Palantir Technologies Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Palantir Technologies Engineer Reviews

Updated 12 Feb 2020

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3.7
67%
Recommend to a Friend
78%
Approve of CEO
Palantir Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alex Karp
Alex Karp
95 Ratings
  1. "Awesome for interns"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Forward Deployed Engineer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Palantir Technologies for less than a year

    Pros

    Fulfilling work and great responsibility granted from the start. Lots of perks, travel opportunities, internal tech talks and events.

    Cons

    Work experience highly dependent on assigned project and mentor.

    Palantir Technologies2019-10-31
  2. "Great coworkers, but questionable ethics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You'll work with very talented people. You'll get a lot of responsibility and growth opportunities.

    Cons

    Long hours. Management and the PCL team claim to engage with difficult ethical questions, but will not draw red lines and work with whoever pays as long as they're remotely allied. Having the company on your CV may hurt your application in some future jobs.

    Palantir Technologies2020-02-12
  3. Helpful (5)

    "Highly Toxic Company. Avoid."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are a lot of hard problems that we try to solve. But that is becoming less the case over time.

    Cons

    - Toxic company. New hires do most of the heavy lifting - This is a consulting company. You are not working for a software company. - No product roadmap. No product strategy. - Extremely political. You fight the big guys you are out. - Loudest voice wins. Always. (contrary to palantir claims) - Average age: 25, standard deviation of 2 years. 90+% of employees under 32. In short, kids leading a boat. - Cost cutting now that company is trying to IPO. No housing subsidy, less interesting pay, worse software quality, highly questionable cost cutting techniques / strategies. Corp cards for everyone (extravaganza) but cost cuts to product development. - People compete to “who will stay longest in office” as a cool thing. That’s because most employees, while extremely talented, have little to no social life outside of work. If you do, you’re losing that game. - Arrogance. Plenty of it. Masked in fake modesty.

    Palantir Technologies2019-12-16
  4. Helpful (15)

    "Toxic, political company growing on the backs of exploited new hires"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - A lot of freedom very quickly - Good benefits

    Cons

    - No product or commercial strategy. Palantir pitches itself as a product company when it is really a tech consulting firm - No salary evolution beyond the 20% increase given to you after 18 months. Major salary differences between people occupying the same role. - If you work here, you are just a resource. Palantir’s concern will be to maximize that resource. You will have no growth path beyond the initial freedom given to you. Your learning curve will be steep in the beginning like at any consulting firm, but it will bottom out as you go from project to project without any career advancement - Lack of hierarchy does not equate to meritocracy. Instead, it creates a toxic, political culture where people elbow eachother to advance. Success is determined by what certain people in the company think of you. There is no feedback structure and therefore advancement is not based on merit, but instead on politics - Terrible place for women to work. You will be seen as emotional if you speak out against sexism or bullying

    Continue reading
    Palantir Technologies2019-08-27
  5. Helpful (1)

    "SRE at Palantir"

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

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

    Pros

    Talent and tools - There are really smart, experienced people here to learn and grow as a tech from, we have a mix of opensource software in use which are of course transferrable and some internal tools. Any SRE can contribute to the tools and write as much, or as little code as you're comfortable with. There is a lot of opportunity to travel to different places, some SREs are rarely in the office, and some never go anything else.. Also the provided breakfast, lunch, dinner and fully stocked kitchens are also a bonus, and the onsite physio therapy, and massages. There is no micro management, I am left to my own work and no constant "check up" from a manager to "make sure I am working" but the support is still there if needed. A lot of the "work/life" issues in other reviews tend to be from Software Engineers, and not an issue with SREs (I had the same concern when starting) - the docs are surprisingly good as well.

    Cons

    If you like normal work "structure" ie a manager giving you tasks to do, and having regular "catch ups" to ensure you are actually working, then for you, Palantir could be a struggle.. Personally I can manage my own time, and work so this is a Pro for me.

    Continue reading
    Palantir Technologies2018-06-21
  6. "Challenging, exciting, dynamic environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smart talented people who constantly think out of the box

    Cons

    None that i can think of

    Continue reading
    Palantir Technologies2018-04-01
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Fantastic people at a great company"

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

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

    Pros

    - A group of incredibly talented and intelligent people and the opportunity to learn every day. This goes hand in hand with an incredibly diverse set of hard problems to solve, which keeps it interesting. - An amazing amount of flexibility over what I work on and motivation to work on the most important things.

    Cons

    - The learning curve is very steep and it's difficult to board the speeding train. - If you're looking for a structured role that is the same day in day out and aren't prepared to be flexible in what you are working on you should look elsewhere.

    Palantir Technologies2018-03-15
  8. Helpful (16)

    "See ya"

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

    I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great mission overall. Extremely motivated people around. Really good opportunities to travel and see different countries and to work as an engineer in different industries.

    Cons

    Work/life balance does not exist in the vocabulary of people in that company. Your time is not respected.

    Palantir Technologies2017-04-13
  9. Helpful (49)

    "Hard but both deeply rewarding and highly formative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    1. After some time working at Palantir you realize that actually almost everything important in the world (I am not just talking about terrorism or the various philanthropy projects here, but also the banking system, how we obtain and use energy, and even things like the media) are operating in grossly deficient ways, essentially because of the diversity of their data, and how hard it is to combine and manipulate in sane ways. Nowhere else gives you access to all of these things at once, and this means that you are in a unique position: able to both work on these problems in the specific cases (which is very rewarding, at least to me), and also able to go further and contribute to what general solutions look might look like in the future. We make mistakes in all areas of this all the time (from customer engagements that don't work out, to product mistakes, and everything in between) but this is the challenge that you get to work on here. For me, when I see these organizations forced to do their work based on guesses and stale information, considering their importance to society (both in terms of downside risk but also upside potential) I feel a high sense of urgency to help, and Palantir gives me agency to do that. 2. Related to (1), because we are all contributing to an emerging product story for solving real data integration problems, it is actually possible for a team of five people to land at a Fortune 50 company or a government department and realistically create a significant, lasting improvement to the way they operate by building on what we have already created. I don't think I could have done the things I have done without this. It would be too technically challenging in the timeline (for the number of people) and frankly also too hard to figure out what to do without the lessons learned elsewhere. 3. Despite (2), the small teams we operate in mean that you are regularly facing challenges that are both almost too hard for you, and in which success is critical. This creates an environment where real, unexpected, drastic personal growth can happen. We don't have promotions or set growth paths or anything like that, and this can be a challenge (which I will discuss further below) but on the other hand, if you know what your growth path is going to be in advance, you are by definition not doing something novel. I would rather achieve faster growth by making sure the fundamentals are there (very hard things to do, and a real need to succeed at them) than by following the well-trodden path. I think that in following defined growth paths I would be trading off the speed of the growth for the comfort of knowing what is coming up. If you want to do this then fine, but I don't. 4. Because to work here and be happy here you need to be hungry for the above (if you are not then your life will be miserable), the people that do exist at Palantir are generally excellent to be around, in ways that are hard to exhaustively cover. I will say that I have met some of the most inspiring people, the people that challenged me the most, and the people that I trust most in execution at Palantir. Beyond this I have honestly made some of the best friends of my life here too, because our hiring is a strong filter and then our lives consist of a shared struggle against adversity. This often forges deep bonds.

    Cons

    I love being a part of Palantir... nevertheless here's an honest attempt at outlining some cons: 1. Working here is also a constant struggle. Everything is broken all the time because (as I mentioned above talking about growth) we are constantly doing things that are almost too hard for us (for now). This manifests at many levels. We are trying to overcome significant engineering challenges where it is not clear up front the best way to do something, and a lot of what we build is wrong the first time (and probably the second time too) while we're working out what works. This is a symptom of the severity of the challenge, but it can also be demoralizing. This is also the first time we have operated as a 2000 person company (and when we were a 1900 person company we were operating as that for the first time too). We are constantly learning the hard way how to do things in a way that works at new sizes of organization and with new sizes of problems. Working here requires a willingness to fail and a willingness to tolerate the failure of others (and to be constructive with both yourself and others around failure). 2. Growth at Palantir happens (as above) through experiences of attempting unbelievably difficult things with support that, while large, is still lacking in the face of the new challenge. These experiences happen somewhat frequently, but between them there isn't a set course for incremental improvement. This can mean that there is a sensation of not knowing how to grow at Palantir. In fact, not just a sensation -- we often do not actually know specifically how to grow at a given time. Doing hard things that multiplicatively grow you in short bursts is the only real way to grow at Palantir. But this requires a certain level of faith that you will succeed in seeking the next one of these moments, and the ability to hold that wider perspective in the face of what might seem right now like limited-to-no growth. 3. Day-to-day life is full of pain. Jetlag, customer IT departments that don't operate how we would like, a volume and urgency of work that often goes way beyond what a typical software engineer is facing. Failing again at the thing you are attempting. Stress, tiredness, frustration, and standing in an immigration line at the border of a country you were last in the previous week. One time I had to get my coworker on the same flight to AirDrop me a jar file I didn't have so I could compile this thing when the plane didn't have internet. If you come here I think you must come here for the thing we are working toward, not the sensation of doing it. Having said this, the people, the sensation of success when you achieve it, and the growth you can see in yourself when you look back over a year or more are all wonderful... just be prepared for the pain in between these things.

    Palantir Technologies2016-09-10
  10. Helpful (6)

    "Unique and Unexpectedly Motivating Experience"

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

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

    Pros

    Strong mission. Where else can a software engineer get frontal with some of the most important problems the world has to offer? Where else can you write code to literally fight terrorists? Where else can you be on calls with CEOs of Fortune 10 companies? Where else can you as an individual detect billions of dollars of fraudulent credit card transactions linked to a human trafficking ring? People who really care about what they're doing. Amazing people, smart in so many different ways, really diverse perspectives to learn from. Everyone worthy of respect and admiration in some way or another. Every day is new and challenging. The challenges vary, sometimes they're in the form of frustrating customers or poorly designed software or urgent deadlines, but boring days are few and far between. An attitude of always striving to be better, as a company, as a team, as a world, and as an individual. There will always be imperfections in everything, tradeoffs to be made, but so long as we're owning our failures, learning from them, and ultimately moving forward in the name of outcomes, we're doing alright. Strong bias towards empowerment and autonomy. I've loved how I've been able to drive my own career path in a lot of ways. I've taken on a ton of different roles over the course of a pretty short period of time.

    Cons

    Not a con for me personally, but Palantir is highly unconventional in a lot of ways, and that's worth understanding before getting involved. If you're looking for a place like Google, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox, etc., look somewhere else. Being driven by a mission means pushing hard towards the goals you're trying to get to - yes, this results in long work-hours, yes, this results in people who are "cult-like" in that they deeply care about the success of Palantir. If you're looking for a place where you can unplug and stop caring at 5pm every day, Palantir is unlikely to be the place for you. If you're looking to be a software engineer who only works on the fanciest, shiniest problems, look somewhere else. The real world is a messy place Highly chaotic environment. This can lead to the feeling of "do we even know what we're doing", but in my opinion it's more like . Palantir is always changing, in terms of business strategy, in terms of internal prioritization, in terms of job titles / work that needs to be done. If you thrive in dynamism, this is awesome, but if you believe in long-term roadmaps, immovable product vision, and highly structured environments, this also isn't the place for you. If you're looking for a structured growth path with titles and official promotions, then this also probably isn't the right place for you. Growth is self-driven, and can come in a lot of different shades and flavors. You won't get as much explicit back-patting as you might at a larger company, so it takes more out of you to understand the value you're providing and how good / useful it is.

    Continue reading
    Palantir Technologies2016-08-05

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