What exactly are we talking about when by the platform in a tech company ? What is a platform team, and what are they achieving ? I couldn’t even grasp these questions when joining my first platform team in my career, the Search platform at Leboncoin.
In the context I am talking about, the platform refers to the software or hardware infrastructure which is the foundation for building and running various applications and services. It typically includes a set of tools, frameworks, libraries, and services that developers can leverage to create and deploy their software products.
A platform team is a group of individuals within a tech company responsible for developing, maintaining, and evolving the company’s platform. Their primary goal is to provide a robust and scalable foundation that enables other teams and developers to build and deliver their applications efficiently.
They pave down the golden paths that enable developers self-service and reduce cognitive load on individual contributers.
Basically, the platform team are enablers for the others teams, in order to allow them to do their best job.
They focus on several key areas to achieve their objectives:
- Infrastructure: They design, build, and manage the underlying infrastructure components, like the servers, databases, and storage systems. They ensure the infrastructure is reliable, secure, and can handle the company’s current and future needs.
- APIs and Services: They develop and maintain a set of APIs and services that expose platform functionality to other teams. These APIs and services usually abstract more complex operations that are not important for teams which execute customer centered work.
- Developer Tools: They may create tools or libraries that streamline the application development process
- Standards and Best Practices: The platform team establishes and enforces the coding standards, architectural guidelines, and best practices across the company. They ensure consistency and promote the use of efficient and scalable approaches for building software products.
- Monitoring and Support: They implement monitoring systems to track the health, performance, and usage of the platform. They also provide support to other teams, helping troubleshoot issues, optimize performance, and ensure smooth operation of their applications.
By focusing on these areas, the platform team aims to provide a reliable, scalable, and efficient platform that empowers other teams within the tech company to develop and deliver the best software products, more effectively.
Some examples of these platforms could be for instance any AWS product, the internal API you are developing in your company that will be consumed by other services, or even Grafana.