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What is Platform Engineering ? - Tools and its Working

Navdeep Singh Gill | 26 March 2023


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Introduction to Platform Engineering

The future is set to adopt platform teams to optimize development practices and help the overworked engineer maintain a streamlined application development and delivery process. It is trending because it optimizes developer experience and accelerates delivery processes to drive customer value.

Gartner predicted that by 2027, more than 50% of enterprises would use cloud platforms to accelerate business processes. It will become necessary when an organization has multiple DevOps teams, and each one is working on maintaining visibility, security, and resilience in the application they are evolving. The essential requirement of it is to scale the activities of DevOps and enable consistency and agility.

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The Shift of Software Career

At the start, some teams were responsible for writing and some for running the code. Soon, this was seen as a mistake, and with technological advancement and complex system DevOps, a collaborative practice was introduced to lighten the workload and streamline the process.

Before, some engineers wrote code, and some ran the code. Now, all engineers write the code, and all run the code. It takes it to the next level, the bifurcation of responsibility makes it easy for the developer to develop the application and create an answer to common challenges for the current DevOps.

What is Platform Engineering?

Its responsibility of it is to scale the practices of the DevOps team and modernize the DevOps approach to enable efficiency. Most of the time, its responsibility is confused with DevOps. They are similar in some aspects but hold a lot of different functionality.

For example:- It some application is to build a common collaboration should be initiated between it and Devops teams. The team should provide a base for the development and assist the DevOps team with tools to make the development delivery faster and more reliable.

It leverages the cloud platform and allows the development team to deploy software. Many Software Developers face challenges with multiple manual procedures, including managing and creating repositories and infrastructure components for production. That’s why it is incorporated into these processes and provides effective development processes, reduced cost, and removes obstacles for developers.

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Why do organizations need it?

Any organization can have multiple DevOps teams with different responsibilities. It can ensure consistency and allow for better productivity and efficiency. It has a variety of benefits for an organization. The product developed by the team enables DevOps to write and run the code with maximum efficiency. Let’s see some of the benefits:-

  • Enhancing the Development Processes: It automates the process for the DevOps team. Without it, the manual processes become almost impossible to solve and are error-prone. With the heavy reliance on automation, developers can focus on seamless software development and delivery, including speeding up the software development processes and driving business value to enhance customer experience without compromising the quality and speed of the product.
  • Removing Bottlenecks: Imagine a superstar developer with immense skills in Kubernetes, helm charts and Terraform modules which can quickly complete any production task, but small companies can afford to hire such excellent developers. Still, with it, any developer can code and operate software in any environment while improving the customer experience and delivering quality services with consistency and agility.
  • Enabling innovation with efficiency development: Platform engineers have the major task of automating the processes to let the DevOps team focus on critical operations. They provide a self-service portal and allow for innovations by experimenting and practicing new technologies and tools.
  • Scalability with Automation: It can enable the development team with a fully automated environment for creating, remove, and update the environment without knowing anything about them. Platform engineers provide self-service capabilities, so even a junior developer can quickly code and deploy the application.
  • In short, most organizations are starting to realize the need for platform engineering to advance with effective software development support and innovative initiatives to provide a seamless developer experience and the development of customized applications with a continuous architectural approach.
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How does it work?

It emerged as an upcoming trend with digital transformation to manage and modernize software development activities. The platform created by the platform teams supports the development initiatives and helps them provide tools and capabilities to enhance their software development processes.

The main functionality is based on fulfilling the requirements of the end user. The platform product is built for a dedicated team of developers or data scientists by understanding their needs and supporting and operating software products.

How is Platform Engineering different from DevOps and SRE?

First, let's talk about SRE - which originated at Google and holds a lot of similarities with DevOps practices. The main objective lies in the fact that it is used to maintain the software infrastructure and ensure a smooth, reliable, and robust system.

On the other hand, DevOps - Is oriented toward building and maintaining several infrastructures and works with almost anything, from data centers to containers and clouds. Mostly DevOps teams are responsible for infrastructure capacity planning, scaling, performance tuning, and delivering value to the customer with reliable software delivery.

In it, the goal is to optimize for the best performance for the Software development team and automate the process for effective software delivery. While sharing a lot of similarities in practices, the above-mentioned differences between DevOps, SRE, and Platform Engineering are brief.

What are the Platform Engineering Tools?

The best tools for Platform Engineering are listed below:

  1. Kubernetes
  2. Crossplane
  3. Gitlab CI
  4.  Backstage
  5. Qovery
  6. ArgoCD
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The Future is for Platform Engineering, and even the current implementation provides a competitive edge to the organization. To enable the DevOps team with commonly used systems and architectural patterns to evolve and optimize the operation for it to grow. Even if organizations tend to stay on DevOps, at some point, there will be multiple DevOps teams, and the proper execution of processes will require a platform engineering team with a self-service and customized solution for every particular requirement.


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