“What is Platform Engineering? Platform engineerin...
# general
“What is Platform Engineering? Platform engineering is the discipline of designing and building self-service capabilities to minimize cognitive load for developers and to enable fast flow software delivery. Platform teams deliver shared infrastructure platforms to internal users responsible for delivering a value stream – typically software developers and engineers. The platform team continuously develops, builds, maintains, and supports underlying infrastructure in order to build self-service solutions, enabling development teams to deliver quickly, and providing consistency to the rest of the organization. Platform teams must adopt a product mindset, ensuring that they have feedback loops with their users and that they’re building systems that solve the problems their users face. The same principles and processes that apply to product management – user research, product roadmaps, soliciting feedback, iterating, launching, maintaining, and marketing – are in use by highly effective platform teams. Last year’s research showed that simply adopting automation and infrastructure as code does not create a highly evolved DevOps practice. Rather, a focus on improving organizational structure, team identities, and interaction paradigms between teams are the common attributes of highly developed DevOps organizations. A clear pattern emerged: enterprises with more mature DevOps practices tend to use platform teams. This doesn’t mean you must adopt a platform team model to be good at DevOps; rather, it's that a platform team is a well-defined and proven path to succeed with DevOps at scale – particularly in the enterprise. In fact, last year’s research identified platform team adoption as a key differentiator between those toward the higher end of firms in the middle of their DevOps journey evolution from those toward the lower end, with 65% of those toward the higher end using self-service platforms compared to only 40% of those toward the lower end. Why do platform teams make such a difference to organizations of a certain scale and complexity? Do we have a common understanding across the industry as to what platform engineering and platform teams actually are? What are the critical attributes of a highly functional platform team?” - 2023 State of DevOps Report Your thoughts please :)
My primary thought is that there are three important take-aways from this. 1. You are more likely to be using Platform Engineering if you are in the high-performance group 2. 35% of the high performance group don't use Platform Engineering 3. Platform Engineering didn't stop 40% of organizations falling into the lower performance group Why is this interesting? Because it tells us that just like all previous ideas, Platform Engineering isn't a panacea. This isn't good or bad news, it's neutral. We need to add experience onto this... in the right circumstances, Platform Engineering really unlocks performance. It is likely to benefit situations where there is a need to scale, or a level of necessary complexity that is adding cognitive overload to a team. Instead of solving it by trying to remove the work from the team (the traditional approach) it simplifies the surface area to allow the team to continue to own the whole thing.
Also without the cultural change component that devops brings platform engineering only gets you so far