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Platform Engineering Is A DevOps Enabler, Not Something That’s In Conflict With DevOps


Guest: April Hickel (LinkedIn)
Company: BMC Software (Twitter)

BMC Software is an infrastructure software company providing automation, operations, and service management solutions to over 85% of Fortune 100 enterprises. In this episode of TFiR: T3M, Swapnil Bhartiya sits down with April Hickel, Vice President of Product Management, Intelligent Z Optimization and Transformation (IZOT) at BMC Software, to discuss platform engineering and where it fits in with DevOps space. She talks about developer experience and how BMC Software is helping bring it to their clients and customers.

How does BMC view the paradigm shifts in development lifecycles?

  • Consumer demand has changed a lot over time and people now have higher expectations for how frequently you are releasing software, while still maintaining performance, agility, and availability.

Platform engineering vs DevOps:

  • DevOps meant that you could embrace automation and integrations to create automation pipelines to support developers in releasing more frequently.
  • The next level of maturity where you would like to centralize and standardize everything is platform engineering. Hickel does not see it in conflict with DevOps but rather as a DevOps accelerator.
  • DevOps enables developers to develop their code, sending it through an automation pipeline to release it, and taking it through security checks along the way. Platform engineering comprises a group of experts who can maintain these integrations and automation to enable the developers to have a seamless experience.

Developer Experience:

  • Developer experience boils down to giving them reusable sets of tools and processes they can use and utilizing automation pipelines so they can focus on trying to solve the big business problems.
  • For customers who have successfully scaled their DevOps maturity to a point of introducing platform engineering, this can also provide significant developer benefits and a good developer experience.

Advice for companies to get started:

  • Consider your own maturity level and for those just starting out in their DevOps journey look at improving their developer experience and the sort of integrations and automation they need to get a release deliverable.
  • As you scale, there is a lot of commonality in what the developers need to do and what the automation pipelines look like between teams, which is where the case for platform engineering emerges.
  • Ask yourself if having a centralized organization with a lot of expertise enables us to move faster within the team.

How is BMC enabling clients to bring the developer experience to them? 

  • BMC is making sure that its capabilities are available to developers in the different integrated developer environments on the market.
  • BMC is investing in integration taking an “open borders” approach to making sure they package and deliver integration from all their DevOps products into all the ecosystem players.
  • The company is changing its mainframe portfolio naming and branding to reflect its focus on DevOps and the developer experience and its belief that developers are key to customer success in the future.

This summary was written by Emily Nicholls.