Palantir Technologies Reviews | Glassdoor

Palantir Technologies Reviews

Updated June 13, 2018
274 reviews

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4.5
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Palantir Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alex Karp
Alex Karp
209 Ratings

274 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "smart people, great work/life balance" (in 29 reviews)

  • "Palantir is a place makes the rest of Silicon Valley look like it is working on toy train sets" (in 18 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "High ownership, autonomy, and opportunity for professional and character growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Deployment Strategist
    Former Employee - Deployment Strategist
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Technology companies which produce inspiring products and create new things seem to be exclusively top-down (hopefully benevolent) dictatorships. Palantir is the only tech company I know of which has successfully created more than one valuable software product while maintaining bottom-up cultural model that emphasizes the great potential depth and inventiveness of the individual. The culture is close-knit and principled, and the hiring is impressively discerning. One works alongside especially entrepreneurial, freethinking, individuals who can be trusted to deliver outcomes.

    Cons

    The company seeks to make a difference, working in complex real-world problems, and is willing to experiment. The former matches poorly with maximizing leisure and with confining one's reasoning in the workday to a reassuringly clean, Platonic virtual environment. The latter means you run the risk of working on an experiment that fails. Still, I'd say failed experiments at Palantir are very different from failed experiments that had been the pet career bet of a typical anodyne VP / middle manager at a large tech company: the former more often than not metamorphose into critical, later-successful developments as the company begins to solve problems in a new sector of the economy; the latter are unfortunately often all sunk cost with little redeeming.

    Advice to Management

    Hold to your principles. Ensure that the culture of ongoing reinvention persists. Focus on alignment with customers and hires alike, and do not begin to cater to the median as the company grows. Maintain the rigorous hiring care that has defined the company thus far.


  2. "Have seven years of experience at Palantir as a facilities tech analyst and is ready for larger challenges"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Human advancement and personal growth.

    Cons

    Adequate facilities and space for rapidly growing companies

    Advice to Management

    Plan and execute all your decisions on where your future company will be. Taking the time out to connect with each team leaders to better understand how all company extremities functions. Then take this report and compare it to company mission

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Impactful work, great people, wild environment"

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

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

    Pros

    Huge variety of projects to work on with plenty of highly impactful work. An incredible amount of autonomy. Plenty of intelligent, driven people surround you. Unique access to huge problems with the resources to build solutions.

    Cons

    Huge amount of work to be done. Flat structure + autonomy often creates a disordered environment that's very much by design, but needs to be actively managed when things don't align.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Challenging and fulfilling"

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

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    SREs have the ability to work on almost anything in the company, whether it be working directly with a customer in the field or embedding within a product development team to improve the infrastructure and reliability of our products. The tech stack is incredibly complex and consists of a lot of open source and proprietary systems, there is a lot of opportunity to grow technically as a result. SREs have the freedom to operate autonomously and are often encouraged to innovate in a lot of different ways.

    Cons

    The company is growing quite rapidly, which is a very good thing. But there are some growing pains to overcome.


  5. Helpful (12)

    "Highly Political Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Really cool problems to solve, problems that matter, access to interesting organizations, ability to make a difference. Really smart people and great tech.

    Cons

    Working in an embedded capacity with toxic bureaucracies has infected the organization. Hiring people who thrive in these types of environments has been corrosive to the company's culture, and these hires have changed Palantir into somewhere I wouldn't recommend to a friend.

    Advice to Management

    I gave plenty of feedback while employed


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Be ready to be on your own"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Salary is great, benefits are amazing and they pretty much pay for everything

    Cons

    counterpart to having everything paid for you is that Palantir acts as if they own you and expect you to be working 24/7. Also, very little direction is given and you're expected to figure things out by yourself from the get go. And god forbid you ask for help as you will be seen as weak and inefficient. It's a soul crushing place that does not see workers as humans but merely as code monkeys.

    Advice to Management

    Stop acting as if you're the best. If you were, you would not require devs to work 70+ hours and shame them for wanting to have a life and not just a job.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Hired for your judgment, then trusted with it"

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

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The best job I’ve ever had in the best institution I’ve ever encountered. A genuine focus on mission without affectation or humbug. Along the world’s most advanced products tackling the world’s hardest problems. A flat structure that encourages and nurtures initiative. You may dispute that Palantir will achieve Karp’s ambition to create the “world’s most important company”, but what you can’t dispute is Palantir’s right to claim that they _might_ be / become the world’s most important company. Do you think the good people at Twitter / Goldman Sachs / Seaworld / Gianni Versace / Weyland Industries / IBM could claim likewise?

    Cons

    A young workforce is a volatile one. A flat structure also means this is company that can have a tendency to recognize problems a little too long before it addresses them. We are no less immune to the all-pervasive tension between Product Development and Business Development than any other software company.

  8. "Technical Recruiter"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Recruiter in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Technical Recruiter in New York, NY
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    smart people, great work/life balance

    Cons

    not enough variety in roles for recruitment in NYC


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Great and vibrant coworkers and a company that cares!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Smart and motivated co-workers that care about the mission.
    - A singular focus on enabling outcomes over tracking input and output.
    - Modern tooling and approaches to designing and building infrastructure.
    - Perks and culture that is designed to remind employees that they are valued and are partners in this quest to make the the most important institutions better at what they do.
    - The lack of a technical ladder (Software Engineer 1,2,3...) means that one is free to pursue breadth and depth in whatever their passions are.

    Cons

    - some of the chaos that is inherent to fast growth can be managed better.
    - product development seems to be lacking strong leadership or at least a drumbeat that is needed to keeping in sync and manage entropy.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up!
    Strengthen product leadership.


  10. Helpful (62)

    "Know what you're getting into"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Development in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Business Development in New York, NY
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smart people. Really, really smart people. Generally motivated and nice. Perks are nice (until you realize they're not free).

    You'll learn a lot -- both professionally and about what you value as a human.

    Cons

    Thought experiment:
    - recruit the top 1% of 1% of high achievers in basically every field (engineers, project managers, etc).
    - put them in a flat org structure where everyone is ostensibly "equal"
    - create a culture of "owning outcomes"
    - watch as people go from "total rockstar" to "not credible" in the span of 3 months or 1 project gone wrong
    - TL;DR: I struggle to think of a company or organization that spends as much time recruiting the smartest people in the world, and then subsequently spends so little time investing in an environment or culture to retain and empower those people.

    In short, more smart/motivated/amazing people fail at Palantir than (arguably) any other well-known company out there.

    Advice to Management

    Stop patting yourself on the back for how hard you work (e.g., Shyam's "work life balance myth" blog post); you shouldn't see that as something to be proud of.

    You should see that as an abject failure to achieve product leverage. If you actually had product leverage (vs. building bespoke "products" every time) you wouldn't have to make engineers work 80 hours a week, you wouldn't NEED to hire the 1% of the 1%.


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