Palantir Technologies "smart people" Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Palantir Technologies Employee Reviews about "smart people"

Updated 20 Dec 2018

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3.8
75%
Recommend to a Friend
78%
Approve of CEO
Palantir Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alex Karp
Alex Karp
244 Ratings
Pros
  • "smart people, great work/life balance(in 32 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 "smart people"

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  1. Helpful (5)

    "Save the shire!"

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

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

    Pros

    This is a terrific place to work if you get excited by working on really hard, exciting and important problems with incredibly smart people. I've never worked anywhere that had a more powerful sense of mission. Additionally, the organisation optimises on hiring people who are just nice and work well together. So there are a lot of people who are fun to hang out with. Given Palantir's Silicon Valley heritage, the perks are (of course) great - free food, laundry, gym, housing subsidy, etc etc etc. But they're not there to build entitlement - you're expected to work hard, and they're there to make your life easier given that.

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    Cons

    It's not really the place for you if you're looking for an easy life. You will be challenged and have to work really hard.

    Palantir Technologies2014-11-05
  2. Helpful (5)

    "Interesting company, no growth opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 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

    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.

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    Advice to Management

    Better manager training would probably solve a lot of the problems!

    Palantir Technologies2018-07-31
  3. Helpful (3)

    "Meaningful impact; creative work; could do more to grow talent"

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

    I worked at Palantir Technologies

    Pros

    Smart people who care about the mission

    Cons

    execution-oriented to a fault; leads to management deprioritizing human capital development.

    Palantir Technologies2018-12-21
  4. Helpful (13)

    "Big mission impact, low pay"

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

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

    Pros

    Great insurance benefits, free meals, a lot of collaboration overall with really smart people. Lots of travel opportunity if you want, both domestic and international. Robust software that is actually pretty amazing. Good company to pad your resume.

    Cons

    Although the user-facing software is great, almost every time the back end is completely held together with sticks and rope and bandaid fixes. Your quality of life can be completely different depending on which customer you are allocated to. Depending on where you get resourced, you can be solving cool problems or helping a mega-corp increase profits. Don't join for the pay, they sell you on options as part of your total compensation, however it is illiquid and not as valuable as you think.

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    Advice to Management

    Your long time employees are jumping ship, start rewarding company loyalty because you need 3-5 new hires to make up for one leaver with built-up knowledge in his head.

    Palantir Technologies2018-11-06
  5. Helpful (24)

    "Highly Political Culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Really cool problems to solve, problems that matter, access to interesting organizations, ability to make a difference. Really smart people and great tech.

    Cons

    Working in an embedded capacity with toxic bureaucracies has infected the organization. Hiring people who thrive in these types of environments has been corrosive to the company's culture, and these hires have changed Palantir into somewhere I wouldn't recommend to a friend.

    Advice to Management

    I gave plenty of feedback while employed

    Palantir Technologies2018-02-26
  6. Helpful (1)

    "Technical Recruiter"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Recruiter in New York, NY
    Recommends
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    smart people, great work/life balance

    Cons

    not enough variety in roles for recruitment in NYC

    Palantir Technologies2018-02-08
  7. Helpful (82)

    "Know what you're getting into"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Business Development in New York, NY
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smart people. Really, really smart people. Generally motivated and nice. Perks are nice (until you realize they're not free). You'll learn a lot -- both professionally and about what you value as a human.

    Cons

    Thought experiment: - recruit the top 1% of 1% of high achievers in basically every field (engineers, project managers, etc). - put them in a flat org structure where everyone is ostensibly "equal" - create a culture of "owning outcomes" - watch as people go from "total rockstar" to "not credible" in the span of 3 months or 1 project gone wrong - TL;DR: I struggle to think of a company or organization that spends as much time recruiting the smartest people in the world, and then subsequently spends so little time investing in an environment or culture to retain and empower those people. In short, more smart/motivated/amazing people fail at Palantir than (arguably) any other well-known company out there.

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    Advice to Management

    Stop patting yourself on the back for how hard you work (e.g., Shyam's "work life balance myth" blog post); you shouldn't see that as something to be proud of. You should see that as an abject failure to achieve product leverage. If you actually had product leverage (vs. building bespoke "products" every time) you wouldn't have to make engineers work 80 hours a week, you wouldn't NEED to hire the 1% of the 1%.

    Palantir Technologies2017-09-14
  8. Helpful (18)

    "Choose your team wisely"

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

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time for 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). =)

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    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.

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    Advice to Management

    Please carefully select and train middle management.

    Palantir Technologies2017-07-10
  9. Helpful (47)

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

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

    I worked at Palantir Technologies full-time for 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

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    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.

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    Palantir Technologies2017-07-18
  10. Helpful (3)

    "Intense, challenging, and highly rewarding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 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

    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

    Palantir Technologies2017-07-01
Found 32 reviews