Many tech firms have been staring into an abyss of late, with it being a challenging year, made worse by reports of mass layoffs across the industry. Everybody is looking for ways to ride this storm without compromising their growth. Several startups and companies have already tightened their budgets in the aftermath of this slump. As a result, there is an increase in employees’ workload besides a scarcity of expert coders. There is also a problem of tool sprawl when companies have multiple tools for different use cases. This brings platform engineering to the fore as a solution that could enhance developer productivity. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Puppet, most (94%) of its respondents concurred that platform engineering helps organizations significantly realize the benefits of DevOps.
In this post, we will explore the following:
- What is Platform Engineering?
- What is Platform Engineering Used for?
- Platform Engineering Examples
- Platform Engineering Jobs and Salary
- Platform Engineering Trends for 2024
- Secure Your Career With Emeritus
What is Platform Engineering?
Platform engineering, in short, is the discipline of designing, building, and maintaining infrastructure that allows organizations to enjoy self-service capabilities in the cloud-native era.
Here are some key aspects of platform engineering:
1. Internal Developer Platforms
A platform engineer builds and manages the infrastructure that runs an Internal Developer Platform (IDP). The tasks include configuring servers, managing databases, and setting up networking resources.
Automation is crucial to platform engineering. A platform engineer relies on tools and scripts to automate repetitive tasks in order to provide error-free deployments and scaling. In fact, automation comes in handy when provisioning, configuring, and managing infrastructure resources.
The role of a platform engineer also covers the security of the platform and applications that run on it. They have to make sure that they implement access controls, ensure encryption, and monitor security threats simultaneously.
4. Containerization and Orchestration
Platforms like Docker and Kubernetes are common in platform engineering. These tools develop containers to deploy applications, ensuring they run smoothly across different environments while orchestration scales the containers.
A platform engineer has to set up systems so the company can monitor the performance and health of the platform and applications running on it. They also need contingency measures such as recovery to ensure minimal downtime and data loss.
ALSO READ: Top 5 Characteristics of Cloud Computing
What is Platform Engineering Used for?
Platform engineering aims to provide developers with tools like codebases to improve productivity. Many organizations also use platform engineering to reduce cognitive load— the mental effort or processing capacity required to perform a task. Let’s take a look at a few more of its use cases:
Deployment of Applications
An organization uses infrastructure developed under platform engineering to deploy applications efficiently, whether hosting them on-premises or in the cloud. This involves creating an automated process to run applications seamlessly, representing one of the core functions of platform engineering.
Creation of Smooth Experiences
It is important to have a conducive environment to build and deploy applications. Therefore, a firm can use this type of engineering to create tools and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for developers to avoid tool sprawl.
Consistency in Scaling
An organization needs systems that can scale horizontally or vertically to meet changing workloads and traffic demands. Hence, a platform engineer has to distribute traffic evenly and ensure scale.
Automation of Tasks
Every organization uses platform engineering to automate routine tasks—for example, deployment, configuration, scaling, etc. Moreover, automation is critical for Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) to make code changes whenever necessary.
The role of platform engineering is pivotal in DevOps because it facilitates collaboration between development and operations teams. As a result, it confirms a faster and more reliable software delivery by ensuring that development, testing, and production environments complement each other.
Platform Engineering Examples
There are a plethora of platform engineering examples that cut across domains. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
Cloud Computing Platforms
A cloud service provider’s business model involves building and managing the infrastructure on which businesses host their applications and data. In addition, they offer scalable and reliable computing.
Heroku is one of the best platform engineering examples. The service enables developers to build, run, and operate applications entirely in the cloud. By offering robust deployment environments, Heroku liberates developers from operational tasks, allowing them to focus on innovation.
Container Orchestration Platforms
Container orchestration platforms are used for automating deployment, scaling, and management of applications. For instance, Kubernetes, Docker, OpenShift, etc., are top-rated systems designed by platform engineers.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
A CMS platform is a good example of this domaion wherein engineers provide a platform that powers websites and content delivery. For example, WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are all popular CMS systems.
Many fintech companies hire platform engineers to create and run platforms enabling various financial services. For instance, Paytm, Razorpay, and Zerodha are some of the most well-known companies. Not only do these platforms require strict security measures, but they also comply with statutory regulations.
Platform Engineering Jobs and Salary
The research into platform engineering can be overwhelming since it is not mainstream yet. However, we’ve got you covered with a compilation of some of the top platform engineering jobs and the opportunities that are opening up in this space:
1. DevOps Engineer
They work on processes like software development and deployment. They also create CI/CD pipelines, manage infrastructure as code, and ensure the scalability of systems.
2. Site Reliability Engineer (SRE)
They are responsible for systems’ reliability and availability. Hence, they use software engineering principles to design infrastructure and respond to incidents to minimize downtime.
3. Cloud Engineer
According to Forrester, there is an urgency among businesses to move to the cloud. This, naturally, has increased the demand for cloud engineers. Generally, such professionals have the responsibility to manage and optimize cloud infrastructure according to the organization’s needs.
4. Platform Architect
The platform’s architecture has to account for many factors, such as scale, performance, etc. Hence, a platform architect conceives the platform as required by the organization in collaboration with developers, engineers, project managers, and business stakeholders.
5. Security Engineer
A robust security system is a must for a platform to scale without hiccups. A security engineer’s job includes looking for and mitigating vulnerabilities without delay.
According to Indeed, a platform engineer earns an average annual pay of ₹10,75,238. Moreover, the data provided by Indeed also reveals that the pay is higher than most other IT jobs, as disclosed in the table below:
|Average compensation per year
Platform Engineering Trends for 2024
Gartner recently declared platform engineering as the new kid on the block in its Top Strategic Technology Trends 2024 report. Here’s a rundown of some of the trends the next year has in store when it comes to platform engineering:
1. Transition to Cloud
Cloud-native technologies are likely to be a dominant trend here. As stated in the report, the demand for cloud among businesses is at an all-time high and will only rise.
2. Integration of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Now that technologies such as AI and machine learning have enraptured the world in 2023, it is going to drive up their integration into platforms even further. Hence, a platform engineer must be able to integrate AI into organizational workflows and leverage AIOps for platform operations.
3. Focus on Security and Compliance
In the first quarter of this year, India experienced a staggering 500 million cyberattacks. This highlights the critical importance of prioritizing security, especially in this field, as technology becomes increasingly integrated into our daily lives. In 2024, companies will place even greater emphasis on fortifying their platform security.
4. Reliance on Data Analytics
The world has woken up to the benefits of data analytics because companies are keen to derive insights from large data sets. Therefore, platform engineers will be busy in 2024 working on scalable data platforms and designing analytics tools.
Secure Your Career With Emeritus
Platform engineering is in its infancy, but there is no doubt that a career in it will make you stand out. The world is embracing emerging technologies at a breakneck pace. So, this is the right time to expand your skill set in platform engineering. Start your journey toward excellence by enrolling in Emeritus’ IT courses and bag the best platform engineering jobs in the market today.
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