Palantir Technologies "silicon valley" Reviews | Glassdoor

Palantir Technologies Employee Reviews about "silicon valley"

Updated Apr 18, 2017

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3.8
77%
Recommend to a Friend
81%
Approve of CEO
Palantir Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alex Karp
Alex Karp
248 Ratings
Pros
  • "smart people, great work/life balance(in 33 reviews)

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

Cons
  • "My work life balance definitely askew - though this is partially due to the kinds of things I chose to sign up for(in 66 reviews)

  • "tons of the usual growing pains(in 23 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "silicon valley"

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  1. Helpful (19)

    "A Zero-to-One Crucible"

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

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Note: I work on the frontlines of commercial BD and was not asked to write this by anyone. Palantir is a place makes the rest of Silicon Valley look like it is working on toy train sets. It is a place that takes Peter's Zero to One philosophy and cranks it to 11. Here you will have the opportunity to help the great organizations of the world do amazing things - change how modern aircraft are built, help research cures for cancer, fight human trafficking, or deploy with counterterrorism units to keep the world safe. You will have the freedom of movement and execution to do whatever it takes to drive our work forward. Whether it is flying to the EU for a high stakes meeting to convert a major pilot, surging for 100 hour weeks in order to avert a client crisis, or facing a hostile skeptic that doesn't understand the value we bring. You decide your personal parameters as they relate to success and failure. Having seen much of the rest of corporate America, you will find no other organization that offers the wide latitude you will see here. You will be surrounded by the smartest, most capable technologists and engineers in the world - who all genuinely want to leave an impact on the world - and they will rally to accomplish any task set in front of them without regard for self comfort or personal gain. All of this comes at a price. See cons.

    Cons

    You will say goodbye to balance. In work (you will work harder than you ever have). In life (you will have little to none). In standards (you will hold yourself to the highest). You will not be afforded the opportunity to coast. You will not have your hand held. You will be expected to produce results. Again and again. Project after project. There will be times when you are physically and mentally exhausted when working something major, and you will want to throw in the towel - but you will look around and see that everyone else is feeling the same way - and you will either choose to press forward because you think what you're accomplishing is worth it, or you will reach for the white flag. See above about latitude of choice. A small group of individuals will recognize these points as the price of admission into something greater than themselves. The rest will choose to work on like buttons and taxi apps.

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    Palantir Technologies2017-02-19
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Interesting Place ..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineer Intern 
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Palantir Technologies

    Pros

    Amazing (like seriously amazing) people. Not just ridiculously smart and talented, but also extremely collaborative, friendly, and nerdy (in a good way) people. I don't think I've ever fit in better with a group of people. Interesting work, I don't want to go into the specifics of what I worked on but it was pretty cool, and used modern technologies.

    Cons

    Work/life balance was kind of bad. Not for me, since I was a software engineering intern, but FDEs had notoriously bad work/life balance, and even software engineers on my team put in 50-60 hours some weeks (2 over the course of a twelve week internship, and both were when we were pushing for release). And this culture of "taking pain" was ingrained in Palantir; I distinctly remember hearing things like "Palantir engineers are set apart by their inability to give up even if things get really hard." Which sounds great and all, but really endorses this work before everything else culture (which doesn't always exist, but can come up before releases). Tying into the previous point, the culture seemed a little kool-aidy. People were really hyped on Palantir fighting terrorism and "saving the shire". People told me that they joined the company because Palantir was the only company where you could change the world and solve huge issues on Silicon Valley pay. Which is true, to an extent. But I don't think that attitude, that Palantir is so much better or doing so much more for the world than other Silicon Valley companies is healthy for their engineers to have. Overall, it's a mixed bag. If you care a lot about your work having a huge impact, and you are okay with putting in more than 40 hrs/week some weeks, then this may be the place for you. If not, you can still probably fit in, and find a place at Palantir, and you would probably be really happy with your coworkers. But you might be happier at another company in terms of work-life balance and culture. There are a lot of really amazing companies in the area after all.

    Palantir Technologies2017-04-19
  3. "Awesome people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern 

    I worked at Palantir Technologies

    Pros

    The people I met during my internship at Palantir were some of the smartest and coolest people I've met in Silicon Valley. It definitely attracts talent.

    Cons

    The recruiting/rehiring process is fairly opaque and upper management seems opposed to people moving around or switching teams. Projects are fragile and can be cancelled without warning.

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    Palantir Technologies2016-10-14
  4. Helpful (20)

    "Good people, good food, but questionable comp and management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer New Grad in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Interesting exposure to the intersection of data and business problems for enterprises - Cool problems in distributed computing, particularly for government and military customers - Kitchen Ops is stellar

    Cons

    - Low pay + illiquid equity = Don't plan to stay here if want fair wage at silicon valley - Expectation for work-life imbalance - Great place if you are a fresh grad, not so if you are progressing in your career

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    Palantir Technologies2016-10-30
  5. Helpful (18)

    "Some of the brightest minds in the industry"

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

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

    Pros

    Talented, hard-working individuals. Lots of amenities. A great opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the smartest people in Silicon Valley

    Cons

    Poor work-life balance, not suited for people with families. Very young middle management means that they're inexperienced and sometimes stumble on things that other managers wouldn't have issues with.

    Palantir Technologies2015-10-15
  6. Helpful (6)

    "A startup within a "startup""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I work out of the Santa Monica office, and it's fantastic place to be: * The projects worked on here are a mix of public safety, health care, and even entertainment. In each area, we're having a huge impact, and getting to work directly with both decision makers and end users, seeing the impact of our work every day. * The office is small and feels like its own startup. We have all the perks of a large Silicon Valley company (free meals, fun activities, access to incredible problems and technology) and yet at the same time, it feels like we're this small underdog, fighting to make a difference against the entrenched powers and processes. * The location is fantastic. We're 5 blocks from the beach, and try to get out there regularly. 1-on-1s mean walking along the bluffs overlooking the ocean. Palantir in general has let me own really important problems, literally saving lives at times, and work with the smartest people I've ever gotten to work with. And here in Santa Monica, we get to do all of that with fantastic weather all year round.

    Cons

    The biggest change for me, coming to Palantir, was losing some many of my hobbies, at least at first. Palantir done right isn't about Work-Life Balance, but about Work-Life Blend. That's because the problems are so interesting and important, but the cost can be hard for some. For me, I didn't mind losing softball or an extra hour of TV. But I know for some it's been hard to let go of night classes or a personal podcast, at least at first. My recommendation is to be prepared when you join to make Palantir your top priority for at least 6-12 months. Then when the dust settles, and the fire hose of information has died down, you'll find that you're outlook on what's important has probably changed. Those items that are still important will be easy to bring back in, but many old hobbies just won't seem as interesting any more. At least, that's how it worked for me.

    Palantir Technologies2015-09-04
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Solving the world's hardest problems with the world's smartest people"

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

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

    Pros

    I have never before felt such a connection to meaningful work in such an impactful way, and my team is filled with some of the brightest, most driven and most impressive people I have ever met. If you told me I had to be stuck on a desert island and I could only bring three people, I would randomly pick any three people from my team over pretty much anyone else on earth, because I trust them that much to solve terribly difficult problems with ingenuity and a hearty laugh. Questions about 'work-life balance' sort of imply that work is not my life, and the truth is that my life would be wholly unsatisfying without work, and I am immensely gratified by putting in a hard day's grind when I see the impact on my organization and the world around me as a result. I am entrusted with massive responsibility every day, and the moment I demonstrate that I'm able to handle more: it's given to me. The perks are pretty excellent, too -- three free meals a day? It may be a Silicon Valley cliché at this point, but that doesn't make it any less amazing to have as a guarantee five days a week.

    Cons

    Sometimes it's hard to convince yourself to take advantage of the unlimited vacation when so much exciting stuff is happening here and you feel like you're such a key part of it.

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    Palantir Technologies2015-09-04
  8. Helpful (5)

    "Tech company truly making a difference!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Site Reliability Tech Ops in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    We work with some of the most important institutions in the United States (and the world at large, for that matter). The company remains mission-driven, with a sense of purpose and ethics that is, to my experience, unparalleled in the tech sector. You do feel like you're making a difference in the world when you work here. Fellow employees are smart, interesting, and humorous. It combines the best of a non-profit (ethics, mission focus) with the best of Silicon Valley (talent, focus, drive, individuality as opposed to institutionality).

    Cons

    Work-life balance can be tough to maintain, as weekly hours can vary highly, especially among the client-associated work (Forward Deployed Engineer, Mission Specialist, Site Reliability, etc). Some weeks you work 50 hours, some weeks you work 70. The company continues to suffer from growing pains--as we expand rapidly, we're forced to implement more leadership structure and compartmentalization than we've had in the past. While this is being recognized and handled as transparently as possible, there are nonetheless issues associated with it, and for people that have previously worked in small, laid-back startups it can feel a bit more structured/hierarchical than they'd like; I will say for me it still feels far less hierarchical than just about any other company I've worked for, especially outside Silicon Valley. Given the company's dedication to change, things feel like they are constantly in flux, whether it's the location of your office desk or the direction of product development. Sometimes the logic behind decisions can remain opaque unless you go searching for the answer. I've never been a fan of the way we handle employee departures--it's generally a quiet affair with little notification for those besides management and the employee--and despite continued complaints about it from employees, it's something that has failed to improve as much as I'd like. Given the types of clients we work with, especially in the government, we can't always move as fast as we'd like, whether that means adopting "cloud" technology, completely changing the structure of our software, or something as simple as EOL'ing a software feature. This also means we often have dull/repetitive/less "hot" tech and tech debt tasks. As an engineer, you'll end up doing a mix of 'cool product development' and more mundane tasks like scripting and data integration/cleaning, something that's different about the stage of our company versus a startup or webapp-based company. It also means, as an engineer, you have to work harder to keep growing, especially outside the bounds of our software architecture.

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    Palantir Technologies2015-08-24
  9. "A very high bar"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Forward Deployed Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies

    Pros

    1) people are amazing-- all of the great Silicon Valley companies have a very high hiring bar. Palantir's is absurdly high. They have a compelling pitch: work on cutting edge problems with great people while trying to solve problems that matter. They tend to get the best 2) The company dreams very, very big: there are no sales quotas. Management is looking to change the world, not eke out a short-sighted revenue goal. And they really mean it when they say that they want to change the world. 3) Strong clients: Palantirians work with the most important government and commercial institutions in the world

    Cons

    The company is somewhat chaotic. There is a lack of structure that pervades most parts of the organization. You have to have a high tolerance for ambiguity. There is also a mix of product and service that is unusual in a Silicon Valley technology company (but which is needed given the types of clients and problems we are servicing)

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    Palantir Technologies2015-09-01
  10. "Awesome company"

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

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time

    Pros

    - Insanely smart, talented, friendly people - General sense of wanting to do good for the world (mission-orientation) - Genuinely flat culture - you can talk to anyone, decisions are made objectively based on the data, and there are no titles internally - You can work on extraordinary stuff - things that you see in the news - Good attitude to productivity (the company does everything it can to make sure you don't sweat the small stuff, take time off when you need, etc.)

    Cons

    - Philosophy on comp is: keep comp (relatively) low for Silicon Valley and compensate by providing lots of equity. If you value salary more, you'll probably earn less base salary relative to e.g. Google/Facebook. - In general it's possible to work 9-6, but you are surrounded by people who tend to work harder, and there are times when its unavoidable. Can affect work/life balance if that's important to you.

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    Palantir Technologies2015-08-29

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