Platform Engineering Blues
This week we take another look at Platform Engineering, Business Value Engineering, and the likely convergence ahead.
If you need a refresher on Platform Engineering, read this post from last month:
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The lion reaps his own reward 🎶
Setting aside Platform Engineering for a moment, business value engineering is an important consideration of the perceived value for the customer or consuming entity that has been provided a response to their perceived need in the form of technology. In short, was the value commensurate or not — and can it proven over the technology lifecycle from return on invested capital to the ongoing total cost of ownership.
According to Paul Delory at Gartner, platform engineering can be thought of as the response to a perceived need (technology) for greater developer productivity through enhanced developer experiences. Or, as contributed by Lori Perry at Gartner, a practical example of platform engineering could mean “ […] reusable tools and self-service capabilities with automated infrastructure operations […]“.1
Further, the technology choices related to platform engineering would, ideally, contemplate business value engineering concepts as well. Interestingly, you might recall when Fudge Sunday described the increasing importance of dependency mapping across hyperscale public cloud service providers and consideration of business value engineering for customer journeys.
Mandrake versus the snake 🎶
Indeed, there are enough people interested in platform engineering to create websites2 and start newsletters3. So, one could make the argument that interest in platform engineering is growing enough for those people to be considered a special interest group on the path to becoming a wider community on the path to user groups, etc... which may eventually mirror the FinOps.org progression.4
At the same time, if we pull back a bit, the terminology used so far might sound eerily familiar to those already in larger organizations that practice software development in cloud operating models. Indeed, while Twain’s history might not repeat exactly, the parts that rhyme could be set to music… and while not strict blues, the always brilliant Forrest Brazeal, Head of Developer Media at Google Cloud, has conveyed the perennial lamentation of but-this-time-it-is-different with aplomb.5
See those Sherpas chirpin' from the autobus 🎶
Lastly, let’s consider when convergence takes place as platform engineering keywords appear first as unique titles that become skills over time. For example, consider LinkedIn Jobs searches for platform engineering with the specific job title of “Platform Engineer”.
Quick filtering by Country indicates (rough math):
United States = +1,827 job posts
United Kingdom = 261 job posts
Germany = 153 job posts
Canada = 116 job posts
India = 116 job posts
Netherlands = 70 job posts
Japan = 61 job posts
Australia = 59 job posts
Poland = 49 job posts
France = 41 job posts
Quick filtering by Onsite/Remote/Hybrid indicates (rough math):
Onsite = 1,725 job posts
Remote = 1,325 job posts
Hybrid = 294 job posts
Earlier this year when PlatformEngineering.org launched, the tools list was only four (4!) entries long. Of course, the initial tools list may have simply reflected the company that launched it (Humanitec) and a few placeholders.
However, the tools associated with PlatformEngineering.org are growing one community submission6 at a time. For perspective, here is a longcat via developer tools screenshot now includes twenty-one (21!) tools as of this newsletter:
To contrast, there are 100+ FinOps tools now and FinOps.org is is a program of the The Linux Foundation.
So, what tools we be added to the PlatformEngineering.org registry next to reach 100+?
Until next time… Place your bets!
As a reminder, I work at Taos, an IBM Company. If you’d like to learn more about Taos, you can register for an upcoming digital event on Thursday 20-October 2022 where I’ll speak with Larry LaBas and Tim Clark, about how to mature and develop an Enterprise security posture in a 40 minute session entitled “Is Compliance Part of Your Culture?”
I am linking to my disclosure.