Downleveled by Uber

Sep 13 67 Comments

I recently got an offer from Uber that is a downlevel. I told the recruiter I wanted to interview for a senior role, having over 8 years of experience. Then the actual interview came around and I didnt pay much attention to the fact that the position I was interviewing for said Backend Engineer (not Senior Backend Engineer). So the offer comes in and its a level 4 as I suspected. There was mixed feedback in the interview panel, with some interviewers recommending me for level 5. I go back and forth with the recruiter, and they are able to set up another interview with a hiring manager. But unfortunately, that manager did not recommend level 5. I think my best course of action here is to respectfully decline the offer. Based on what ive read on blind, the recent trend at Uber has been to uplevel engineers so the tc can match their competing offers, so Im guessing they are either downleveling now, or I simply bombed that interview. Hypothetical worst case but likely scenario here: I take the L4 offer, dont get promoted because Uber is sinking, get laid off in six months. Then other companies use my level at Uber as the source of truth and I beat myself up for accepting a downlevel. The green Uber juice just isnt worth the squeeze.

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TOP 67 Comments
  • Symantec rif&rif
    If money is good just accepted the offer. People need money, not title, to live
    Sep 13 7
    • Uber / Eng
      @w@

      Uber Eng

      PRE
      Capital One
      @w@more
      What were your L4 numbers?
      Sep 13
    • OP
      Don’t know them, but I assume they would be at the top of the L4 range.
      Sep 13
    • Uber
      luks

      Uber

      PRE
      Google, Twitter, Uber
      luksmore
      ^this. Don’t go after titles or levels. Focus on take home and find a place where you can grow. I know freight is the bright spot within Uber and lots of people from other orgs are trying to get in. They have a high bar, which is good - you’ll learn from people around you. The engineers you met in your interview - did you feel you could learn from them?
      Sep 14
    • OP
      I liked the team at Uber freight, but aside from the principal engineer, it seemed like I had more experience than the Seniors who interviewed me. Most of them only had experience at Uber plus one or two other companies. I’ve worked at a ton of startups for accelerated growth and exposure to different systems/domains. So I think I would mostly learn things specific to Uber. Uber would look a million times better on my resume than my current no name startup though.
      Sep 14
    • Uber
      luks

      Uber

      PRE
      Google, Twitter, Uber
      luksmore
      Seems like even the manager didn’t impress you. In that case, just pass
      Sep 14
  • Uber / Other yippeee
    Most likely low scores on the interviews
    Sep 13 11
    • Roku cruella
      Someone around here was requesting ama by an uber employee. I wish someone did that.

      Anyways I totally understand. I went through something like this yearss back. And it sucked so bad.
      Sep 13
    • Uber / Other yippeee
      Yeah I think it was ama for someone who was let go.

      It is my first time at a company with massive layoff so it was kind of shocking
      Sep 13
    • Roku cruella
      Yea. It has to be.

      I wrote down today for the first time how I felt then. And I was shocked again today. Even though it had happened like 7 years ago

      Someone asked on blind and I posted. Shouldn't have. Been regretting it.
      Sep 13
    • OP
      Been through a couple layoffs myself. It’s always rough. I try to think of it like a glass half full, a chance to reinvent oneself and jump ship without being labeled as a job hopper. You and your resume are your job security, not your current employer. That is why I will never work in a shitty team or take a downlevel.
      Sep 13
    • Roku cruella
      I have only been on the other side so far. And it sucks from this side too.
      Sep 13
  • Uber has7ydh
    I took an Uber downlevel. I don't recommend it. Say no and do better than I did.
    Sep 14 5
    • OP
      Thanks. My gut feeling is definitely to not take it. What level did you accept? Yoe at the time?
      Sep 14
    • Uber has7ydh
      L4 8yoe. Tc bump was high enough that I said ok. Now I have to work my ass off to get promoted so I can jump ship
      Sep 14
    • OP
      I have about the same yoe. What was your experience before uber, large companies, startups?
      Sep 14
    • Uber has7ydh
      No startups, big name companies in SF. I just met with a manager from my last company who says I can come back right now for a pay boost without needing to leetcode. Considering it.
      Sep 14
    • OP
      That sucks that Uber put you in a bad spot where you would even consider that. It’s impossible to leetcode and shoot for a promotion at the same time. I pmed you.
      Sep 14
  • Uber Wmfj76
    Run from this shithole. There are rumors about upcoming layoffs. No one is safe. I saw lot of new hires getting canned. Not safe company to work at all.
    Sep 14 2
    • OP
      This. Taking a step down in my career and getting laid off is a double whammy.
      Sep 14
    • Uber / Eng bag
      No layoffs coming. Eng and prod already done.
      Sep 14
  • Uber / Eng bag
    Op, you should decide based on total comp, not level. Leveling can be different between companies. Even as L4, you will get good work.
    Sep 13 4
    • OP
      That may be true, depending on the manager and luck. But recruiters and managers in the Bay Area are familiar with levels at known companies. They know that a software engineer at Uber is one level above a fresh grad.
      Sep 13
    • Uber / Eng bag
      Which company are you at right now? And what’s your level?
      Sep 13
    • OP
      Senior and tech lead at startup
      Sep 13
    • Uber / Eng bag
      Hmm. It’s hard to decide without seeing the resume. Anyway, just look at TC offered by Uber and decide. If it’s significantly higher than your current TC then I would go for it.
      Sep 13
  • Roku cruella
    Given the occurrences of past couple days ... U really considering?
    Sep 13 7
    • Roku cruella
      I am surprised they haven't pulled it yet
      Sep 13
    • OP
      It’s for another uber org
      Sep 13
    • Roku cruella
      Oh. Eats?
      Sep 13
    • OP
      Freight
      Sep 13
    • Uber fyJL31
      I suggest run... there will be more layoffs
      Sep 14
  • Uber
    bobaboi

    Uber

    BIO
    The word ‘bitch’ is banned anywhere else except in this section 🧐
    bobaboimore
    Going from 4 to 5 is harder than before so don’t bank on it
    Sep 14 0
  • New / Eng
    xoogler420

    New Eng

    PRE
    Google
    xoogler420more
    " Then other companies use my level at Uber as the source of truth''

    Wouldn't other companies use your TC as source of truth not your level?
    Sep 15 9
    • OP
      The other companies would implicitly know my level from the Uber title. Show me a single person who took an Uber downlevel and didn’t regret it.
      Sep 15
    • Uber / Eng bag
      Gandalf$, many of us who joined Uber took a downlevel. It’s the same with other top companies like Google or Facebook. You may get downleveled with them as well. But the brand itself makes up for some of it.
      Sep 15
    • OP
      I think L5 is higher at Facebook and Google (especially Google) compared to Uber. If we were talking about level 5b, then yes. But at level 4, I would be bunched up with engineers who only have 2 yoe.
      Sep 15
    • Uber PbAx06
      Yes. L4's often have 1-2 years of experience and no relevant degree. L3 is right out of college and wait to get promoted for years, so L3 has some prestige.

      Do not take L4 with your experience. Doesn't matter if the stock is going up or down, or if there are layoffs.

      L5 is terminal, which is another perk besides double the equity. Just apply again to another org now or later.
      Sep 16
    • American Express gandalf$$
      pbAx06 what’s your level at Uber? Op here, had to make a new account.
      Sep 17
  • Lyft 1bigfish
    I’m a recruiter...don’t trip about levels, it’s all about comp. We ask about comp, not level. The next company you go to will level you however they want, not on the level of your current company
    Sep 14 3
    • OP
      Thanks for your input. I think this is mostly true for smaller companies. But I’m concerned that larger companies will factor in my current level.
      Sep 14
    • Uber
      luks

      Uber

      PRE
      Google, Twitter, Uber
      luksmore
      Lyft is so right! If you’re already thinking about leaving Uber even before you join, then you’re right, you should not join. YOLO: spend the time working on things which excite you.
      Sep 14
    • OP
      I said I would be forced to leave, not try to leave voluntarily. The chance of more layoffs is high.
      Sep 14
  • Uber denshaSai
    Any recruiters telling you level is not important, dont believe them, it is very important to your career. Also yearly adjustment and bonuses are based on level. At thia point perhaps best to walk away, see if they budge, but continue interviewing and get a Senior offer and renegotiate. Trust me, do not go in and think you can get promoted easily, it is a warzone
    Sep 14 0
  • Uber twhgj466
    Wait ! How do u know my story.... but surprising that it’s happening in DK era
    Sep 14 0
  • SAP / Eng
    MR X1

    SAP Eng

    PRE
    Workday, Oracle
    MR X1more
    What school did u graduate from ? And where did u work before ?
    Sep 13 3
    • OP
      Cs degree from top 100 state school. Mostly startups, no super well known companies due to being in hum drum middle of nowhere. They are probably treating my experience as less relevant due to the perceived low prestige of the companies I’ve worked at. I’ve shipped a ton of products end to end, and have had enough impact to get companies acquired.
      Sep 13
    • Uber PbAx06
      Join another well known company in the bay as a Senior, vest, then apply to Uber again later. It's not even a question of company layoffs or stock price.
      Sep 16
    • OP
      ^ this. Can you pm? There’s been a development
      Sep 16
  • Uber / Product
    zwXg60

    Uber Product

    PRE
    Facebook
    zwXg60more
    Don’t do it. It’s not worth it. Prep for interviews and secure an offer at a profitable company with a better engineering culture.
    Sep 23 0
  • American Express gandalf$$
    Any Uber level 5 engineers in the house?
    Sep 17 0
  • OP
    Can someone who is a manager at Uber please pm me? There’s been a development
    Sep 16 0
  • New DbuS07
    Don’t accept it
    Sep 15 0