Config Management Camp 2023 Ghent

Lessons learned from 7 years of running developer platforms - platform engineering and platform as a product
2023-02-06, 11:15–12:05, B. Con

You've got kubernetes up and running - finally! - but now the developers aren't using it. Many organizations have faced this when building platforms, and this talk will go over how they've built the right process, team, and culture around their developer platforms to help developers. These practices are being called "platform engineering" now, but they've been going on for over ten years, so there's a lot to draw from instead of having to learn from old mistakes.


This talk covers best and worst practices for Platform engineering. The trick is, we didn't always use this phrase, so we actually have many years of experience to learn from. Who are you? You're in a DevOps, wait, I mean SRE...nope, scatch that..."platform engineering" team. People are coming at you to get kubernetes up and running and then build some kind of platform on-top of kubernetes. But you just got a build pipeline in place! Getting kubernetes ready for developers may be a new problem, but building and running developer platforms has been going on for at least ten years. This talk will cover the lessons those organizations have learned such as: product managing the platform, attracting and retaining developers, seeding trust and skills, re-skilling existing ops staff, and more. Examples are drawn from organizations like Mercedes-Benz, the US Airforce, large insurance companies and banks, and more.

Michael Coté studies how large organizations get better at building software to run better and grow their business. His books Changing Mindsets, Monolithic Transformation, and The Business Bottleneck cover these topics. He’s been an industry analyst at RedMonk and 451 Research, done corporate strategy and M&A, and was a programmer. He also co-hosts several podcasts, including Software Defined Talk. Cf. cote.io, and is @cote in Twitter. Texas Forever!