't have as poor an opinion of them as you. I think lawyers are the ones who get stuck "enforcing" an NDA in court. – jscott Jul 22 '10 at 23:53
@PaulWaldman As long as the contractor is in the US you can sue him, there is nothing else you can do. (i like how you didn't post an answer :) – Rook Jul 24 '10 at 19:09
@jscott: It is a long process to enforce that NDA and in many cases difficult to prove. @The Rook: Someone already provided the answer I agreed with, which I upvoted. – PaulWaldman Aug 19 '10 at 11:11

No. Don't put anything on there that you can't afford to have stolen.

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If you block files from being copied then the programmer's research isn't going to be a thorough as it could be with full access and you will end up with a poorer quote as a result.

This may just cost you time if the job takes longer, but will probably cost you money as well.

You have to trust the programmer. If you show trust and good will you will get trust and good will in return. Good contract programmers aren't going to rip you off, they need their good name to be able to work.

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Short ansawer NO! They can not give you a good quote with out good information. Bottom line is that a programmer will be programming and therefore will end up knowing everything about how your system works. If you are not comfortable with this you need to bring all the programming in-house.

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