The Role of a Platform

The Role of a Platform

Enabling Full-Stack Software Engineers to Their Fullest Potential

Satya Addagarla, Josh Atwell, Mik Kersten, Thomas A. Limoncelli, Sara Mazer, Steve Pereira, Jeff Tyree, and Christina Yakomin


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Adopting a “you build it, you operate it” (YBYO) model requires a company to provide an internal developer platform that enables developers to build and operate their products. This platform can standardize processes and enable (or enforce) recommended practices. However, the platform can potentially overwhelm engineers by increasing their cognitive load. This can lead to burnout, productivity problems, low morale, and high attrition. A well-built platform can reduce cognitive load and lead to enhanced productivity, making compliance with standards easy, while also becoming a competitive advantage.

A product delivery platform is not just to ship applications but to be a vehicle for standardization that can ease compliance with recommended practices and simplify the daily work of engineers, all while reducing cognitive load.

Doing it right is not easy. It puts a high burden on the platform’s creators, especially if care and attention aren’t dedicated to product management and usability. However, the investment required to provide a capable platform is amortized across teams supported by the platform, and it will grow in value like any other product. It is a requirement for success.

This paper appeals to senior technical leaders who seek to build systems that enable software-engineering teams to work at their fullest potential and quickly deliver quality software and services.