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How is Platform Engineering Different from SRE and DevOps?

Currently, there is a massive boom of the term Platform Engineering; you might be wondering what it’s all about. Well, today at DigitalGyan, we will talk about Platform Engineering, its future, salary, skills needed, demand, and much more.

We will also compare Platform Engineering vs SREs vs DevOps with examples. Just read till the end, to get an overview of it. Platform engineering has received much attention recently, but there is still some uncertainty about what it is and, perhaps more crucially, how it differs from more well-known fields like Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) and DevOps.

In fact, it’s simple to confuse SREs and DevOps experts with one another since so many of them are transitioning into platform engineering responsibilities.

Is platform engineering merely a job term you can use to increase your pay? Has DevOps changed its name? Though they are subtler than you may imagine, the distinctions make platform engineering so important and different from DevOps.

What is Platform Engineering?

Platform Engineering is a field of engineering which focuses on building the workflow or toolchain that could help in Self Servicing Capability of Developers in building the product without waiting or blocking for the operation or task to get completed.

In simple terms, platform engineers look for a way to make a developer’s life easier, by pointing out and creating a new method that could reduce project delivery time. They also focus on removing the abstraction, which is not required, thereby reducing the complexity of the overall project.

Platform engineers offer a comprehensive solution, most frequently known as an “internal developer platform,” that addresses all operational requirements throughout an application’s life cycle.

Internal developers and the teams who create products are crucial since they raise an organization’s productivity and delivery of projects. The 2020 and 2021 State of DevOps reports from Puppet show a significant correlation between the adoption of internal development platforms and the level of DevOps advancement.

This strategy makes sure that your platform really makes life simpler for your developers by providing solutions to their difficulties. Additionally, it makes you more conscious of the limitations your company is subject to, avoiding reckless SRE installation just because it works for other organizations.

One can say, Platform Engineering is the next stage of DevOps, with more responsibility. The good intentions of the previous culture of DevOps are included in Platform Engineering.

It allows for developer self-service, just like DevOps. It decreases mistakes and improves delivery dependability, just as SRE.

devops vs sre vs platform engineering
How is Platform Engineering Different from SRE and DevOps? 1

Roles and Responsibilities of a Platform Engineer

The day-to-day responsibility of a Platform Engineer includes:

  • Adding environment variables and their configurations.
  • Adding services and dependencies to a project.
  • Rolling back builds on failure and de-bugging the root cause.
  • Spinning new environment variables or rolling them to the previous one.
  • Refactoring, renaming and cleaning the working tree.
  • Adding resources to the project, and removing them if not required.
  • Changing resources as per the project need.
  • Enforcing RBAC, etc.

They mainly focus on fixing these complex difficulties. A platform engineer would provide the crucial plan that would bind everything together to form a consistent self-service experience rather than everyone getting their hands dirty operating everything, which would result in complete chaos because not everyone would have a working knowledge of the entire toolchain or a product.

What is the Platform Engineer’s Skill?

There is no specific requirement to be concrete knowledge of all domains. However, the minimum knowledge and work experience that a Platform Engineer should possess are:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (B.E or B.Tech).
  • Good knowledge of Python for developing scripts and any other programming languages.
  • Good understanding of APIs, implementation and workflow.
  • Scripting and framework knowledge.
  • Good knowledge of Linux and other Operating Systems.

Is Platform Engineer same as DevOps Engineer?

It can be said that Platform Engineering is just the next stage of DevOps. So both can be considered as same. However, the responsibilities and knowledge might get different if one focuses on Platform Engineering.

The DevOps role backs up the idea that DevOps seems to be less planned than platform engineering. Deployments, infrastructure, and service accounts are also the responsibility of the platform engineering and DevOps teams.

Platform teams, as opposed to DevOps teams, build platforms with defined APIs and abstractions that provide app developers flexibility and testing.

DevOps vs SRE vs Platform Engineering

The clear difference between DevOps vs SRE vs Platform Engineering is simple by their definition of work.

Software development and IT operations are combined in the DevOps set of activities. It aims to speed up the systems development life cycle and provide high-quality software continuously. Agile software development and DevOps go hand in hand; Agile inspired many DevOps elements.

A collection of ideas and techniques called site reliability engineering integrates elements of software engineering and applies them to issues with infrastructure and operations. The creation of highly scalable and stable software systems is the key objective.

work in platform engineering
How is Platform Engineering Different from SRE and DevOps? 2

While Platform Engineering is on the Top of SRE, and an extension of the DevOps role, with more responsibility to APIs that could help developers in quicker delivery of the task or project.

Estimated Platform Engineer’s Salary?

According to GlassDoor, a platform engineer’s salary in India can range from Rs. 3.07 LPA to Rs 27 LPA. This depends upon the experience and responsibilities. However, the average salary of a platform engineer is around Rs 10 LPA.

The average Platform Engineer’s salary in the United States is $138,926. And it can range from $128,349 to $149,931,

Examples of Platform Engineering

Some examples of Platform Engineering which is important for the role are developer productivity, language tooling, release engineering, incident management, messaging, observability, experimentation, infrastructure, testing, data storage, etc.

By facilitating the creation of products that benefit both the firm and its consumers, platform teams aim to give their organisations a long-term advantage.

Future of Platform Engineer’s Career

There is a tremendous demand for Platform Engineers in future. As micro-services are building up. It’s important to scale and manage them. So, there is plenty of opportunities for Platform Engineers.

New technical issues have been brought by the emergence of microservices, container orchestration, and similar technologies.

Platform engineering teams have been established at some companies to handle these duties. In many ways, the role of a platform engineer hasn’t changed much from other DevOps-related roles.

There is some validity to the statement that “Platform Engineer” is just a new title. The typical duties of a Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) are shifting, though, due to various variables that are at play now and in the future.

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