A platform engineering team standing in front of a server

Building a Platform Engineering Team: Skills, Structure, and Best Practices

As technology advances, businesses are always looking for ways to improve their products and services. Recognizing this, the role of a platform engineering team becomes not just important, but transformative. This team isn’t crafting solutions for end customers; instead, their focus is internal, empowering developers within the organization. Their goal is clear: to catalyze the development process, ensuring a more rapid and efficient path to market. By providing the tools, frameworks, and support systems, the platform team is pivotal in accelerating innovation and adaptability in a tech-driven business world.

What is Platform Engineering?

Platform engineering is the practice of building, managing, and maintaining the infrastructure and tools that enable developers to create and deploy applications efficiently. It encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, including:

  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Automating infrastructure provisioning, configuration, and management to ensure consistency and scalability.
  • DevOps: Integrating development and operations teams to streamline the software delivery process and accelerate innovation.
  • Containerization: Utilizing technology like Docker and Kubernetes to package, deploy, and manage applications in a more efficient and portable manner.
  • Monitoring and Observability: Ensuring the health and performance of the platform to identify and resolve issues promptly.

Gain detailed insights into platform engineering by reading our guide on the topic.

Why do You Need a Platform Engineering Team?

A dedicated platform engineering team plays a crucial role in modern software development by providing several key benefits:

  • Increased Developer Productivity: Platform engineers streamline the development process, eliminating infrastructure complexities and allowing developers to focus on creating innovative products.
  • Improved Time-to-Market: By automating and standardizing infrastructure provisioning, platform engineers accelerate the time it takes to bring new applications to market.
  • Reduced Costs: A well-maintained platform can significantly reduce operational expenses by minimizing downtime, optimizing resource utilization, and eliminating manual tasks.
  • Enhanced Scalability: Platform engineers design and implement scalable infrastructure that can handle increasing workloads and support the growth of the business.

Essential Skills for Platform Engineers

A successful platform engineering team comprises individuals with a diverse skillset:

  • Infrastructure Expertise: Proven experience in managing and configuring cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, or GCP.
  • DevOps Practices: Knowledge of DevOps principles and tools to automate and streamline the software delivery process.
  • Containerization Skills: Expertise in containerization technologies like Docker and Kubernetes to package and deploy applications effectively.
  • Monitoring and Observability: Ability to set up and maintain monitoring systems to track application health and performance.
  • Problem-Solving and Analytical Skills: Strong problem-solving abilities to identify and resolve infrastructure issues quickly and efficiently.
  • Communication and Collaboration: Excellent communication and collaboration skills to work effectively with developers, operations teams, and other stakeholders.

Team Structure and Responsibilities

The structure of a platform engineering team may vary depending on the size and complexity of the organization. However, a typical team typically includes:

  • Platform Architect: Leads the team and defines the overall platform strategy and architecture.
  • Platform Engineers: Develop, maintain, and optimize the platform infrastructure and tools.
  • DevOps Engineer: Integrates development and operations processes to ensure seamless application delivery.
  • Container Engineer: Specializes in containerization technologies and orchestration tools.
  • Monitoring and Observability Specialist: Responsible for setting up and maintaining monitoring systems.
  • Documentation and Support Specialist: Provides technical documentation and support to developers and other teams.
  • Agile Coach: Catalyzes implementing agile methodologies within the team and guide and mentor the team in agile practices, fostering a flexible, collaborative, and efficient working environment that adapts swiftly to changing requirements.

Be aware this list and the roles don’t mean that you need one individual per role. Each individual can also take on several roles like architect/engineer/DevOps.

Best Practices building a platform engineering team

Cultivating a Thriving Platform Engineering Team: Best Practices for Success

In today’s competitive software development landscape, establishing a robust platform engineering team is crucial for driving innovation, enhancing developer productivity, and accelerating time-to-market. To effectively build and manage such a team, consider these essential best practices:

1. Define Clear Goals and Objectives

Establish a clear vision and set measurable goals for your platform engineering initiative. Ensure that these goals align with the overall organizational strategy and effectively address the needs of developers and business stakeholders.

2. Assemble a Skilled and Diverse Team:

Recruit individuals with diverse expertise, including infrastructure management, DevOps principles, containerization technologies, monitoring, and communication. This diversity will foster a well-rounded team capable of tackling complex challenges and adapting to changing technologies.

3. Understand Your Existing Infrastructure:

Conduct a thorough assessment of your current infrastructure, identifying areas for improvement and potential automation opportunities. This analysis will provide valuable insights for optimizing resource utilization and streamlining operations.

4. Implement Standardized Processes:

Establish standardized processes for infrastructure provisioning, configuration, and application deployment. This consistency will ensure repeatability, reduce errors, and facilitate team collaboration.

5. Embrace Automation:

Automate repetitive tasks across the platform lifecycle, from provisioning to deployment to maintenance. Automation will free up valuable time for developers to focus on innovation and allow for faster and more efficient application delivery.

6. Leverage Monitoring and Observability:

Implement robust monitoring and observability tools to track application health, performance, and resource utilization. This visibility will enable proactive problem identification, timely remediation, and informed decision-making.

7. Foster a Collaborative Culture:

Nurture a collaborative environment between platform engineers, development teams, and operations teams. Open communication and shared ownership will facilitate seamless integration and ensure that the platform aligns with the needs of all stakeholders.

Important Resources for Product Teams

To learn more about platform engineering and its role in modern software development, here are some valuable resources:

  • Linux Foundation: Offers comprehensive resources on platform engineering best practices, tools, and certification programs.
  • Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF): Provides resources on cloud-native technologies, including containers, Kubernetes, and microservices.
  • Open Source Initiative (OSI): Supports open-source software development and provides a directory of open-source projects related to platform engineering.
Container8 Elevate your Platform Engineering with Container8 Container8 Building a Platform Engineering Team: Skills, Structure, and Best Practices


Platform engineering is a crucial discipline that empowers organizations to achieve their software development goals. By establishing a dedicated platform engineering team with the necessary skills and expertise, businesses can unlock enhanced developer productivity, accelerated time-to-market, reduced costs, and enhanced scalability.

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