Palantir Technologies Employee Reviews about "palantir"

Updated Oct 27, 2021

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4.4
88%
Recommend to a Friend
78%
Approve of CEO
Palantir Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alex Karp
Alex Karp
324 Ratings
Pros
  • "You won't experience professional growth more quickly than at Palantir(in 102 reviews)

  • "Great environment for self-starters, fantastic benefits and loved working with really smart people(in 41 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Palantir is an incredibly fast-paced environment; this can be great for single folks but is hard on people with families(in 92 reviews)

  • "Work / life balance is highly project dependent(in 79 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

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    Reviews about "palantir"

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Good place to work

      Nov 17, 2020 - Senior Capture Manager in London, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Palantir is a great company to work for.

      Cons

      I don't have significant cons to express.

      1 person found this review helpful
    2. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Amazing people to work with, great company, ignore the media about it

      May 10, 2020 - Deployment Strategist in London, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Brilliant people to work with, totally mission-driven company, strong culture, great product and business model, very successful company, tons of growth opportunities. Highly recommended!

      Cons

      Palantir is a flat-hierarchy company, where you make your own path and the structure is very loose and based on merits. You also work very hard (with amazing people, on fascinating problems). If you're looking for a laid-back time, this might not be the place for you.

      3 people found this review helpful
    3. 4.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Great people, job feels boring at times

      May 5, 2020 - Forward Deployed Software Engineer in London, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      I met some of the smartest people i've seen in my life at Palantir. They're really great, mostly down to earth. The pay is well above UK market

      Cons

      Some segments of the business can be political. The job isn't very technically challenging.

      1 person found this review helpful
    4. 1.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Highly Toxic Company. Avoid.

      Dec 16, 2019 - Senior Software Engineer in London, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      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.

      32 people found this review helpful
    5. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Interesting company, no growth opportunities

      Jul 31, 2018 - Anonymous Employee in London, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Palantir had some good perks and great food, and there were definitely lots of smart people to learn from! Flexible working hours were good (although normally just meant longer hours, especially if you're based in London and have any team at all in the US!) Some people definitely experienced freedom to work on things that they were best at.

      Cons

      Unlimited holiday effectively means you don't go on holiday, as it is always too busy and there is no number of days to aim for Managers had no training or guidance. This meant that there was no focus on personal development at all, and leads often end up micromanaging as they didn't have any other insights into how to effectively guide/motivate/redirect. 'Flat structure' meant that there was some clear micro hierarchies within certain teams/areas. Little or no career progression or growth available.

      Continue reading
      7 people found this review helpful
    6. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Deployment Strategist

      May 26, 2018 - Deployment Strategist 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Best company I have ever worked at. Incredibly inspiring people around you, opportunities to personal growth wherever you go and a company culture that is very friendly, curious and makes you continuously challenge yourself and develop.

      Cons

      This is not a con for me personally, but Palantir would be a stressful place for people who are not good at working under changing premises and in an ever-changing environment.

      Continue reading
      5 people found this review helpful
    7. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Great place for people/impact-minded technical folks

      Apr 23, 2018 - FDE in London, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The FDE role at Palantir is a rare opportunity for technically-trained folks to keep coding while developing a wide range of soft skills, from product management to customer interactions.

      Cons

      Palantir will feel less and less like a fun and edgy startup and more and more like an established corporation as it naturally grows and its products start working out of the box.

      4 people found this review helpful
    8. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Hard but both deeply rewarding and highly formative

      Sep 10, 2016 - Forward Deployed Engineer in London, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      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.

      56 people found this review helpful
    9. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Unique and Unexpectedly Motivating Experience

      Aug 4, 2016 - Forward Deployed Engineer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      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
      10 people found this review helpful
    10. 2.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Mostly hypocrisy

      Aug 30, 2015 - Forward Deployed Engineer in London, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Whilst most of the time you will be lied to, in absolute terms, a lot of what you will be doing or suffering from, will probably be better than you will experience else where. For example, large banks are obviously going to be more hierarchical as an absolute, but they also (largely) don't pretend not to be. I would large suggest reading the below for a more honest view of the company, and if it sounds like a suitable environment for you, go for it, the main issue is its not what you will be told in interviews or recruiting.

      Cons

      Mostly hypocrisy - below are several examples outlined against Palantir's supposed core values. Flat / No hierarchy: Whilst Palantir will pretend to have a flat structure where merit wins out alone, we also happen to have a concept of "trust circles". Here, people are granted a rating (usually "inner trust circle" or "outer trust circle") which indicates that their concerns are more directly considered by management and directors. In and of itself, I see no issues with this, however, its introduction was never publicly announced, and thus its existence is not widely known, along with how one would ever become part of a "trusted circle". Saving the shire: Most of what you will work on is helping financial and consumer industries secure additional footprint (i.e. expand in new areas or secure additional market growth in new areas). Palantir philanthropic team is one of the only teams to have SHRUNK in the last 2 years (given the company has experience an average of ~90% growth in this time that is even more shocking) with most of the focus being on both insurance, and the oil and gas industry. Additionally focuses on world and environmental health have been actively stopped by leadership, so "saving the shire" is unlikely to be something you do. (Interestingly in the last two year's the company line has also changed from "solving the world's hardest problems" to "solving the world's hardest problems, for the world's most important organisations"). Transparency: It's hard to provide real examples here without breaking confidentiality, but I have received multiple emails titled as being strictly ORCON (originator controlled) to even within the organization because someone needs to "ensure there is a correct framing" (framing is code for white lies; in case that was non-obvious), as well as a lot of active push-back against independent sharing of compensation for "the employees own benefit". Interesting problems: If you are a forward deployed engineer you will mostly be working on data integration and analysis. For reference to those that don't know, mostly this will involved trying to figure out the schema to 1000+ xml files containing "important information" (no schema will be provided by the customer) or correctly joining multiple SQL tables. Whilst there is definitely some joy to be had in writing a nifty tool that figures out likely schema's or predicts row types, after writing the 100th json schema for a particular dataset you realise that the problem is fundamentally uninteresting in and of itself. Once this grunt work has been completed, some are lucky enough to work directly with analysts, however most (because of the vast number of Proof Of Concepts) will be working on creating demoware that appeals to middle-managers that know little about analytics, merely appreciating something with animations and good design.

      Continue reading
      71 people found this review helpful
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