Guest: Lian Li (LinkedIn)
Company: Loft Labs (Twitter)

While there has been a push toward DevOps in recent years with developers having full responsibility for the entire lifecycle of the code they develop, more recently there has been an increasing velocity behind platform engineering.

In this episode of TFiR: T3M, Swapnil Bhartiya catches up with Lian Li, Developer Advocate at Loft Labs, to talk about the differences between platform engineering and DevOps. She goes on to explain the benefits of developer experience and shares her advice on how people can embrace platform engineering.

Defining platform engineering:

  • Platform engineering involves engineers working on a specific product that is targeting developers.
  • It helps to interweave all the different aspects and stages of the code that is being developed.
  • Platform engineering shifts the focus back to just developing and providing value to the end user.

Why is it critical to bring back the developer experience:

  • It helps to solve problems humans are experiencing in new ways, looking at ways to make the infrastructure work for developers.
  • It can help improve developers’ velocity and gives them other possibilities to succeed in their job.

The effects of layoffs:

  • Layoffs and cost-cutting are causing some companies to try to recruit full-stack engineers and engineers that do it all to try to fill the void.
  • However, Li is seeing an increased velocity and energy behind platform engineering and a shift away from DevOps and SREs.

Li shares her advice for companies that are cost-cutting, saying:

  • Carefully evaluate whether a product is really solving the core problem of the business before unnecessarily investing time, effort and money.
  • Look at if you can solve a problem with no code or less code since code is a technical debt.

Open source adoption

  • Many large companies are turning to open source and consuming it the right way by contributing back.
  • Open source adoption can be an attractive marketing prospect making companies appear to have goodwill in the industry.

Is DevOps dead?

  • DevOps is a practice of developers understanding operations and how their code or application lives on a server, was superseded by SREs, yet this was more of a rebranding.
  • We are entering a third rebranding now as it no longer serves its purpose as an ideal solution since Kubernetes can abstract all the infrastructure away from you.
  • The underlying philosophy of DevOps, which involves understanding the code so that you can write better code in the future, continues to live on.

This summary was written by Emily Nicholls.