Palantir Technologies - Palantir is the absolute hardest, and most rewarding job I've ever had | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Palantir Technologies

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Helpful (6)

"Palantir is the absolute hardest, and most rewarding job I've ever had"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in McLean, VA
Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in McLean, VA
Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time (More than a year)

Pros

In my nearly two years with Palantir, I'm certain that I've had a much bigger outcome on the impact I worked in government for seven years to affect: A government making better decisions driven by better information. It sounds cheesy, it's at times a slow and hard fought battle but we're actually winning it. If you've ever worked with the government you know what a huge accomplishment that is.

I am also extraordinarily lucky to work with the highest integrity, smartest people I've ever known. Working a campaign in 2006 I thought I had worked with the most capable, tight knit, well motivated team I would have the fortune to work with. Only Palantir has topped that experience.

Even if you forget both of the above reasons to work for the company - which are by far the best reasons to work here - they treat us extremely well. It's not just the big decisions like compensation and benefits, but also hundreds of small decisions where an ordinary company would optimize on keeping things simpler or spending less money, and it's clear that Palantir as a company prefers in each case to actually make my life easier and more productive, even if it means spending more money.

Cons

The work - both in volume and in degree of difficulty - is intense. Not only are we always trying to make something improbable happen with government customers in Silicon Valley timelines, but we're on the hook for the quality of that work in a big way. Making this all come together is definitely the most challenging professional experience of my life, and one that I have not always gotten right.

Advice to Management

Keep up the focus on making everything we've done so far work at greater scale.

Other Employee Reviews for Palantir Technologies

  1. Helpful (7)

    "Fast paced, high learning, self directed environment where we solve real world problems."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mission Specialist in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Mission Specialist in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Flat hierarchy with an emphasis on personal ownership. At Palantir, I can honestly say that I have never been "managed." Leadership is there to guide you and help you when you need it, but not manage you. This helps you gain a huge amount of personal ownership over your projects which is encouraged. Employees are encouraged to make critical decisions in the field and supported by leadership.

    -Meritocracy. You are only as successful as you make yourself. You are judged on your outputs and not your inputs. While this is a norm and maybe an expectation in Silicon Valley, its nearly unheard of on the East Coast.

    -No BS. BS in any form is discouraged. From our no politics philosophy to the idea of only having meetings when absolutely necessary, we live and breath a minimal BS culture.

    -Transparency. Leadership will answer ANY question you have and not only that but they will do it in front of the entire company.

    -Make my own schedule. This is important to me as I have a family to worry about and a personal life to manage. As long as I excel and keep performing, no one seems to mind how I manage my time.

    -The People. This is the biggest differentiator about Palantir. Everyone at Palantir is smart, friendly, unique and generally awesome. I know that I could ask anyone to help me with my work and not only would they step up they'd do just a good a job as I could. This is super rare in a company.

    -Solving real problems. Being able to quantify the real world results of our work is amazing and it happens daily at Palantir.

    -Fantastic benefits. If you are from the east coast, no one can beat the benefits.

    Cons

    -Massive Growth. This is awesome and also the source of most of our problems at the same time. We often don't scale our processes until we realize they are broken. This includes managing people, structuring teams, trying to communicate across teams, etc. The transfer of organizational knowledge has been the toughest problem to hack IMO.

    -Recruiting. Its none stop and a huge time sink. I know its worth it and we need it to not only survive, but to maintain the pros listed above, but it can be draining at times.

    -Salary. If you are east coast, this will probably be less than you make now. Regardless, the intangible benefits, unlimited leave policy and stock options more than make up for this. The other job offer I was considering before coming to Palantir was $55k more than what I make at Palantir. Don't get me wrong, I'm so glad I took my job at Palantir, but it would be nice sometimes to be a little more comfortable money wise.

    Advice to Management

    Try to proactively fight the growth issues as much as you can. I've had numerous conversations with leadership about this, but its a super hard problem and I know they are working full time to handle it. My major concern is keep our culture while allowing this growth.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Rock solid team doing great work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Almost all employees are extremely competent, friendly, and have a great attitude. The "No A-hole" policy works.
    - The software and the team are actually making a difference in the world. The missions in antifraud, law enforcement, national security, and others are really inspirational.
    - A real commitment to protecting privacy and civil liberties. I, personally, feel much better about the government agencies that have my personal info using Palantir, than any other software that does similar things (and probably hasn't built protections in from the ground-up.)
    - The technical bar is high, and there's lots of opportunity to learn from others who are better than you (and not stuck up about it... see the first point.)
    - Lots of individual autonomy. Employees are treated as adults in regards to time management, resource usage, technology choices, etc.
    - Company leadership has a commitment to transparency, which is especially important in the face of some of the tricky moral dilemmas that come with access to lots of data. When there are issues, they're brought out in the open and discussed.
    - Lots of perks (meals, snacks, swag, laundry, massage, chiro, physician, events). Other reviews have mentioned meals as a way of chaining you to your desk, but that hasn't been my experience. Nobody cares if I fill up to-go containers and bring dinner home to the family, or invite outside friends to eat a nice leisurely lunch (see point about being treated like an adult).
    - Equity that will actually be worth something.

    Cons

    - There have been some growing pains as the company expands rapidly. It's starting to feel less like one big happy family and more fragmented.
    - There is always so much to do, and always too few hands to do it. Since we have a lot of autonomy to dictate our own load/pace, we can often self-impose too much, and/or try to keep up with the next guy who is inevitably whip-smart and hard working. I almost always feel like I'm behind (which, admittedly, may be my own anxiety - nobody is harping on me to catch up.)
    - All leads are promoted from within, which means that while they will definitely understand your engineering challenges, they may still be honing their management and people skills.
    - The recruiting/interviewing load can eat up a lot of time during the heavy seasons, killing whole weeks of independent productivity. It's important work, but can be draining.
    - People outside the company call us "secretive" and "shadowy" and accuse us of doing nefarious things that we don't do. Inevitably, arguing and feeding the trolls just makes you sound worse.
    - Salaries are lower than other silicon valley companies. It's enough to live comfortably, and all those pros definitely soften the blow.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the trend of reaching out to employees to hear their concerns, and don't be afraid to take bold moves to keep the company as great a place to work as it grows.

There are newer employer reviews for Palantir Technologies
There are newer employer reviews for Palantir Technologies

See Most Recent

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