DevOps has been shaking up software development for years, and now, a new star is rising – platform engineering. But is it truly the next big thing, or merely a passing fad?
As per the latest Gartner Hype Cycle for Software Engineering report, Platform engineering is one of the hottest trends in DevOps and infrastructure. As per the State of Platform Engineering report by Humanitec, the Platform Engineering Slack has over 17k engaged contributors.
Some DevOps leaders consider it the natural evolution of the “you build it, you run it” paradigm that kickstarted DevOps back in 2006.
This blog dives into the exciting world of platform engineering, exploring its role in the evolving DevOps landscape. We’ll hear from industry experts who paint a compelling picture of why platform engineering is destined to be THE BIGGEST THING in DevOps in 2024 and beyond.
What is Platform Engineering?
Think of platform engineering as the ultimate developer power-up. It’s about creating a self-service, internal platform that empowers developers to work faster, smarter, and with less frustration. It’s about building roads, not walls, providing developers with the tools and processes they need to build and deploy software with ease.
How is it different from DevOps and SRE?
DevOps engineering tends to focus on certain teams and their individual challenges while SREs focus on production reliability, in their relationship to developers they are often said to act as gatekeepers. Platform engineering on the other hand is driven by a product mindset and sees developers as the customers they are serving by building their product, the Internal Developer Platform. To learn more, check out DevOps vs. SRE vs. platform engineering.
Why is it gaining traction?
In today’s complex software landscape, with distributed systems and cloud deployments becoming the norm, traditional DevOps practices just aren’t enough. Platform engineering steps in to automate the entire software delivery pipeline, from code commit to production deployment.
Industry Leaders Speak:
- Jon Mort (Adaptavist): “It’s not about locking developers in, it’s about bringing all the tools and options into one place.”
- Bernd Greifeneder (Dynatrace): “Platform engineering will become mission critical in 2024. Organizations will recognize the need for a seamless and secure software delivery pipeline.”
- Mike Loukides (O’Reilly Media): “Platform engineering is about automating the whole process of delivering software. It has become a necessity.”
What’s in store for 2024 and beyond?
- Production-grade maturity: Expect to see hyperscalers and larger organizations leading the charge, sharing their experiences and best practices.
- Developer focus: Both developer experience and productivity will be top priorities, with tools like Spotify’s Backstage gaining traction.
- Organizational change: Embracing platform engineering requires a cultural shift, avoiding siloing and fostering collaboration.
- FinOps integration: This “golden path” trio of security, observability, and FinOps will be the default for platform engineering best practices.
The Hype is Real:
Platform engineering isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a game-changer. It’s about empowering developers, streamlining operations, and ultimately, achieving business goals faster and more efficiently.
Platform Engineering Principles & Best Practices: A Quick Summary
- Clear Mission & Role: Define your platform team’s goals (e.g., improve developer experience) and position them as a product team serving internal customers (developers).
- Product Mindset: Continuously gather user feedback and build features based on developer needs, not shiny new tech.
- Focus on Common Problems: Identify and solve shared developer pain points through “golden paths” with standardized solutions.
- Embrace the Glue: View platform engineering as valuable “glue” connecting and streamlining the software delivery pipeline.
- Measure Value: Monitor developer feedback and engineering KPIs to assess platform effectiveness.
By following these principles, you can build a successful platform engineering team that empowers developers and improves overall software delivery efficiency.
Bonus Tip: Don’t underestimate the power of communication and collaboration! Align with other teams in your organization and keep the conversation flowing to ensure your platform effectively meets everyone’s needs.
Ready to jump on board?
- Training: Resources like O’Reilly Media’s platform engineering courses can equip you with the necessary knowledge.
- Open source: Embrace open-source tools like Terraform and Ansible to build your platform.
- Community: Join online communities and forums to connect with other platform engineering enthusiasts and share your experiences.
Platform engineering is here to stay, and it’s shaping the future of DevOps. Are you ready to be part of this exciting revolution?
Remember, platform engineering is about building roads, not walls. Let’s empower developers, boost productivity, and deliver software that makes a difference!
This is just the beginning of the platform engineering story. Stay tuned for further insights, best practices, and success stories as we explore this fascinating and rapidly evolving field together.