Palantir Technologies Reviews

Updated August 24, 2014
Updated August 24, 2014
70 Reviews

3.5
70 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Palantir Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alex Karp
Alex Karp
57 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really fun, lots of great perks and great people (in 7 reviews)

  • Very smart people, can learn a lot, and get to work on interesting projects (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • Poor work-life balance - people stay late and work long hours (in 13 reviews)

  • There have been some growing pains as the company expands rapidly (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Outstanding people working very hard on missions that matter.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer

    I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The people are top notch. There's a lot of job satisfaction in working on hard problems where the solution actually makes a difference. Flat organization - individuals are encouraged to take responsibility and act with minimal hand-holding from above.

    Cons

    Growing pains. Doubling every year can lead to significant churn, unclear direction, and spotty communications.

    It is very hard work, constant change, long hours, and high expectations. Even for stellar performers, burnout is a real risk.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Smart Engineers, Weak Management

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

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

    Pros

    The engineers I got to work with were smart, despite most of them being hired straight out of university. It was a great opportunity to learn from quality (though arguably inexperienced) engineers.

    Cons

    My mentor / team lead were quite ineffective at communication and giving feedback. My experience would have been much better if I had gotten more feedback more often.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure the leads and mentors are good communicators

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    No Direction and Incompetent Team

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

    I worked at Palantir Technologies as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    -Free Food
    -Friends for life on different teams
    -Close

    Cons

    Where do I start?

    -No direction: I was a contract recruiter and there was no direction about the process, the teams, or anything at all. Most of the recruiters here are former Googlers that are so happy to have a full time job they hold onto everything they know in fear of anyone becoming better than they are.

    -Isolation: The recruiting team also felt separate from the rest of the company. It was as if people on the team did not seem themselves as valuable as the other teams and the rest of the company didn't seem to respect to the team either.

    -Incompetent People: For a company that claims to hire the smartest people in the world, the people on this team probably had to be the most incompetent people I have ever worked with in my career. They know nothing about technology at all and pretend to work long hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire the team and start again

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Fantastic people, difficult but engaging and important work.

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

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    The mission is important and your impact on it is clear. You work with the smartest people in the world, with a strong selection bias towards humility. You will learn a lot and work on very, very hard problems.

    Cons

    I've had a great time here, but the long-hours complaints aren't entirely unfounded. I've never felt pressured to stay late by team members, but I knew the project demanded it and so I did (by my own accord). It didn't go unrecognized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spice up the Shire a bit! Physically, I mean. It's somewhat drab compared to other Palantir offices.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Not what the job or recruiters advertise - avoid for normal sanity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Development  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Business Development in McLean, VA

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

    Pros

    - They feed you
    - Perks are ok, definitely have declined
    - Take time off as you "can", not need
    - Dress casually at work
    - People are genuine and smart
    - Environment is good for slackers to slip under the radar

    Cons

    - Culture is really warped
    - People are being forced out or fired ALL the time now, they try to cover up
    - Opportunities to move around and grow is few
    - Pay is BAD for DC area (you can get paid better anywhere else)
    - Leads are really apathetic and aren't good people leads
    - They tell you what you can/cannot say

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People are leaving or considering it. Management has its favorites and doesn't care about the outside group. You have a recruiting team that isn't top notch and the resourcing is killing all of your employees. Actually give a care, and then you will actually have appreciative employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    McLean has decent people, but not best company in area for pay, growth, culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer  in  McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in McLean, VA

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

    Pros

    - People are great, helpful, and really intelligent. Interview system works.
    - Food service is always high quality.
    - Co-workers are all genuine, friends in and outside of work
    - Work has good customer and mission sense
    - Products try to stay on top of tech curve

    Cons

    - Not hiring fast enough, burn out is evident on every team with the Forward Deployed Engineers
    - Feels like a consulting job going from customers to customers, traffic in DC adds hours to your day.
    - Compensation is not good in DC area, hard to save for buying house or settling down
    - Certain teams can work a normal 30-40 hour week, others up to 65-80
    - Promotions don't align with hard work
    - People get fired really quickly at Palantir
    - No sense of growth as a forward deployed engineer, you feel like a cog
    - New opportunities aren't given to all employees, just the same ones over and over.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Problems in the DC office:
    - You should really watch out for your Forward Deployed Engineers from burnout, pay is low in area and they work really hard, show that you care actually.
    - Transparency is not what you think. You say you're being transparent, but everything that we actually want to know has to be learned through rumors. Stop being political and lying to your employees (hiding is lying).
    - DC Recruiting team really needs to be overlooked. No one is in before 930 and at work after 4:30, working out and wearing gym clothes when candidates are here, people take time off to interview while you are sweaty or late to interviews. Leads should hire recruiters in the tech field who understand how to bring more quality candidates in.
    - Kitchen Ops has been cut with their budget and the food selection has gone down a lot, not their fault.
    - Have metrics for how leverage team does - FDEs work output is transparent, why not everyone else across company?
    - Cutting costs are evident across the company which is fine. You're cutting from the people who work long hours while others are still taking advantage and feel entitled.
    - Salaries aren't competitive to the DC area, cost of living is high and you should revisit since it's sad to see co-worker work so hard and start looking to leave

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 32 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 for more than a 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
  9.  

    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 for more than a year

    Pros

    great community in mclean office

    Cons

    work life balance was poor

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person 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.

  11. 11 people found this helpful  

    Great product but poor culture

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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