Palantir Technologies – Why Work For Us?

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WHY WE’RE HERE

We believe in augmenting human intelligence, not replacing it.

With good data and the right technology, people and institutions today can still solve hard problems and change the world for the better.

In 2004, when we looked at the available technology, we saw products that were too rigid to handle novel problems, and custom systems that took too long to deploy and required too many services to maintain and improve.

We saw automated approaches that failed against adaptive adversaries, and all-or-nothing access controls that forced organizations to make unacceptable trade-offs between collaborating and securing sensitive data from misuse.

We saw a need for a different kind of technology, and we knew it would take a different kind of company to build it. That’s why we founded Palantir.

WHAT WE DO

WE MAKE PRODUCTS FOR HUMAN-DRIVEN ANALYSIS OF REAL-WORLD DATA

We’re focused on creating the world’s best user experience for working with data, one that empowers people to ask and answer complex questions without requiring them to master querying languages, statistical modeling, or the command line. To achieve this, we build platforms for integrating, managing, and securing data on top of which we layer applications for fully interactive human-driven, machine-assisted analysis.

WE BUILD OUR COMPANY AROUND MISSION-DRIVEN ENGINEERING

We’re engineers, not academics. At our headquarters in Palo Alto and at offices around the world we’ve assembled a team that combines practical expertise in distributed systems infrastructure, big data processing, user experience design, and data science. Whatever their role, each Palantirian combines an uncompromising engineering mindset with an unwavering focus on executing in service of the mission.

WE MEET THE PROBLEMS WHERE THEY LIVE

Our customers have data and a deep understanding of the problems they face. We have proven products and an engineering mindset. We send our engineers into the field to work directly with our customers—deploying our products, integrating their data, optimizing their workflows, and producing operational results in weeks, not years. By establishing a true partnership, we help customers get the most out of our products and engineering expertise.

WE DESIGN TECHNOLOGY TO HELP INSTITUTIONS PROTECT LIBERTY

Analytic technology, especially in the hands of powerful institutions that hold large volumes of data, can pose serious risks to privacy and civil liberties. That's why we build privacy-protective capabilities into our products, help customers understand how to use them responsibly, and work with advocacy groups and the policy community on how technology can be used to protect privacy interests today and in the future. We have always been, and continue to be, committed to helping organizations get value out of their data while protecting sensitive information from misuse and abuse.

WE GO WHERE WE’RE NEEDED MOST

We are engineers on a mission. We seek out the most critical problems we can find—the ones that pose threats not only to many of the world’s most important institutions, but to the people they serve as well. Some institutions have the resources to pay for our products, and some don’t. Whatever the situation, our approach with all our clients is the same: to establish a partnership that transforms the way they use data in pursuit of their goals.

WHERE WE’RE GOING

Organizations around the world are using Palantir to help them do their most important work.

With Palantir, investigators are uncovering human trafficking rings, finding exploited children, and unraveling complex financial crimes.

Humanitarian response organizations are directing resources more effectively to communities affected by natural disasters. Prosecutors are building stronger cases against insider traders. Public health officials are tracking and containing the spread of deadly diseases. Information security specialists are defending against the theft of intellectual property, while oversight authorities are auditing user activity to protect sensitive data from misuse or abuse. And this is just the beginning.

We are working to build a future in which public institutions, commercial enterprises, and non-profit organizations can use data to function as they were designed—to fulfill the mandates with which they’ve been entrusted, to deliver value to customers, and to distribute aid to those most in need.

undefinedLIFE AT PALANTIR

With a combination of perks, benefits, social activities, and learning opportunities, we invest every day in our most important asset: our people.

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

Our environment is designed to make work energizing and to stimulate the best thinking. We have no set hours—as long as your work is getting done, you're free to work whatever schedule suits you. Some folks come in during "normal business" hours and head home for dinner with their families; others spend 16 hours a day at the office—not because they're working that whole time, but because the office is a great place to be. We don’t even track vacation time, you just take what you need.

MAKING LIFE FUN

We have dedicated media rooms with TVs and projectors for catching the game, watching a movie, or playing multiplayer video games.

We have organized games of pickup basketball, soccer, and ultimate Frisbee, and we field teams in local basketball leagues. In Palo Alto, our cyclists enjoy miles of great biking routes, including Old La Honda, a locally famous climb.

You will frequently find people playing Turbo Hearts, Settlers of Catan, or Axis & Allies. The Group Therapy Club has a weekly wine tasting, often mashed up with charcuterie and cheese tastings. There's a group of coffee enthusiasts who like to roast and brew amazing coffee in one of our mini-kitchens. The list goes on!

MAKING LIFE EASY

Focus on what matters: Palantir provides a variety of perks that help us focus on the mission by promoting productivity and freeing up time at and away from the office.

Good grub: At Palantir, you will never be hungry. Chefs craft weekly menus consisting of organic and local foods, and we serve three meals a day. Family, friends, and guests are always welcome, and to-go boxes are always available.

No sweat: We offer local gym memberships to all employees, and family members get a discounted rate. We have a small gym and showers on-site, and provide organized yoga classes, on-site haircuts, a doctor, a chiropractor, massages, laundry and dry-cleaning.

INTERN AT PALANTIR

Time at Palantir is time spent applying your knowledge against real world problems, shaping our company, and learning from those around you.

INTERN EXPERIENCES

Andreja Kogovsek, Philanthropic Engineer
Imperial College London, Meng Computing

Andreja mentioned an interest in Palantir’s philanthropic work during her interviews, so she was thrilled to be placed on the Philanthropy Engineering team for her internship. Andreja was able to work on a variety of different projects during her time in Palo Alto. She modeled and integrated data for an organization dedicated to connecting war veterans to social services. She configured Access Control Lists to protect personally identifiable information from unauthorized use. And she was able to do front-end development work in support of humanitarian relief, global health, and disaster response missions.

“I was able to contribute positively to the company and hopefully touched the lives of many people through their philanthropic work, which is far more than I initially expected from an internship. I got a wonderful opportunity to meet and work with great people and grow as a computer scientist and as a person, for which I am very grateful.”


Max Kolysh, Forward Deployed Engineer
MIT, Masters in Engineering Candidate

As a Forward Deployed Engineering intern working with customers in the Federal Government, Max built an improved version of Palantir Gotham’s federated search service that made performing common use cases faster and easier. “This summer I prototyped a technology that expands the capability of one of Palantir’s data storage platforms for analysis. I knew I was a trusted member of the team when my co-intern and I were given the task to architect this product from start to finish, yet no one batted an eyelash if a Nerf gun fight erupted during the workday.


"Initially I was drawn to Palantir because of its reputation of having the toughest interviews, but I continue to be drawn to Palantir because of its culture and mission. I get to work with some of the smartest people in the world and everyone is friendly and accessible. Building a product that you know is saving lives is also very fulfilling."

Peggy Li, Product Support Engineer
Duke, Computer Science and Economics

Over the course of her summer, in addition to problem solving as a Product Support Engineer, Peggy worked with the internal finance team to integrate their data into Palantir Metropolis for more robust analysis. She wrote a Python program to ingest excel files with various sheets and lots of data. The program parsed this data intelligently and securely, making it easy for users to access the information and collaborate in their analysis. She designed the solution to be generalizable, so it can be easily deployed to external customers facing the same challenge.


"As a member of the product support team, one of the things I loved most about the role was the day-to-day variety. I was able to handle tickets, which were all very different, and work on my project, which gave me a chance to alternate between various projects and tasks. I got to learn more about different aspects of the product, and I feel like I’m a better developer overall."

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Palantir Technologies Reviews

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Palantir Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alex Karp
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  • Helpful (2)

    Lots of talented people in a fast-paced environment, building an incredible product and driven by the mission.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Palantir Technologies

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Palantir is a highly mission-driven company. Most people there are inspired, one way or another, to help "the world's most important institutions solve their hardest problems". Everyone is brilliant. The culture values and rewards hard work. Very stimulating to be surrounded by so many talented and driven people.

    Cons

    The engineers are fantastic as are the senior directors, but middle management (i.e., who you will probably report to as a developer) is pretty weak. They are promoted largely on the basis of engineering talent (which is important) and not on the ability the lead (also important). Didn't find the culture very conducive to collaboration.

    Advice to Management

    Because the team leads do more team leading than coding, it makes sense to consider leadership skills more heavily in selecting leads.

Palantir Technologies Interviews

Updated Apr 15, 2015

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

46%
29%
24%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

34%
26%
21%

Interview Difficulty

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Average

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  1.  

    Content Strategist Interview

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    No Offer
    Positive Experience

    Interview

    I didn't even get an interview, but Palantir sent an automatic email confirming receipt of my application, and a follow-up email the next business day letting me know that I wouldn't be getting an interview. That's a basic courtesy that I wish more companies would extend to applicants.

    Interview Questions

    • Note that the application form requires writing samples and an online portfolio.   Answer Question

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Additional Info

Website www.palantir.com
Headquarters Palo Alto, CA
Size 1000 to 5000 Employees
Founded 2004
Type Company - Private
Industry Information Technology
Revenue $25 to $50 million (USD) per year
Competitors IBM, Microsoft, SAP

Palantir Technologies is working to radically change how groups analyze information. We were founded in 2004 by a handful of PayPal alumni and Stanford computer scientists. Since then we've doubled in size every year while retaining our early-stage values: a startup culture, strong work ethic and rigorous hiring standards.
We currently offer a suite of software applications for integrating, visualizing and analyzing the world's information. We support many kinds of data including structured, unstructured, relational, temporal and geospatial.

Our products are built for... More

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