:thread: platform team composition
# platform-culture
🧵 platform team composition
I searched the channel to see if there were any thoughts around the composition of the platform team itself. But mostly the posts have been about platform team’s interface
Though every organization’s need is different I am wondering if team leads/managers here have thoughts on platform team composition in terms of seniority etc
Perhaps even ratio to rest of the org
I lead a platform team of 9 engineers of varying seniority skewed senior and sre team of 9 engineers skewed a bit junior atm. Let’s say our total ratio is 1:10 or 1:15
I, unfortunately, find that there are expectations to apply the same rules of team structure and seniority distribution as feature teams on these teams. This I find difficult since invariably platform engineering is a second stint for a lot of us (having been backend engineers, quality engineers, sre before). I would appreciate any thoughts folks have on this topic
Full credit to Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais for this, but in the Remote Team Interaction Workbook they mention that a platform team should be a container. It means you can apply the other team types within the platform team. You could use this to look at the team modes within your platform team and apply the interaction types from Team Topologies. The essence is, apply team topologies fractally. Example: If you are building a platform as a product, you may have one or more stream-aligned teams. Perhaps the Terraform parts are best handled by a complicated subsystem team... and so on.
I think you’re conflating domain expertise with engineering talent fwiw. If you don’t have any “product managers” the engineers end up doing that work which means they need experience with that domain. But to be fair any one who thinks about a platform as a product has likely spent time as an engineer or enough time thinking about the problem space to understand engineering need.
In this podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/engineering-enablement-by-abi-noda/id1619140476?i=1000618457029, @Thomas Khalil shares some insights on how Trivago has structured their team. I hope this helps.