Share your platform story in the thread! What got ...
# general
l
Share your platform story in the thread! What got you into platform engineering?👇
b
money
j
impact
a
jordan =D
j
sorry i roped you in, andrew
r
I started out as a developer, although I kept picking up tasks that other devs didn’t want to do but which made the whole team more productive. I realized I had a knack for finding those. Eventually this turned into an actual job description. Then it started being profitable. I wrote up a longer version of this a couple of months ago.
a
I've been approaching this through a security lens. Shifting security down.
n
I also started as a software developer, but enjoyed tooling around with Linux servers as a hobby. I was getting bored with "vanilla" software development and had a supportive leadership team that enabled a role change to what that company called Systems Engineering (2015). It wasn't exactly Platform Engineering but you know how that line is very blurry and there are many gray areas. Recently what has kept me in platform eng is leveraging my domain expertise in infrastructure to enable other teams to execute on their strategic business goals using the platform I provide to abstract away some of the details. Just don't abstract away all of them (lesson learned) 😂
j
my first platform experience was at my first major enterprise with gannett (usa today network) as a build master back in 2013. back then it was a bleeding edge very polyglot dev shop with heavy churn in tech and experimentation. to get in my shoes think back to the days of chef cookbooks and node being the new hot thing. the platform had an abstraction layer in front of their clouds and on prem infrastructure. the scale and compliance need was pretty massive and the sophistication of the iac and automation required the dedicated platform team. i reflect on that team regularly, it truly was treated identically to the “platform as a product” model talked about in 2024, just on older tech back then. these days, that same sophistication and scale has a slightly different signature in cloud native microproducts and the delicate balance of cognitive load, compliance and security requirement, and developer effeciency, and still has my love for platforms burning strong on the kubefirst product.
a
I'm a Geophysicist by background. Started software engineering to solve the problem of too much science being too far from the data, too closely connected/isolated in the mind of an expert (ivory tower), and as a result of both not being reproducible and limited in impact. Now, platform engineering (both developer platform and ML platform as a superset of this) is an architectural guide I am looking to for guidance on how to move the bar forward - automating the building of the tools that automate the science. My ideal world is a platform where science and development are both self service and working in concert to deliver value.
From a career standpoint @Ron Hough comment resonates because in my experience being a "multiplier" delivers massive returns on time invested and have gravitated toward this as a result
r
@Austin Bailey:
…and as a result of both not being reproducible and limited in impact
Yep. That’s the big win, right there. Spreading out the knowledge and capability (i.e. through automation) can have massive downstream productivity benefits. “Multiplier” is exactly the word. I first ran across the term “force multiplier” being applied to this kind of work in a talk John O’Duinn (formerly head of release engineering at Mozilla) gave back in 2015. It clicked with me immediately.
a
Insightful, thanks for the link! Can also find it in the form of general leadership philosophies like Multilpiers by Liz Wiseman . Don't usually like self-help/leadership books they can be the physical form of clickbait, but I make an exception for a few including this one. Turns out people thrive under leaders who give them intellectual ownership and autonomy... who woulda thunk. Take that concept and apply it to software engineering and you're in this thread lol
l
One of my favourite talks @Ron Hough!
Curious to hear more @Andrew Dennis
g
For me (and let me know if linking to my own blog is considered bad form) - it was working as a tenant on a great platform and then getting poached by the platform team - background in blog post if interested: https://beny23.github.io/posts/catalogue_deepdive/
s
Lead dev at a bunch of start-ups and, found myself having the most fun hacking together the infrastructure side of things so platform engineering seemed a natural fit. 😄
m
I started working as an sysadmin in high school, I've always been into Linux, have been running Gentoo for 9 years now. In university on the teams in my classes I always ended up handling the infrastructure. After 2nd year an acquaintance of mine that was working at a start up at the time was moving onto a different project, he recommended me to them as a potential replacement, discovered Kubernetes, ended up switching to doing school part time from then on.
a
@Luca Galante I’m doing a talk at BSides PR on foundational security and IDPs, so I’ll share the slides and video here as well.
n
> In university on the teams in my classes I always ended up handling the infrastructure. Exact same for me, Manu 🙂
k
…strategy consulting :D but it was a weird journey. First I was a programmer, than manager, than architect, than strategy Consultant - and since 2020 I am mixing all this experience with Platform Engineering expertise
s
I started my career as a Software Operations engineer, back in the old day's boundaries are bit blurry when it comes to fixing live issues for customers in the production setup, software engineer who basically build the software and systems and software Ops role who deals to fix the issue's as and when customers faces and deployed to production and most of time is a guess, and then I tranistioned to DevOps as the role started getting some shaped in 2017 and onward, afterward my primary exploration was to build and maintin resilient prodcution setup, but as orchestration and container started getting away some of the pain that had been for so long, wanted to get involved in OS comunities during the Covid time (remote life finally allowed me) late in 2019 and early 2020, happened to be more vocal in the communities started with meshery, linkerd, istio and flux projects, kind of still doing the Ops side but for OS communities, then some of my collegues wanted to push me up and hold the role of outreaching, the need, what/why/where of OS projects, kind of DevRel life started 2022 and onwards, 2023 exec's wanted to close the loop as in layoff timezone in the product managment and product marketing front happened to delve into it till today, wearing different hats gives me an opportunity for a tour of toil and cognitive load that has been exitsted for so long as and when with the evolution of complex Infra (you build it, you run it) needs new muscles power, Platform noise starting getting some shaped end of 2022 and shared a promise of reducing the cognitive load and standardization of tool, orienteation of responsiblities for Org's and adding visibility on hagging Infra that doesn't do anything serious, what excited me most. I still believe we came along way in PE, but there's obvious Q's we can't be able to express and tells the true message of PE even today to newone and for exec's, (we don't even fully concrete how to align the org with this new domain and what practices we carry on), how DevOps and PE co-exist, what's the intersection we need to carry forward, (how to differentiate 10 Platform Eng's in the same platform team), how to differentiate role & rsponsibilities of PE within the same org, who owns decision of yes we need to build an IDP, Platform Engineers alot of work for them and most part they're dealing with Infra that already had shortage of skillset, (how do we supskills them), who trains them, (App delivery and Platform delivery) carrying both together how do we shortning the software delivery (that what busineess concern on most), but I'm so hopeful it's a matter of time we have those answered covered, since we live in the globally connected world, Thanks Luca for investing in the community and giving us a place for collaborative wisdom.
k
I got moved to platform from app dev as part of re-org without even knowing what platform dev meant 😆 Been a part of various platform teams as developer and am now a PM for the platform org. Its a love hate relationship. I love what I do, I hate that we are almost at the bottom of the food chain recognition wise