What Do ‘Marketplace’ Apps Like Uber and DoorDash Pay Technologists?

For ‘marketplace’ apps such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, things have never been easy. Despite enormous amounts of investment, companies in this category have routinely faced bruising legislative battles, bad publicity over security and pay, and cutthroat competition from rivals. If that wasn’t enough, the current economic uncertainty promises to squeeze their bottom lines.

However, these companies still provide software engineers with enviable compensation. According to levels.fyi, which crowdsources compensation data, even entry-level software engineers can make six figures per year, especially once you factor in bonuses and stock:

Like many other companies in tech, some of these marketplace apps have slowed their pace of hiring in recent months. “We will treat hiring as a privilege and be deliberate about when and where we add headcount,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in a May email to employees, according to CNBC (which posted the full text). “We will be even more hardcore about costs across the board.”

“We're also being responsible about costs and will significantly slow hiring,” Lyft wrote in a statement at roughly the same time. DoorDash’s hiring has likewise slackened, although the company said in April that it would continue to add headcount. (Of these companies, Airbnb seems to be the one bucking the trend when it comes to hiring slowdowns or freezes, with its CEO stating he doesn’t see a recessionary environment for travel anytime soon.)  

During the pandemic, many marketplace apps provided a lifeline for customers, especially when it came to food deliveries. With the easing of pandemic-related restrictions, and a broader economic slowdown, these apps may have to tweak their business models and software in order to expand and survive—a prime opportunity for technologists with the right kinds of ideas. Despite the pressures these companies face, they’re still willing to pay technologists high compensation to tackle some thorny issues in everything from mobile software to data science.