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Golden paths are what you need

Google recently published a very interesting article on golden paths. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend you check it out. I know it’s a pain to open links from a newsletter (and why would you want to leave now, I’m just getting started!), so here are my quick takeaways:

  1. Golden paths offer loads of advantages to lots of different groups within your org. I.e they help devs onboard & get building faster, provide guardrails from your security teams, make SRE monitoring easier, and much much more
  1. Deciding when, where and how to build your golden paths can be a challenge - where do you begin when everything is important?
  1. Measurement is key to making sure your golden paths are effective at delivering value. You need to understand what you want your golden path to do - before you build it.

This is all great. In my opinion though, the most important thing is what this article signals. It shows there’s a growing interest in finding practical solutions to too much complexity and cognitive load on developers.

Golden paths and platform engineering are THE answer to enable developer self-service and do TRUE DevOps, at the enterprise scale, in the cloud native world. But I can hear you asking - what actually is a golden path?

It’s a paved road that the platform team designs for their engineering organization. A set of golden paths is an Internal Developer Platform (IDP). And as you build and ship your IDP as a product, you fine-tune the golden paths to have the right level of abstraction (to be functional) but also the right level of context (i.e. not abstract too much). It’s an art as much as it is a science. And the way to get it right is.. to listen! You have to listen to your internal customers, aka the developers.

Make sure you’re building golden paths and not golden cages. Make sure your developers fall in love with your platform because it solves their problems. Lower cognitive load -> higher productivity -> higher velocity -> shorter time to market for your entire org.

Happy paving!

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