An Engineering Culture

Engineers build things that solve problems. You don't have to be a computer scientist or have any particular degree to be an engineer. You just have to speak up when things aren't right, evaluate ideas on their merits, and build things that fix what's broken. At Palantir we're all engineers, and we're focused on solving the hardest problems we can find.

A Different Kind of Product Company

We seek out hard problems at places that matter. We solve them by shipping products that work, today. They have to, because the stakes are real. People rely on our products to do their most important work, which means they rely on us to build things the right way.

We ship products that help people change the world for the better

We make products for human-driven analysis of real-world data. We don’t mine data. We don’t collect data. We don’t build one-off solutions.

We’ve only built a fraction of what we’ve imagined

As our company evolves, so will our products and the ways in which they transform how people and organizations interact with data. There's so much left to build.

Small Teams, Unlimited Imagination

There are no leashes at Palantir. We work on flat, decentralized teams, each with decision-making authority, and our people have the freedom to approach, own, and solve problems creatively. We've intentionally chosen this path over a traditional hierarchy, and it works much more often than not.

“It's easy to think that it's the perks that make Palantir a great place to work, but that's not it at all (although I'll never turn down free bagels). It's about sharing a common desire to solve difficult problems that really matter.”
James Dickinson
Embedded Analyst, London
“I love working side-by-side with our customers. We always want to be in the middle of the hard problem – regardless of what the problem is and whether we’ve encountered it before.”
Melody Hildebrandt
Embedded Analyst, New York
“The feeling of belonging here didn't come in any given instant. Instead, it got a little more powerful every time I directly helped with providing game-changing tools to someone who needed them. It happens every week.”
Nate Wetzel
Mission Ops, Palo Alto
“I’m always looking for ways to make things better and more efficient for me and my team. I love how everybody at Palantir is empowered to come up with innovative solutions to the things they’re passionate about solving as well.”
Janet Cheng
Simulation Engineer, Palo Alto
“I think people underestimate how much our mission informs our everyday work. Our goal is the make the world a better place — everything flows nicely from that.”
Seth Robinson
Embedded Analyst, New York
“Coming to work every day and being able to make decisions for my team and implement them without any red tape is great. Plus, I get to use three computers at once and put up pink curtains in my office and that’s awesome.”
Allie Tamer
IT Desktop Support, Palo Alto
“I've long enjoyed creating products that enable people to be more effective. But the real satisfaction comes from working on a product used in mission critical situations where lives are potentially on the line.”
Dan Cervelli
Software Engineer, Palo Alto
“Our designers are tenacious: it's a challenge to try and make the complexity of what Palantir can do seem easy to people. The interfaces that we create affect decisions on the global stage. We've made a lot of progress, and there is lots more to do.”
Joshua Goldenberg
Product Designer, Palo Alto
“I knew I would fit in when three of the lawyers that interviewed me were wearing flip flops. I love that I'm a part of such a can-do group. It’s about so much more than saying “yes” or “no.” We help enable things. We want to make the business be more flexible.”
Amanda McCullum
Legal Ninja, Palo Alto

Our Three Guiding Ideas

The best idea wins

There are no prima donnas in engineering.

Freeman Dyson

If you have a great idea and the will to see it through, you can effect great change. Nothing is off limits—we’re constantly looking for improvements in our products, our processes, and our people. All voices are equal here—we hire people to have an opinion and be creative. We’re intolerant of politicking, ego, and power brokers. If your idea makes the most sense, that’s what we’re doing, regardless of your role or seniority.

Nothing is permanent

Successful software always gets changed.

Frederick P. Brooks

Sometimes opportunities are here today and gone tomorrow. Sometimes a breakthrough on an intractable problem invalidates our previous efforts. And yes, sometimes we make mistakes.

Inventing the future requires detaching yourself from the past. While we ship a couple of polished product families, we’re just getting started when it comes to building the full ecosystem of technology we’ve imagined.

We iterate obsessively on everything we do, always collecting new information about the right way to solve a problem. Existing components and processes are supplanted by new, better solutions as they become apparent. For those who built the thing being discarded, this is a cause for celebration not sadness. Replacement is viewed as success: we have now reached the next plateau of functionality and design and iteration begins anew.

Keep focused on the mission

The hardest single part of building a software system is deciding precisely what to build.

Frederick P. Brooks

We view software as a means of effecting change in the world, not as an end unto itself. Our mission is to help our users, the people doing the hard work on complex, real-world problems. We do this by writing software that enables effective analysis against complicated, data-driven problems.

Our work is incredibly complex, touching on computer science, data science, software engineering, public policy, good governance, large-scale distributed systems, user behavior, efficient use of resources... to name a few. It would be easy to get hyper-focused on some small aspect of this large universe and spend way too much time and resources on perfecting something that’s good enough already.

By always staying focused on the problems our users are trying to solve, we clarify our own thinking about the right way forward.