How to Become a Successful Platform Engineer

Platform engineering is a relatively new and evolving field in the tech industry. While it offers many opportunities, certain aspects are often overlooked.

In this blog, we discuss effective strategies for becoming a successful platform engineer and identify common pitfalls to avoid.

What is a Platform Engineer? 

Platform Engineering, an emerging technology approach, enables the software engineering team with all the required resources. This is to help them perform end-to-end operations of software development lifecycle automation. The goal is to reduce overall cognitive load, enhance operational efficiency, and remove process bottlenecks by providing a reliable and scalable platform for building, deploying, and managing applications. 

Strategies for Being a Great Platform Engineer

Keeping the Entire Engineering Organization Up-to-Date with Platform Team Insights

One important tip to becoming a great platform engineer is informing the entire engineering organization about platform team initiatives. This fosters transparency, alignment, and cross-team collaboration, ensuring everyone is on the same page. When everyone is aware of what’s happening in the platform team, it allows them to plan tasks effectively, offer feedback, raise concerns early, and minimize duplication of efforts. As a result, providing everyone a shared understanding of the platform, goals, and challenges. 

Ensure Your Team Possesses Diverse Skills

When everyone on the platform engineering team has varied skill sets, it brings a variety of perspectives and expertise to the table. This further helps in solving problems creatively and approaching challenges from multiple angles. 

It also lets the team handle a wide range of tasks such as architecture design and maintenance effectively. Furthermore, team members can also learn from each other (and so do you!) which helps in better collaboration and understanding and addressing user needs comprehensively.

Automate as much as Possible 

Pull Requests and code reviews, when done manually, take a lot of the team’s time and effort. Hence, this gives you an important reason why to use automation tools. Moreover, it allows you to focus on more strategic and high-value tasks and lets you handle an increased workload. This further helps in accelerating development cycles and time to market for new features and updates which optimizes resource utilization and reduces operational costs over time. 

Maintain a DevOps Culture 

Platform engineering isn’t all about building the underlying tools, it also signifies maintaining a DevOps culture. You must partner with development, security, and operations teams to improve efficiency and performance. This allows for having the right conversation for discovering bottlenecks, and flexibility in tool choices, and reinforces positive collaboration among teams. 

Moreover, it encourages a feedback-driven culture, where teams can continuously learn and improve. As a result, aligning the team’s efforts closely with customer requirements and business objectives. 

Stay Abreast of Industry Trends

To be a successful platform engineer, it's important to stay current with the latest trends and technologies. Attending tech workshops, webinars, and conferences is an excellent way to keep up with industry developments. besides these offline methods, you can read blogs, follow tech influencers, listen to podcasts, and join online discussions to improve your knowledge and stay ahead of industry trends.

Moreover, collaborating with a team that possesses diverse skill sets can help you identify areas that require upskilling and introduce you to new tools, frameworks, and best practices. This combined approach enables you to better anticipate and meet customer needs and expectations.

Take Everything into Consideration and Measure Success Holistically 

Beyond DevOps metrics, consider factors like security improvements, cost optimization, and consistency across the organization. This holistic approach prevents overemphasis on a single area and helps identify potential risks and issues that might be overlooked when focusing solely on individual metrics. Additionally, it highlights areas for improvement and drives ongoing optimized efficiencies across all dimensions of the platform.

Common Pitfalls that Platform Engineers Ignore 

Unable to Understand the Right Customers 

First things first, understand who your customers are. When platform teams prioritize features or improvements that don't meet software developers' needs, it negatively impacts their user experience. This can lead to poor user interfaces, inadequate documentation, and missing functionalities, directly affecting customers' productivity.

Therefore, it's essential to identify the target audience, understand their key requirements, and align with their requests. Ignoring this in the long run can result in low usage rates and a gradual erosion of customer trust.

Lack of Adequate Tools for Platform Teams

One of the common mistakes that platform engineers make is not giving engineering teams enough tooling or ownership. This makes it difficult for them to diagnose and fix issues in their code. It increases the likelihood of errors and downtime as teams may struggle to thoroughly test and monitor code. Not only this, they may also struggle to spend more time on manual processes and troubleshooting which slows down the development time cycle. 

Hence, it is always advisable to provide your team with enough tooling. Discuss with them what tooling they need, whether the existing ones are working fine, and what requirements they have. 

Too Much Planning, Not Enough Feature Releases

When a lot of time is spent on planning, it results in analysis paralysis i.e. thinking too much of potential features and improvements rather than implementation and testing. This further results in delays in deliveries, hence, slowing down the development process and feedback loops. 

Early and frequent shipping creates the right feedback loops that can enhance the user experience and improve the platform continuously. These feature releases must be prioritized based on how often certain deployment proceedings are performed. Make sure to involve the software developers as well to discover more effective solutions. 

Neglecting the Documentation Process

The documentation process is often underestimated. Platform engineers believe that the process is self-explanatory but this isn’t true. Everything around code, feature releases, and related to the platform must be comprehensively documented. This is critical for onboarding, troubleshooting, and knowledge transfer. 

Well-written documents also help in establishing and maintaining consistent practices and standards across the team. It also allows an understanding of the system’s architecture, dependencies, and known issues. 

Relying Solely on Third Party Tools for Security

Platform engineers must take full ownership of security issues. Lack of accountability can result in increased security risks and vulnerabilities specific to the platform. The limited understanding of unique risks and vulnerabilities can affect the system. 

But that doesn’t mean that platform engineers must stop using third-party tools. They must leverage them however, they need to be complemented by internal processes or knowledge and need to be integrated into the design, development, and deployment phases of platform engineering.  

Typo - An Effective Platform Engineering Tool 

Typo is an effective platform engineering tool that offers SDLC visibility, developer insights, and workflow automation to build better programs faster. It can seamlessly integrate into tech tool stacks such as GIT versioning, issue tracker, and CI/CD tools.

It also offers comprehensive insights into the deployment process through key metrics such as change failure rate, time to build, and deployment frequency. Moreover, its automated code tool helps identify issues in the code and auto-fixes them before you merge to master.

Typo has an effective sprint analysis feature that tracks and analyzes the team’s progress throughout a sprint. Besides this, It also provides 360 views of the developer experience i.e. captures qualitative insights and provides an in-depth view of the real issues.


Implementing these strategies will improve your success as a platform engineer. By prioritizing transparency, diverse skill sets, automation, and a DevOps culture, you can build a robust platform that meets evolving needs efficiently. Staying updated with industry trends and taking a holistic approach to success metrics ensures continuous improvement.

Ensure to avoid the common pitfalls as well. By addressing these challenges, you create a responsive, secure, and innovative platform environment.

Hope this helps. All the best! :)