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Platform Engineering | Getting Started

Platform engineering and IDP principles explained - boosting business efficiency and productivity, cutting costs and reducing environmental impact. What tools should you use and how does it all relate to DevOps?
Internal Development Platform diagram

When you start a new project in your organization, is it clear which technologies you can choose? Which coding languages, or application servers? Which cloud providers can be used and how? How about delivery pipelines, is it clear how to get your stuff to the production safely? If not, keep reading, because Platform Engineering would be just for you.

Platform Engineering

Platform Engineering includes all work which is not directly related to the production code itself. Platform Engineers build Internal Development Platforms (IDP) which help developers to create value-adding work without hassle, which increases business efficiency.

Internal Development Platform

IDP includes any work which makes developers' lives easier, like code, documentation, and processes. Typically, this includes Delivery Pipelines and environment handling in an Infrastructure as Code (IaC) manner. IDP offers golden paths for choosing technologies which can be used in the organization. These technologies are application servers, coding languages, Continuous Integration servers, and Infrastructure. Key in the IDP is strong automation. Additionally, IDPs should strive to minimize energy consumption in both development and production environments, thereby mitigating their environmental impact. By optimizing resource usage and streamlining processes, IDPs also play a crucial role in reducing operational costs, contributing to significant savings for the organization.

Difference between DevOps and Platform Engineering

DevOps and Platform Engineering aim to solve the same problems using the same tools and practices. The main idea is to deliver code as effortlessly as possible from the developer's workstation to production environments. The term "DevOps" is derived from Development and Operations, indicating the strong coupling of these areas, with teams being responsible for managing both aspects.

In contrast, Platform Engineering focuses on standardizing technology choices and practices throughout the organization, thereby enabling projects to quickly adapt to the provided IDP. This approach not only streamlines technological implementation across various teams but also enhances the efficiency of adopting new projects within the organization's ecosystem.

Platform Engineering

Brief assessment of current status of Platform Engineering and Internal Development Platform (IDP)