Getting a Tech Job at Uber
Not surprisingly, Uber—the company that upended the hired-vehicle industry with its revolutionary “push a button and get a car” business model—offers plenty of career opportunities for information technology (IT) types. Getting a position with this transportation innovator isn’t a speedy ride, however.
Uber at a Glance
Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp founded UberCab in 2009, as a limo time-sharing service. The following year, Uber debuted the app that customers use to order and pay for a car—and the company quickly took off. In 2011, it changed its name to Uber Technologies Inc., and in 2012, it broadened its offerings with less-expensive vehicles. It remains a private company.
Headquarters: San Francisco, California
Services: UberX (known as UberPop in Europe), UberXL, UberSelect (known as UberPlus in some markets) UberPOOL, and UberBLACK (Black Car)
Current locations: 404 cities around the world (selected services are offered at different locations)
Company valuation: $62 billion (as of 2018)
Uber's Company Culture
Uber encourages its employees to make “bold bets,” as the website puts it, to keep the company moving forward. They must take innovative and creative risks: come up with a bright idea, and someone will pay attention, the firm promises. Many past and present staffers reviewing Uber on Glassdoor mention the fast pace, collaboration opportunities, and innovative solutions.
Moreover, autonomy and influence over product direction are highlights of Uber’s work environment for techies.
As the company has grown, office politics and work-life balance are among the disadvantages workers mention. The company makes it clear that employees need to do whatever it takes to get things done. So employees should expect to work nights, weekends, and holidays at times.
Types of Jobs at Uber
Employees work toward a common goal of changing the way the world operates—at least in terms of traveling from point A to point B. Since Uber's success depends on how customers react to its service, behavioral data must be constantly accumulated and analyzed.
Uber’s careers page often lists numerous tech positions for:
Technologies at the forefront of required skills include Python, Java, NodeJS, Spark, Storm, Riak, PostgresSQL, and mySQL.
Uber has taken recruitment mobile with its Code on the Road game in locations where a lot of people work in tech. Those booking trips receive a notification from the Uber app to play. During their Uber ride, potential talent can show off their coding skills via the game. Those who perform well receive an offer to explore further opportunities with the company.
Landing a Job at Uber
Candidates who have gone through the recruitment process report multiple stages of interviews and tests. A telephone screening kicks things off. Besides the standard background questions, coding and algorithmic skills come under the spotlight; it’s not unusual to do a coding test while on the phone. Coding projects are sometimes sent via email.
If a candidate impresses Uber, multiple on-site interviews follow. Applicants typically face questions on design, algorithms, and data structure. When it comes to managerial positions, applicants have to demonstrate analytical skills through an online test that weighs answers differently for specific markets and positions.
Even though the recruitment process can be drawn out, it’s not the most difficult. Glassdoor rates interview difficulty for software engineering positions as average (3.2 out of 5). Candidates report mostly positive (49 percent) or neutral (23 percent) interview experiences. The majority of applicants approach Uber online.
Salaries and Benefits
According to PayScale, Uber Technologies pays its employees 14 percent above market. Here’s how a couple of other tech positions with the company fare based on limited reporting data:
The salary range of a software engineer is $66,000 to $162,000 after bonuses. That’s a median salary of around $103,000. By comparison, the U.S. average is $79,000. Data scientists at Uber earn between $109,000 and $220,000. The U.S. average stands at around $93,000.
Employee numbers reported to Glassdoor set average salaries for a software engineer and a data scientist at $131,000 and $149,000, respectively.
Benefits and perks at Uber include:
- Health, vision, and dental insurance
- Performance bonuses
- Stock options
- Flexible work hours
- Paid holidays and unlimited vacation
- Casual dress and atmosphere
- Gym or health club membership
- Free nonalcoholic drinks