Top 5 things to know about platform engineering

Having a platform engineering team in your company can help bridge the gap between hardware and software infrastructure. Tom Merritt lists five things to know about platform engineering.

Platform engineering teams have come around as more microservices, containers, and the like have risen up. The idea means different things in different situations but, in general, it’s a team to help you move into the cloud. Do you need one? Here are five things to know about platform engineering.

SEE: Top cloud providers in 2020: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, hybrid, SaaS players (TechRepublic)

  1. It’s not just a new title. Though it can seem like it. Its responsibilities may seem close to existing jobs, just with cloud stuff thrown in. If done right, a platform engineering team can bridge the gap between hardware and software infrastructure and maybe save you some money in the bargain.
  2. If you don’t have legacy systems, you may not need it. Companies who started on the cloud won’t have as many gaps to bridge. Platform engineering works best for outfits that have on-prem systems and cloud services.
  3. It’s not the same as DevOps. If you want to host a new website you need DevOps. If you need a system for hosting websites, you need the platform engineers.
  4. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) plays a part in a platform engineering team’s job. Instead of manually configuring infrastructure, IaC does it by speeding things up and reducing chances for error. The platform engineering team can create an API that lets application developers avoid having to know what IaC frameworks exist.
  5. You probably have one or more engineers already acting like a platform engineering team. They are likely not as effective and take away from their actual role. A definitive team can bring long-term gains.

Platform engineering isn’t a magic thing you have to have, it’s a solution to a problem. But if you have those problems, it’s worth looking into.

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