I’m a software engineer at Uber and I’m voting against Prop 22
Kurt NelsonContributorKurt Nelson is a mobile engineer at Uber based in San Francisco. These are his personal views.
I’ve been a software engineer at Uber for two years, and I’ve also been a ride-hail driver. I regularly drove for Lyft in college, and while my day job involves writing code for the Uber Android app, I still make deliveries for app-based companies on my bike to understand the state of the gig economy.
These experiences have made me realize a crucial factor in the gig economy: Uber works because it’s cheap and it’s quick. The instant gratification when we book a ride and a car shows up only minutes later gives us a sense of control. It’s the most convenient thing in the world to go to your friend’s house, the grocery store or the airport at the click of a button.
But it’s become clear to me that this is only possible because countless drivers are spending their personal time sitting in their cars, waiting to pick up a ride, completely unpaid. Workers are subsidizing the product with their free labor.