Greater blue-eared starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus)

Marissa's not-for-profit organization sought a college graduate with the ability to code and create basic software solutions. Given their organization's financial limitations, they couldn't afford to pay employees as well as many other places could, thus they'd been struggling for over a year to find a qualified entry-level candidate. Finally, a fresh graduate came along who made a strong impression during his interview. Greg was personable and possessed the required fundamentals. There was potential for him to learn more on the job.

Once the interview had ended, while Marissa escorted Greg out of the building, he told her, "Hey, I really didn't do very well today."

Marissa had formed the opposite impression, but didn't interrupt.

"If you really want to see what I'm capable of," Greg continued, "check out my GitHub. That's where you'll see what my code is like."

Marissa was more than happy to do that. She and her whole software team accessed his GitHub to examine their potential coworker's code, assuming they'd be impressed with what they found.

Most of the projects were nothing special. The pièce de résistance, however, was a comprehensive open-source tool called iStarling. This particular repository had quite a bit more content to sift through than any of the others.

Something struck Marissa as fishy. Acting on instinct, she did some googling and found a similar open-source tool called iWren, made by a completely different person. It wasn't merely similar—a comparison of files showed that Greg had copied the repository wholesale into his own GitHub only a few days earlier, then had done a mass find/replace of the word "Wren" to "Starling."

This bird-brained attempt at plagiarism left Marissa scratching her head. If Greg had never made that parting comment to her, he probably would've been hired. Greg had done the company a solid favor by warning them about what Greg was capable of. The search for a decent employee continued.

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