Palantir Technologies

  www.palantir.com
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Palantir Technologies Reviews

Updated Jun 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 61 reviews

84% Approve of the CEO

Palantir Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alex Karp

Alex Karp

(50 ratings)

67% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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)

61 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    27 people found this helpful  

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

    IT UNIX Systems Engineer (Former Employee)

    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

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

    5 people found this helpful  

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

    Forward Deployed Engineer (Former Employee) McLean, VA

    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 Senior ManagementProblems 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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great company

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

    ConsCompensation is not the best.

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
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    NA

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Prosgreat community in mclean office

    Conswork life balance was poor

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

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    9 people found this helpful  

    Great product but poor culture

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    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

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    50/50

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

    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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work, a very unique company

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    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

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

    4 people found this helpful  

    World transformational work with really smart people

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    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

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

    4 people found this helpful  

    Operations Analyst-awful management

    Operations Analyst (Former Employee)

    ProsPalantir is doing great things and on the cutting edge of technology. There are a lot of great perks that make sure you never have to leave the office. (Including the few beds and showers people literally don't leave the office)

    ConsManagement is so confused on where to go next. You have a bunch of smart people that are going to do what they want to do regardless of what the client is asking for. They take so much pride on not being 'corporate' that they have some how managed to instill more politics than working at a large bank. Unless you're a programmer, you will not get respect here.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBeware of socially inept people that you make managers. They cannot relate to people therefore will struggle to manage a team.

    – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

    5 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

    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

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