Principal Software Engineer, Pricing



Software Engineering
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2024

About Upstart

Upstart is a leading AI lending marketplace partnering with banks and credit unions to expand access to affordable credit. By leveraging Upstart's AI marketplace, Upstart-powered banks and credit unions can have higher approval rates and lower loss rates across races, ages, and genders, while simultaneously delivering the exceptional digital-first lending experience their customers demand. More than two-thirds of Upstart loans are approved instantly and are fully automated.

Upstart is a digital-first company, which means that most Upstarters live and work anywhere in the United States. However, we also have offices in San Mateo, California; Columbus, Ohio; and Austin, Texas.

Most Upstarters join us because they connect with our mission of enabling access to effortless credit based on true risk. If you are energized by the impact you can make at Upstart, we’d love to hear from you!

The Team

The Pricing team is responsible for quickly and accurately creating loan offers for all of Upstart’s loan products like Personal Loans, Auto loans and Home loans. The services owned by the Pricing team are responsible for validating applicant data, interfacing with Machine Learning models to calculate borrower risk, matching applicants to lenders, and calculating interest rates, fees, etc. We combine ML, econometrics, and software engineering to optimally match capital supply to borrower demand. We are developing new capabilities for Upstart’s loan products and building a next generation software platform to accelerate innovation on behalf of our customers.

As a Principal Software Engineer, you are at the helm of driving technical excellence and innovation within the Pricing team. You are responsible for setting the technical vision and direction for Pricing that works backwards from our product strategy. You will lead our efforts to deliver software that uses machine learning to optimize how we price different components and continuously maximizes the efficiency of our borrower-lender marketplace. You will have the opportunity to design and build large scale systems from the ground up, partner closely with ML scientists, and work in a highly-collaborative and fast-paced environment. We are looking for a seasoned leader with a passion for ML, finance, experimentation, and distributed systems. If this sounds exciting, we would love to hear from you.

Position Location - This role is available in the following locations: Remote, San Mateo, Columbus, Austin

Time Zone Requirements - This team operates on the East/West Coast time zones.

Travel Requirements - As a digital first company, the majority of your work can be accomplished remotely. The majority of our employees can live and work anywhere in the U.S but are encouraged to to still spend high quality time in-person collaborating via regular onsites. The in-person sessions’ cadence varies depending on the team and role; most teams meet once or twice per quarter for 2-4 consecutive days at a time.

How you’ll make an impact:

  • Define the long-term technical direction and roadmap for Pricing in alignment with Upstart’s business objectives.
  • Lead the design and development of a system that continuously optimizes the matching of supply and demand for Upstart’s borrower-lender marketplace.
  • Work closely with ML scientists to improve and develop new models that improve core business metrics.
  • Guide the architectural evolution of Pricing engineering systems with an emphasis on scaling innovation across multiple engineering teams.
  • Uncover and drive alignment across complex technical requirements, designs, trade-offs, influencing product direction
  • Proactively evaluate, prototype, and roll out new technologies/frameworks to help cultivate a culture of innovation
  • Lead from the front, while mentoring and developing technical leaders

What we’re looking for:

  • Minimum requirements:
    • 10+ years of experience developing large scale distributed systems in the cloud
    • 7+ years of experience leading large cross-team initiatives
    • Experience building highly scalable APIs using containerization technologies like Docker and Kubernetes
    • Solid grasp of software development principles and best practices for creating scalable and maintainable systems
    • Proficiency in one or more object oriented programming languages like Java, C#, C++
    • Strong communication skills and ability to explain complex business and technical concepts to all audiences
    • Track record of successfully mentoring and developing technical leaders
    • Experience working in dynamic fast paced organizations
    • Ability to balance the needs of the business with the needs of engineering improvements
    • Passion for clean code and architecture and initiative to “level-up” the engineering team with better practices & design
    • You are able lead and resolve company-wide technical discussions and are able to collaborate and include input from cross-functional teams (security, devops, data, compliance and product)
    • You have a good sense for build-vs-buy and are able to prioritize the highest ROI architectural investments
  • Preferred qualifications:
    • High proficiency with Python
    • Experience with A/B testing, GRPC, and Kafka
    • Experience working in Fintech, Pricing, Ads, or ML.
    • Background in statistics, mathematics, or econometrics is a big plus.
    • Experience designing and building microservice-based architectures
    • Experience developing large scale distributed systems in AWS
    • Strong sense of ownership and accountability for the quality and timely delivery of work
    • Ability to thrive both in self-directed work environments and in collaborative settings, contributing positively to team dynamics
    • Demonstrated ability to take feedback well and actively incorporate it into work with a desire to continuously improve
    • Ability to influence and lead without direct authority
    • Strong product and analytical mindset that allows you to think in terms of ROI, risk, and trade offs
    • Experience working at companies that have gone through periods of rapid business or organizational growth

What you'll love:

  • Competitive Compensation (base + bonus & equity)
  • Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage with Health Savings Account contributions from Upstart
  • 401(k) with 100% company match up to $4,500 and immediate vesting and after-tax savings
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP)
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Generous holiday, vacation, sick and safety leave
  • Supportive parental, family care, and military leave programs
  • Annual wellness, technology & ergonomic reimbursement programs
  • Social activities including team events and onsites, all-company updates, employee resource groups (ERGs), and other interest groups such as book clubs, fitness, investing, and volunteering
  • Catered lunches + snacks & drinks when working in offices



At Upstart, your base pay is one part of your total compensation package. The anticipated base salary for this position is expected to be within the below range. Your actual base pay will depend on your geographic location–with our “digital first” philosophy, Upstart uses compensation regions that vary depending on location. Individual pay is also determined by job-related skills, experience, and relevant education or training. Your recruiter can share more about the specific salary range for your preferred location during the hiring process.

In addition, Upstart provides employees with target bonuses, equity compensation, and generous benefits packages (including medical, dental, vision, and 401k).

United States | Remote - Anticipated Base Salary Range
$180,700$250,000 USD

Upstart is a proud Equal Opportunity Employer. We are dedicated to ensuring that underrepresented classes receive better access to affordable credit, and are just as committed to embracing diversity and inclusion in our hiring practices. We celebrate all cultures, backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, and know that we can only become better together.