Palantir Technologies
3.6 of 5 58 reviews
www.palantir.com Palo Alto, CA 500 to 999 Employees

Palantir Technologies Reviews

Updated Mar 25, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 58 reviews

                             

86% Approve of the CEO

Palantir Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alex Karp

Alex Karp

(49 ratings)

68% of employees recommend this company to a friend
58 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Really fun, lots of great perks and great people"
    in 5 reviews
  • "Very smart people, can learn a lot, and get to work on interesting projects"
    in 5 reviews
Cons:
  • "Work life balance needs close attention to avoid working all the time"
    in 10 reviews
  • "The company has done a great job at adapting to its growing pains as they come up"
    in 5 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

10 people found this helpful  

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

IT UNIX Systems Engineer (Former Employee)

I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time for more than a year

ProsI 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.

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

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

5 people found this helpful  

Great product but poor culture

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Palantir Technologies

Pros- Product is addressing big, important problems
- Very smart engineers
- Great perks for employees

Cons- Poor work-life balance - people stay late and work long hours
- Not good environment for women (can feel like "brogrammer" culture)

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • No Opinion of CEO

 

50/50

Forward Deployed Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Palo Alto, CA

I worked at Palantir Technologies as an intern for more than a year

ProsThey deal with some very interesting problems.

ConsManagement is going through growing pains and doesn't know how to allocate work properly. Sometimes seemed fairly haphazard in organizing.
Pressure to work a ton.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Great place to work, a very unique company

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time for less than a year

ProsGreat culture, high individual impact (small teams as a consequence of business model), really bright people, highly emphasis on internal transparency

ConsBias towards fresh grads. Uncertain career trajectory within company past 3-5yr mark.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

World transformational work with really smart people

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time for more than a year

ProsOpportunity to solve hard data problems with very positive, human impact.

Get pampered and rewarded for all the sleepless hours.

ConsRisk of working to death or forgetting names of family members.

No rolling in benjamins for you; paycheck can be subpar.

Advice to Senior ManagementCash is definitely not everything, but we as a company need to realize the effect of inflation and impact to living standard can be a distraction to the mission.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

3 people found this helpful  

One of the most interesting companies in the world, but prepare to work your butt off.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Santa Monica, CA

I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time

ProsYou'll never work with a more talented group of people in your life.

ConsBrutal hours may be detrimental to your health.

Advice to Senior ManagementCreate a corporate culture that prevents employee burnout.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

One of the best (and most intense) jobs you'll ever have

Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Palo Alto, CA

I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time for more than 3 years

ProsAmazingly smart coworkers and managers -- a much denser concentration of brilliant people than anywhere else I've worked. Great office perks (food, dogs, etc). Fun culture.

ConsIf you're looking for anything close to a 40-hour work-week, then Palantir probably isn't the right place for you. They expect a substantial, continuing commitment of time and energy. Expect to spend most of your waking life in the office.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

Work Hard, Be Challenged, Make an Impact

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Palo Alto, CA

I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time for more than a year

Pros- Mission & Impact
- People & Culture
- Benefits
- Opportunity to grow

ConsI could use more work life balance to be honest. I've worked harder at this company than any other previous job, put in way more hours. But it's also by choice - I love the people I work with and this company is about.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Disapproves of CEO

4 people found this helpful  

Hard, Stressful, little work life balance

Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Palo Alto, CA

I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time for less than a year

ProsVery Hard to get in, so you know the people inside are some of the smartest algorithm students in the country.

ConsActual work is not as challenging. A lot of unneeded stress.

Advice to Senior ManagementGo easier on the requirements to get in.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

2 people found this helpful  

A great company culture, but high expectations favoring work over life.

Executive Assistant (Current Employee)
Palo Alto, CA

I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat team and team mentality, culture and culture fit is of huge importance, wonderful perks, valuable mission and product.

ConsNo work/life balance, lower than average salaries, lack of communication team-to-team and between management and team, overall on the immature side

Advice to Senior ManagementTake the time to understand the needs/goals of your team and communicate with them often; project gratitude

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review
RSS Feed Embed

Worked for Palantir Technologies? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.

Glassdoor is your free inside look at Palantir Technologies reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Palantir Technologies CEO Alex Karp. All 58 reviews posted anonymously by Palantir Technologies employees.