Will Elon Musk Radically Change Twitter Software Engineers’ Jobs?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently purchased a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, a move that also landed him a board seat. If the media-friendly executive uses his massive influence to drive changes at the social network, it could have a huge impact on its technologists, including its software engineers.

Right now, software engineers at Twitter earn compensation comparable to what they’d find at other big tech companies. As with other Silicon Valley giants, there’s an increasing emphasis on stock-related payouts as engineers ascend the ranks; by the time they’re in a senior-level position, stock has outpaced base salary and bonuses as the main compensation pillar. Here’s an exact breakdown courtesy of levels.fyi, which crowdsources its compensation data:

(While crowdsourcing isn’t always the most scientific means of determining compensation, we’re inclined to trust levels.fyi’s ranges, which align with other sources including Glassdoor.)

New Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who took the helm in late 2021 following the departure of co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, has been focused on driving Twitter’s development cadence, as well as the integration of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning into the company’s tech stack. (Given that, knowing A.I. and machine learning can only prove a benefit if you apply for any kind of position at Twitter.)

To execute that pivot, Agrawal will need all the highly skilled engineers he can get, along with other specialized technologists. Given the ultra-low tech unemployment at the moment, and lots of other opportunities out there, Twitter might find itself fighting to retain at least some of the top employees it already has—whether or not Musk’s participation unleashes some cool projects.