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Framework Science has been helping companies build platform engineering teams from LATAM and accrued vast experience and knowledge in the particular field. We offer insights into this rapidly growing discipline and its potential impact on businesses.
Some argue that DevOps has reached its limits and that platform engineering is the next evolution in software development. This view is rooted in the notion that a platform team approach results in a more cohesive alignment of tools and technology stacks, ultimately leading to safer, more secure, and replicable development processes. Ensuring workflows can be easily absorbed by existing teams or new hires in today's rapidly changing tech landscape is of utmost importance.
However, there is a danger that platform teams may fall into the same pitfalls that plagued DevOps in the past, such as unclear expectations, redundant work, lack of developer buy-in, poor communication, and slow response to business demands. To avoid these issues, building and managing platform engineering teams is crucial.
The first step is establishing a definition of a platform team. A platform team provides shared infrastructure platforms that offer self-service capabilities to developers. Platform engineering incorporates user research, ongoing feedback, and best marketing practices to achieve this. A unified organizational definition of platform engineering is crucial to success.
The second step is to tie the business purpose of the platform team to customer experience. They serve customers. Therefore, the platform must be aligned with the business value it delivers, focusing on improving the customer or user experience. This principle should guide the decisions on which tools and technology stacks to include in the platform.
Thirdly, stakeholders must agree on the principles of governance for the platform team. This includes questions such as the degree of control versus freedom, the guardrails and guiding principles for what will be included in the platform, and the trade-offs between cloud, scalability, security, ease of use, and integration capacity. Agreeing on these core principles is essential for gaining buy-in from the organization.
Finally, effective feedback loops must be established to ensure that the platform team delivers value to its stakeholders. This means involving motivated representatives from groups with a vested interest in the platform and gathering input from individuals outside the traditional engineering team. The goal is to create an internal product responsible for external development. Changes should be rolled out frequently, and usage should be measured to improve the platform continually.
In conclusion, platform teams built on solid foundations of aligned purpose, principles, and feedback loops are poised for success. By establishing clear definitions, tying the platform to customer experience, agreeing on governance principles, and building effective feedback loops, businesses can reap the benefits of platform engineering, including increased resilience and the ability to deliver on customer promises.