Palantir Technologies Reviews

Updated 19 Jul 2020

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3.8
72%
Recommend to a Friend
77%
Approve of CEO
Palantir Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alex Karp
Alex Karp
241 Ratings
Pros
  • "Smart people who care about the mission(in 34 reviews)

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

Cons
  • "Consuming and work life balance can be hard to maintain if you don't stand up for yourself(in 69 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (8)

    "Purpose, autonomy & mastery"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Software Engineer in Melbourne
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Transformative projects with customers who matter. A grade employees, driven towards material impact. A very high degree of autonomy awarded to staff.

    Cons

    Resourcing - there are more opportunities than staff. Sometimes this means staff get stuck with one customer, sometimes it means that ownership can be lacking as staff move through a customer to fight a fire rather than truly fix an issue in a sustainable way. Workforce not especially diverse, despite everyone's efforts to address this. Being in a branch office, it is sometimes hard to divine strategic and tactical vision - conversely we are given wide latitude to chart our own destiny.

  2. Helpful (5)

    "Equity worth nothing"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in Melbourne
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Smart people, (sometimes) interesting problems to solve

    Cons

    Equity worthless, lots of travel, easy to get stuck on government contracts doing data integrations


  3. Helpful (6)

    "3 Years, International Office"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Canberra
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies

    Pros

    You'd be hard pressed to find any other organisation that gives you this much scope to define your own growth path, and figure out how and where you can add value to the team and business. Our recruiting process is the bane of my existence, I am constantly frustrated that we can't hire more people because of how particular we are with our requirements - BUT - this is what has built the incredible team I work with now. No dead wood, everyone's a rock star, and I genuinely like spending time with these people. All of them. I know everyone's experience here is different, but if you work hard, are thoughtful about what it is you're doing, and how you're impacting the team - then you generally have a ridiculous amount of opportunities open to you for doing new things. Travel, projects, experiments, working in different areas of the business, building new capability, or working in other offices. The perks and flexibility are great, and do a lot of what their supposed to do - reduce some of the overheads of everyday life admin - allowing you to be more productive.

    Cons

    We can't hire enough people to meet all the work we have - which means we're all super busy and you have to prioritise like a magician. And it might mean you don't get to work on the thing you are personally attached to because it's not the highest priority. That can suck. But it's a business. We can be too thoughtful/introspective as a company sometimes - which should probably be kept at the "higher" levels - because the trickle down effect is that people end up questioning the priority, validity, strategy of what they're doing constantly, instead of just getting on with it. As a company we're resistant to bringing on people that are just good at managing other people/areas of a business - and engineers generally don't make great people leaders. This is an area there is a lot of work going into to improve, but sometimes it feels we err too heavily away from the traditional routes - some of these things are conventional because they work.

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  4. "Excellent company with a great future"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Palantir Deployment Strategist in New York, NY

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Great vision of a company

    Cons

    None. You have to work for it

  5. Helpful (1)

    "Smart folks, fast-paced, and self-driven."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Your coworkers are going to be incredibly competent. I've been here for a year and a half and I haven't yet encountered a coworker who wasn't good at their job. The culture is very fast-paced, sorta feels like early Facebook's "move fast and break things". If you're self-motivated and enjoy ambiguous high-impact problems, Palantir is for you. In all things, Palantir minimizes process. You get to define how things get done, and it's up to you to make it happen. If you enjoy a lot of structure/process, Palantir will probably be really painful.

    Cons

    The culture is really fast-paced/intense. If you're bad at taking time off/unplugging from work (and most Palantirians are), Palantir won't stop you from overworking. For this reason, there's a good amount of burnout. The culture also is built around being a self-starter. It's not okay to be blocked by other people, and you'll be expected to think outside of the box to solve problems and get yourself unblocked. If you don't like ambiguous/difficult problems, you're going to have a bad time. If you're bad at unplugging from work, you're going to have a bad time.

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  6. COVID-19
    Helpful (5)

    "Leadership, Projects, and Culture vary, some good, lots bad"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - The vast majority of the people here are extremely awesome, smart individuals - Some offices/orgs/teams have amazing culture that really fosters growth and development - Unparalleled opportunities to take ownership of things - Engineering leads are generally extremely accessible and more than willing to chat through various ideas you want to brainstorm - Office perks were great when the offices were open (but without offices being open due to COVID, I think the WFH support has been subpar compared to other companies) - In the longer term (20-30yrs), I definitely feel that my equity will be worth a good amount of money, and in general, I think company strategy is going in the right direction - A lot of people really are dedicated to making the world a better place. Used to have a lot of great pro-bono work (still do, but it seems like less of an emphasis now) - Outcomes of the products you work on are really cool, and you can see them first hand

    Cons

    - Secret hierarchies in the flat system are real, and they're pretty hard to navigate - Without formal performance reviews, who is thought of as a "good engineer" is more based on gossip and hearsay than it is on facts - Only some projects within the company get the full attention of leadership. If you're not on one of those projects, your team has to yell down from the heavens to get noticed by other teams that are working on issues that might affect you - In general, this contributes to a huge flaw: engineering resources are spent towards places where there are contracts and money right now and teams that are trying to solve problems that will make a lot more money in the mid-term future are pretty much ignored - The two products (Gotham and Foundry) deal with a lot of similar things in slightly different ways. It feels like as a company we're doing a lot of duplicate work across different teams and no one talks to each other - In addition to not talking to each other, some teams (US Gov't in particular) have a culture of looking down on & minimizing the importance of other teams' work (Commercial, Int'l Gov). - A lot of teams don't have great team cultures and there's not real effort across the company to unify the cultures. If you wind up on a team that doesn't work well or is difficult to work on, you're pretty much SOL - The Lead/Peep management style is pretty ineffective. Your lead is supposed to provide guidance, but most often they are not on your team so you have to spend a lot of time just catching them up to speed. In my time at Palantir I've had many leads of which only one worked out well and that one happened to be on my team. I don't think this was just a coincidence - Learning and Development is abysmal. There's pretty much no formal engineering training programs and learning on the job (while can be effective) locks out more junior engineers from working on tough problems and leveling up - Work hours (if you're on the wrong team) are unbearable. Some teams set the bar far too high (this weekend, I saw active development and people pushing to prod across multiple parts of our team's codebase, both Saturday and Sunday, at all hours of the night). There is literally no support for burnout and while leads are supposed to be trained on recognizing burnout in their peeps, a lot of leads are only 2-6 years out of college and can't even recognize burnout in themselves; this is less so true in the European offices. - Leadership consistently refuses to address some questions that have been asked at every company-wide opportunity since I joined (e.g. why doesn't Palantir do 401K matching?). They tried to increase the comm's with leadership during COVID but directors tended to just dodge or brush off questions, and then when people pressed for better answers the program was "restructured" abruptly. - Lots of FDE work is just writing data integrations, which are extremely tedious and not a good way to build skills or contribute to the broader company

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  7. Helpful (2)

    "Frustratingly chaotic"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Deployment Strategist in London, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good salary, rewarding altruistic projects

    Cons

    Disorganized, no training or growth, poor communication, rapidly changing for the worse

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  8. Helpful (15)

    "Immature Leadership And Shady Layoffs"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - FDE in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great people. Everyone you work with is smart and scrappy. I went to an Ivy League and most everyone else did as well. Overall the culture is humble and hard working. I genuinely believe what we do makes the world a safer, better place though coming from someone with immigrant parents there are times when our work tows the line of what I personally support. That being said, I believe a lot of this lies in the nature of most government contracts. Leads are hit or miss. I’ve had really good ones but lead training is amateur at best. Performance reviews don’t exist so there’s a lot of he said/she said with handoffs. Your upward trajectory depends heavily on your lead and advocating for yourself. Benefits are top notch. Perks are good but expect those to continue to be cut as we cut costs. Pay is competitive. Catered food and snacks in NY office is legit.

    Cons

    Recent layoffs have most questioning the direction and effectiveness of leadership. Many of my friends on events, recruiting, and operations were laid off without notice. I heard they lost access to their laptops same day without being able to hand off work or say goodbye. Leadership said “downsizing” was due to decreased hiring goals but they let go some of the best who I know had active work. Individuals who started long before me that were here 5-10 yrs. A lot of top performers that made positive change at Palantir in advocating for diversity and working with engineering. They laid off leads but kept newer hires. The logic seems to be about short term bottom line. Most of us can’t wrap our heads around how they picked who they did unless it’s in preparation for an exit. My recruiter friends told me even the recruiters feel the same. No one knows who’s next. Leadership said at a townhall that they worked with the downsized individuals looking for other positions they could rotate to but I heard this isn’t true. When leadership is repeatedly asked about diversity, female leadership, and the lay offs, nothing gets a real answer. They sent an email about the recruiting layoffs with reasoning that didn’t tie to the people that were let go. Growing tired of the same old story. A lot of people talking about leaving though there’s talk of IPO. Karp is a ticking time bomb. Treated like royalty at our office in NY but everyone is walking on eggshells waiting for the next egregious comment he’ll make to the media or an all hands.

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  9. Helpful (3)

    "Great Place to Develop"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Deployment Strategist in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    A ton of autonomy from day one Opportunities for meaningful impact Great people, independent thinkers

    Cons

    0 handholding, have to be comfortable figuring things out yourself; only good for a certain type of person People don't understand what we do

  10. Helpful (3)

    "Haven for the mission driven"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Site Reliability Engineer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Strong mission focus, interesting problems to solve, solid benefits package.

    Cons

    Lots of signs that Palantir is trending towards an IPO. Expect spending and perks to be cut in the next couple years. Consuming and work life balance can be hard to maintain if you don't stand up for yourself.

Found 332 reviews