Hey there!

The call for proposals for PlatformCon 2023 is about to close! Submit your talkand share your insights and stories with the community. Need some inspiration? This week, we’re recapping Cloud Strategy author Gregor Hohpe’s PlatformCon 2022 keynote.

Let’s get bakin’

3 characteristics of functional platforms

Organizations with successful platform engineering initiatives benefit from reduced complexity and cognitive load. Unfortunately, building successful platforms is no simple task. How do you know if you’re on the right track? According to Gregor Hohpe, good platforms share these common characteristics:

1️⃣ Low friction. You can’t force anyone to use your platform. Your users will find ways around it if you try. You can encourage ensure adoption your platform by prioritizing a frictionless user experience.

2️⃣ Transparency. Platforms aren’t supposed to be black boxes. Your users should have enough insight into what’s happening underneath the surface to appropriately diagnose problems.

3️⃣ Standardization. Platforms help enforce standards, which enable developers to be creative where it really matters. For example, http is a standard that allows any web browser to connect to any web server. A4 paper is also highly standardized, but one can still use it to draw or paint, tear it apart or tape some together to change the size of the canvas, or fold it to make an origami crane.

How do you build a platform with low friction, transparency, and standardization? Take a platform as a product approach and evolve the platform over time.

Watch the full talk here.

Short on time? ⏳ We got you 🥐😋

🥐 Sam Newman weighs in on the rise of the platform team:

“We want our Platform Team to be about outcomes - but we are hamstringing them from the beginning by calling the Platform Team in the first place, and worse could follow by codifying "Platform Engineering" as a thing.”

🥐 Build or buy? Christopher Hedley, VP of of Engineering at Syntasso, weighs in:

“Taking high-level PaaS or SaaS-like platform solutions might buy you productivity gains, but efforts to bend their opinionated workflows to match the will of your organisation often result in frustration or failure. Often you end up changing to meet the needs of the tool rather than the other way around.”

🥐 In his latest blog on Medium, ManoMano’s platform engineering manager Clement Hussenot-Desenonges dives into common platform engineering fails and how to avoid them.

🥐 IT practitioners shared their outlook on 2023 with The New Stack. I’m not surprised to see that platform engineering was a 🔥 topic:

“The trend toward platform engineering and product teams created a lot of independent teams working on their individual missions; it also created the challenge of figuring out how to align teams to a unified company vision. I am a big fan of the product team model, but I hope for 2023 to find that holy grail of combining the independence and speed of product teams with the necessary alignment to move in the same direction.”


Have you joined the Platform Engineering Slack channel? If not, you're missing out. Here are some highlights from the community:

And that’s a wrap on this week! As always, this newsletter is a community project. So if you have anything awesome to share from the cloud-native world, send it our way.

Stay crunchy 🥐