Platform Engineering of high expectations
Why has Platform Engineering become a notable trend, which Gartner defined as an “Innovation Trigger” and located on an ascending curve of expectations, predicting it to reach the productivity plateau in 2-5 years?
Platform Engineering offers answers to many challenges regarding software development but also helps manage tech competencies. It enables businesses to design and implement new digital products.
Foundation of software factory
Designing and implementing a Software Engineering Platform, we want it to act like a factory, with established rules and assured integration, where Engineers are easily onboarded. Why? Because software development has become an important part of the business, and there’s no place to accept it as a chaotic, unregulated, and inefficient area.
All companies with 50+ developers staff should consider the adoption of Platform Engineering to boost productivity. Why does it pay off? The salary of a Platform Engineer is higher. Still, a regular developer will spend much more time and effort on coding instead of carrying out all tasks that a properly created and automated platform should do for him.
Platform Engineering might be an argument for HR/team leaders – it allows the developers to focus on important tasks instead of minor issues. Developers working in a modern environment, which helps them improve their skills, are less likely to look for another job.
The decision to start IDE/Platform Engineering and change in the software development process has to be made on the operational layer and requires a high-level sponsor.
How to design and start the Platform?
The platform should be customized – like the DevOps usually was. But it should accomplish some general rules, as most functions should be intuitive for developers.
The main challenge is the complexity of the organization. The most probable deployment scenario will be the incremental one, switching team after team to work on a Software Engineering Platform. This gradual roll-out will also enable us to continuously fix and optimize the platform.
Also, the process of user adoption is incremental. Pioneers should learn the platform from the scratch, “next generations” will most probably be on-board more smoothly, based on early adopters’ experience.
How to create the platform? Mindbox works with Humanitec environment tools which specifically address the certain elements of development processes. We recommend establishing a new platform developers team and not rely on existing DevOps teams. Of course, they know the job and the products. But they often work in a managed services mode, concentrating on finishing received tickets. It would be a dead-end journey as many DevOps represent this typically administrative attitude.
We need a competent staff, who know the job but would be able to go level up. They should know what and how developers like working and watch the process end-to-end. Platform developers have to treat it as a product for an internal customer.
Thus, we should look for a person who will become a product owner and a team leader for a newly established team. They have to cooperate with DevOps engineers, especially when designing and implementing platforms, but not allow them to dominate. They should represent an architectural approach. The Software Engineering Platform they are going to create, provide, maintain and optimize will become a strategic solution for the company. It must act like a black box, efficiently, offering functionalities, and supporting a chosen range of commonly used tools, but guaranteeing that it will remain a technologically agnostic solution.
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