Palantir Technologies Reviews | Glassdoor

Palantir Technologies Reviews

Updated August 16, 2017
251 reviews

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4.1
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Palantir Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alex Karp
Alex Karp
192 Ratings

251 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Met a lot of really smart people who I will be sure to keep in touch with (in 26 reviews)

  • I had a fear that any move to an established company (even in Silicon Valley) would be a soul-sucking experience (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance can be so bad that sleep deprivation will take a continuous toll on your health (in 57 reviews)

  • tons of the usual growing pains (in 22 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great org; rapid pace&rate of change"

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

    Pros

    My co-workers are incredibly intelligent and driven.

    The leadership quality of my direct management has varied, but improved year-on-year. The last two years, I've been led by people that are inspired, fun, and challenging.

    There is a solid core of individuals that have remained with the company since founding&+7 years. The continuity places the current success in perspective.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is verbally encouraged, and always accommodated in my experience. That said, my roles have always had a pretty demanding scope, so it can be difficult to maintain perspective and ask for it when needed! It's a consistent theme across the company.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

    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

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

    Pros

    The best pro by far is the mission - these are hard problems with no easy answer, and we're in there making a difference. Second best pro (still far above the others) are the people - they're top notch. Some are difficult, others are now great friends, all are great at what they do. Other lagging pros are the food, the offices, the travel opportunities, the dogs, the diversity of experience (technical, military, finance, science, business support, etc.), and the social stuff (conferences, hackathons, books clubs, whiskey clubs, wine clubs, etc.)

    Cons

    It's sometimes tough to feel connected to the bigger beast when you're focused on a deployment/project for a significant period of time. You can feel scrutinized and judged in the news. It takes a little bit of self-motivation to make sure you're doing the work that you want to be doing (more of a pull system than push).

    Advice to Management

    Leadership can feel a little aloof at times. Continue to back the folks on the ground.

  3. "Good place to be."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - FDE in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - FDE in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Palantir Technologies (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Overall good experience, dependent on team you're with.

    Cons

    nothing specific, dependent on team you're on.


  4. "5+yrs working & growing in this fast paced company! Still love it!"

    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 5 years)

    Pros

    Perks are amazing, food is phenomenal (locavore concept thru & thru), support staff is incredible, great pay for operations positions.

    Cons

    Too much kool aid drinking, need more reality checks for pay scale as life expenses increase every year for EVERYONE EVERYWHERE! 5% annual increase is NOT enough, minimum should be 10%.

    Advice to Management

    Less meetings about meetings, listen to your people on the ground, less favoritism & less contractors.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Intense, challenging, and highly rewarding"

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

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

    Pros

    Work on interesting problems with very smart people
    Fast paced
    Actually flat
    Risk taking is rewarded

    Cons

    The little structure that does exist breaks down at the PM level on PD and oftentimes at the CO level on BD; this encourages people to seek influence outside of that official structure

    Advice to Management

    Trim or re-orient middle management on failing products more aggressively


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Choose your team wisely"

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

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

    Pros

    Preface: all the pros / cons depend a lot on the team you end up with. Choose your team extremely carefully and definitely talk to people other than the team leads trying to recruit you. Be very sure and vocal about what you want to achieve, what value you add, what environments and conditions under which you thrive.

    - Some incredibly smart people (esp ICs).
    - Travels to exotic places.
    - Some incredibly cool / meaningful / impactful projects, especially if you are a US or EU citizen.
    - Interesting tech stack, lots of cool technology to work with.
    - Extremely good engineers on PD.
    - Close to the problem, great if you care about what you build.
    - Strongly recommend doing an FDE internship here--you learn a lot and get an entire tech stack to play with. You get a very real look at what it's like to work full time at the company since they basically treat you as an FTE. You can decide for yourself if you want to return full time.
    - I don't necessarily recommend this company to new grads, but I do recommend it if you have about 1.5 + yrs of work experience, you're a very good at what you do, have a solid value add (e.g. spark / kubernetes / containers / microservices / SRE experience), and are not shy about negotiating for what you want, and can strongly argue for ideas that you believe are right (without offending other people). =)

    Cons

    - Some incredibly incompetent people. Has history of promoting ICs with zero management experience to leads with no guidance, no support, and no training.
    - Work life balance can be so bad that sleep deprivation will take a continuous toll on your health. For example, you can expect no sleep for your oncall rotations in BD since it will actually be 24/7.
    - PD lacks good product direction. Great visual designers, but lack of product direction in designing products for technical users. E.g. not practical for product designers with no coding experience to be designing IDEs, etc, which results in some incredibly stupid UIs. Great engineering != great products.
    - A lot of unhealthy friction between BD and PD, purposefully architected by higher management. Lack of proper communication channels.
    - Selective BD teams have no idea what they are doing. No code reviews, terrible code quality, resulting in burnout/employees quitting from the absolute refusal to reduce tech debt.
    - Don't know how people are promoted to leads, but it's definitely not based on competence.
    - Below market pay.
    - Selective teams are extremely political.

    Advice to Management

    Please carefully select and train middle management.


  7. "Finance Team"

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

    I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Mission-driven company
    Wicked smart people
    Humble, entrepreneurial culture

    Cons

    Work life balance not ideal

  8. "Good place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Big issues, motivated teams and managers.

    Cons

    Work Life balance is a bit off.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Avoid the company, avoid like it's the plague"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Great company perks - food, travel opportunities and SWAG
    - Extraordinarily smart people to work with and learn from

    Cons

    - Engineers are gods, if you're anything but an engineer or BD expect to be treated like dirt
    - It's no longer a start up, so stop trying to act like one with the fraternity attitude (it's borderline Uber)
    - It's impossible to liquidate exercised shares - the secondary market (even with Thiel's Trump connections) is practically dead, and has been for many, many years - you get the equity but good luck trying to liquidate it
    - Bullies tend to thrive in this cut-throat company

    Advice to Management

    - Stop flying Dr Karp around in private jets and remove the ridiculous bodyguards (no public shareholders or any reasonable Board of Directors after an IPO would accept these extravagant/ridiculous so called "security measures"
    - Similarly, certain senior staff shouldn't be allowed to fly First Class or stay in 5 star hotel suites but should follow general Palantir policy/procedures
    - The $150K salary cap is a joke, inevitably the company finds ways for it's most revered employees and it's CEO to circumvent this promoted myth (stipends, living expenses and reimbursements for taxable benefits all get around their lauded salary cap. ~$50K+ for a single employee's monthly rent does not equate to the $150K p.a. salary
    - Continue to curb unnecessary spending and IPO already, employees want some profit for the hard work they have put in to date. Remaining private hides expenditure and actual value of Palantir and shareholders assets.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Poor leadership but worth it for the mission"

    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

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Amazing mission. Honestly couldn't find a cause more worth working toward.

    Cons

    People are promoted into leadership because they are good developers. But this does not mean they are good at leading people and nearly every lead is a poor one.

    Advice to Management

    Allow more women into upper levels of management. Create a program to foster better leads.


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