Without a doubt, platform engineering is trending. It’s not a surprise, really, as it promises to optimize all your activities to achieve faster software development and, as a result, quicker delivery.
Is it really that easy? To answer the question and give you a better idea about it, let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits you can expect, should you decide to leverage platform engineering into your business.
Definition of platform engineering
Before we delve deeper into the advantages, let’s first spend some time explaining platform engineering.
In its essence, platform engineering is a series of actions, a process you use to equip software engineering teams to gain the independence needed for end-to-end operations within the software development cycle, and it’s all happening in a cloud environment.
Platform engineers create a platform, i.e., an integrated product with a number of capabilities accessible to devs for self-service. These can be code pipelines, container management, monitoring, or anything else a dev may need during the software development life cycle.
Therefore, this platform combines various tools, workflows, and processes.
Platform engineering’s main advantages
Now that we’ve cleared the air let’s go into detail about all the potential benefits of introducing platform engineering to your business.
Shorter development cycle
Allowing devs more autonomy concerning specific processes makes software development faster, and your final product gets delivered sooner. Platform engineering brings automation to the game — and what a game-changer it is!
For example, we’re all aware that mistakes are more common when it comes to manual processes, and they are more time-consuming too. A platform engineer will solve this for you and make the actions automatic instead of manual. With automated tests, code shipping will be much faster, and you’ll be able to deliver a new high-quality application to the market sooner than you originally planned.
Making the process simpler
Platform engineering is like a buffet of different tools for creating independence. Thus, when each dev can help themselves with what they need instead of eternally waiting for the delivery, the whole software development process is much more straightforward.
No more wasting time on DevOps teams to produce and maintain software deployments. With platform engineering, a dev can take the tool they need (all thanks to the autonomy feature discussed above) and finish the tasks rapidly. The whole process is becoming much simpler.
Faster hiring process
Naturally, when platform engineers do their work well and simplify the whole process, it’s much easier to train and employ new devs.
Platform engineering provides autonomy, so the new developer doesn’t have to depend on someone else to guide them through the process step by step. Instead, they can take the tool they need and move on with their new duties.
Not that they’re going to skip all the elements of training. This basically means that the training process is much simpler/logical and adjusted to newbies, so it’s relatively easier to finish it.
Bringing more innovation
We’ve already explained that platform engineers create a combination of different tools and practices for devs to use. One of the primary roles of platform engineers is to keep adding new resources to the central dev hub, sometimes at the initiative of the developers themselves.
For example, a dev can suggest adding a new code or service that could be useful to their colleagues. Hence, platform engineering encourages collaborative culture, whose benefits are felt across the company — from a faster learning process to more significant production results.
One of the best things about platform engineering is that it gives you continual insight into services and their owners. Thanks to this visibility, product teams, SREs, and operations can all keep track of each service’s digital footprint.
As mentioned above, one of the main goals of platform engineers is to enable faster connections and collaboration. Consequently, when relevant teams and individuals work closely together, it’s easier to spot incidents and come to a convenient solution much quicker.
Enabling drive adaptive governance
Platform engineering can help you create that much-needed balance between developers and managers.
On the one hand, devs need autonomy and agility. On the other hand, the company has the right to control and govern the processes. Striking the right balance between these two is possible with the right platform engineer. They will make sure to codify the security, cost, and compliance policies related to managing cloud infrastructure.
Making devs happier
Or, to put it another way, retaining talent and boosting the team’s morale with the right platform engineering techniques.
Overall, platform engineers’ efforts positively impact the devs’ teams. With an easy-to-access platform, their job becomes more manageable, and they consequently become more productive, delivering new apps faster. A dev can select the right tool and give it back to the team since the platform encourages innovation and accepts new solutions.
Overall, platform engineering creates a productive environment in which devs feel their voice is heard, so they make stronger bonds among themselves. With this in mind, the company doesn’t need to fish in an external talent pool since it’s already growing its own.
All things considered, there are plenty of valid reasons why you should give platform engineering some thought. While it may not be for everyone, there are a couple of scenarios where it can come in handy:
- If you want your team to focus more on core development.
- If you are thinking about adding more engineers and expanding your teams.
- If you believe innovation is the key to success.
If any of those apply to you, then you should definitely take some steps to hire the right platform engineers. They should take your business to the next level, or should we say, levels, since the changes they bring with them are felt across the whole system.