Palantir Technologies

  www.palantir.com
  www.palantir.com
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36 people found this helpful  

Best place i've ever worked, but two strikes and you're out.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - IT UNIX Systems Engineer
Former Employee - IT UNIX Systems Engineer

I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time (more than an year)

Pros

I have never worked anywhere with such a high percentage of super competent and talented people.

The UNIX Team I worked on was particularly blessed with a great swath of real estate on the venn diagram of awesomeness and skill, and the rest of IT was a total pleasure to work with as well.

I got to interface with members of a few of the other teams, and in each case the situation was the same: everyone at Palantir is awesome at what they do and is a unique interesting person too.

There is some whisper on the corners of the internet that Palantir has a "cult-like" culture. i heard all about this when i started. Disregard it. There are many reasons for the rumour to persist, sure, but having worked there for nearly two years the reality i experienced is nothing more than awesome people who care about the work they do, regardless of the department.

The usual "Silicon Valley BubbleBath" amenities apply here. Laundry, Gym, Meals, Company Parties, etc.

If there was anything in my power that i would've known i could've done to still be working there, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I miss the team camaraderie and the company community/culture.

Cons

Actual Currency compensation is on the mid-to-lower side at Palantir, relative to their peers in the valley. They know this and it's by choice and is unlikely to ever shift significantly, imo. There is almost a smug "Our impact on the world is all that matters" mentality there. A "you are privileged to be associated with our brand" aloofness that is worn on the sleeve whenever the topic of compensation comes up in company-wide Q&A. A sense of "if you care more about making money right now than what our application is being used for, you can GTFO". Turns out, significantly less than 100% of the people at Palantir are gravely concerned with the mission, and I have a hard time fathoming the possibility that Palantir could continue to function effectively if all of the sudden, *poof*, magically everyone who really *was* there for reasons other than the mission all disappeared.

re: "Two strikes and you're out.":

I had an amazingly difficult 2013. It was the most difficult year of my life. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, went to rehab for alcohol abuse, and almost lost my marriage due to my failure to accept and participate in our unexpected pregnancy.

tl;dr, I almost lost everything.

I've sought therapy, support from my friends and family, and have fought my way through almost 9 months wasted on SSRIs/SNRIs until finding one that actually works for me, but things are on the move up and i've been trying my hardest to improve everything simultaneously - if not for me then for my wife, and if not for her then for my 1 month old daughter.

I was on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) at the beginning of 2013, which I completed successfully. I got on it due to poor attitude and unprofessionalism, which I owned and acknowledged and improved. The "Company Line" is that these PIPs are in no way shape or form a "way to fire people". I have tried my damnedest to turn my life around in a super-short timeframe, and i've made great progress on that front. I even, after discussion with and agreement from my wife, emphatically tried to waive my paternity leave (january 2014) so that i could continue to focus on the tasks at hand at work and make good on my promises of improvement. I was told that that that option was off the table, in part due to the internal perception issues it would cause for people to see me not out on leave as expected. Several Palantirians-with-children I spoke with expressed a dissatisfaction with their work-life balance as it pertained to their family, and I was led to believe that Palantir was making a concerted effort to change that image (which, to their credit, they are. there was also a pretty significant "Baby Bonus" introduced in 2014, which i am thankful to have received and benefited from), and that me waiving my paternity leave was the worst timing possible against that perception-restructuring.

So, the third day after returning from my ~forced paternity leave, i was escorted out of the building with an admittedly reasonably generous severance. I am choosing to believe that my lead played a large part in ensuring that me and my family don't end up on the street in two months, and I greatly appreciate that. However, during the "today is your last day at Palantir" meeting with my lead and HR, i was told that, given the 2013 i had, normally i would be put on a 2nd PIP, but since Palantir doesn't *do* 2nd PIPs, i was done.

I wish that "there is no 2nd PIP, only fired" was explained more clearly to me earlier, since the timing now could simply not be more awful. It's also possible that the decision to let me go was already made *before* i went on paternity leave (a linkedin posting for my exact position appeared 10 days before i was let go - while i was still on paternity leave), but it is hard to get rid of the nagging feeling that if i had been allowed to work during that month (particularly had i known my job was really on the line), i would've been able to change how things turned out.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Post someone's position to LinkedIn *after* you fire them, not 10 days before.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

87 Other Employee Reviews for Palantir Technologies (View Most Recent)

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great company

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Palantir Technologies

    Pros

    A great place to solve tough problems and have smart people as peers.

    Cons

    Compensation is not the best.

  2.  

    NA

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    great community in mclean office

    Cons

    work life balance was poor

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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