I’ve been reflecting on our DevOps journey so far, and I’ve made a few observations. DevOps is still too difficult. While I get that DevOps is a set of principles and not a product, applying those principles is largely going to happen by either implementing vendor tools or building something custom. Neither of these options is simple or straightforward. It takes a lot of effort to build out CI/CD pipelines and the automation that powers them. I think there is a market opportunity or an open source project to create more opinionated tools that are easier to set up and manage, along with some guidance. Something akin to the AWS Well Architected Framework, but strictly focusing on DevOps principles and practices.
When I first read about platform engineering, I thought it was going to be the next evolution of DevOps. After reading more articles and watching a few conference talks about it, I’m not so sure. Most of what I see that is called “platform engineering” describes a specialized team that builds abstractions for other teams to consume. This feels like the old development/operations wall with a new coat of paint. Having a specialized team like this encourages the model of developers creating tickets and throwing work over the wall to the
operations platform engineering team. In my opinion, this represents a big step backwards from the vision of DevOps. I think there may be some good ideas to borrow, but I’m not interested in taking a major step backwards like this.