Our annual State of DevOps reports have covered platform engineering best practices for the past two years now — and we’ve seen it evolve from an emerging trend that supports DevOps to an initiative that benefits the broader organization. But how can you put this insight to work at your own org to get the most out of platform engineering?  

We’re rounding up our best platform engineering resources to help you dive into our collection of thought leader perspectives, reports, and webinars on the topic.

Table of Contents:

Platform Engineering: So, What is It?

At its most basic, platform engineering enables self-service in software development using an internal developer platform (IDP) — but the way this looks for different organizations can vary.  

Led by a product manager, a platform engineering team, sometimes called a platform team, aims to build systems that solve common problems for their users. But not all problems — specifically, platform engineering refines the tools that are being used by developers.  

Self-service is the critical word here. When self-service enters an internal developer platform (IDP), developers are empowered to do more work (faster!), ultimately delivering a stronger end result.  

A composite image featuring a man working at a computer desk in a modern workspace overlaid with various geometric shapes.

The Definition of Platform Engineering

We’ve built a resource that explores the definition of platform engineering more in-depth along with the benefits that can come from this approach. These benefits include supported developers, speedier software development, scale, and improved DevOps initiatives. Take it from the top — sometimes the best first question is “Why?” when you’re looking at an approach like platform engineering.  

Get the scoop on the basics of platform engineering >>

A composite image featuring two people working at separate laptop computers. They are edited to appear as though they are facing each other. Image is overlaid with various geometric shapes.

Platform Engineering vs. DevOps

Is platform engineering and DevOps the same, harmonious thing — or are they in opposition? From our research in past State of DevOps reports (see below), the answer can be complex and overlap in places. DevOps is an approach that brings together developers and IT Operations teams, while platform engineering aims to create a single platform for DevOps tools. In the following blog, we'll define each concept and provide examples to show their impact.

Check out the key differences between platform engineering vs. DevOps >>

Platform Engineer Job Description – A platform engineer builds and maintains a platform for software development. An image of a woman using a tablet in an IT setting. The tablet is connected to multiple symbols superimposed on the image, including a server, user devices, a cloud, and common platform automation tools. Colorful shapes litter the frame.

What is a Platform Engineer?

The role of platform engineer varies – some handle DevOps, AppSec, and architecture, while others support general infrastructure. But this role shares an important goal: platform engineers are transforming software development by facilitating self-service platforms and tools. This blog explains their duties, skills, and how to find the best fit for your team.

Learn what it takes to be a platform engineer >>

Platform Engineering Best Practices in the Real-World

Platform engineering today can benefit your security approach, your delivery speed, and even the happiness and job satisfaction of developers on your team — but what does it look like in practice?  

Using our annual survey results specific to platform engineering, we’ll give real-world examples of how platform engineering empowers developers and streamlines software development. Ideally, these learnings will help you leverage platform engineering to achieve your own goals, giving you a clear picture of its impact and potential benefits for your own organization.

2023 State of DevOps Report mockup

2023 State of DevOps Report: Platform Engineering Edition

The Puppet organization decided to shift gears away from survey results and analysis specific to DevOps and move to a platform engineering focus to capture an emerging trend. From this report, 93% of respondents see platform engineering as a positive — but why? Read real responses from real tech teams to learn more.

Download the 2023 State of DevOps Report: Platform Engineering Edition >>

2024 State of DevOps Report: The Evolution of Platform Engineering mockup.

2024 State of DevOps Report: The Evolution of Platform Engineering

In 2024, the State of DevOps report continued to ask questions around the maturity, success, and growth of platform engineering. The report revealed that security is starting to be included in a platform engineering plan from the start. See data and analysis from the 2024 report yourself.

Download the 2024 State of DevOps Report: The Evolution of Platform Engineering >>

a platform engineering roadmap

The Future of Platform Engineering

It’s critical to understand the data around platform engineering efforts today, provided by IT, development, and security professionals across various industries. Using this data industry experts within Puppet can provide insight into platform engineering's current state and how successful teams leverage it. From there, key trends emerged to predict the next phase of platform engineering adoption — giving us a peek into its future growth.

Follow the platform engineering roadmap >>

Platform Engineering Best Practices You Can Use

Use data from the State of Platform Engineering report to build a prescriptive approach for your own effort. What should you start, stop and continue doing to make platform engineering a success? What are other organizations doing that is achieving positive results across their business? Dive into the nitty-gritty of platform engineering best practices.

The Platform Engineering Metrics That Matter

Looking for a single metric to measure your platform engineering team's performance? The 2024 State of Platform Engineering report reveals there's no one-size-fits-all solution. While metrics are crucial for tracking progress and pinpointing areas for improvement, they shouldn't be rigid performance indicators.

Track your most critical platform engineering metrics >>

Choosing Your Platform Engineering Tools

Platform engineering tools are the building blocks of an internal developer platform (IDP), handling functions like configuration management, provisioning, testing, and automation. The specific tools you choose define what your developers can achieve independently. While selecting the right ones is crucial, there are resources to help you navigate this process — the following blog explores the common platform engineering tools and how they work together to create a streamlined and effective IDP.

Get started picking the right platform engineering tools >>

Is There a Prescription for Platform Engineering?

DevOps thrives on flexibility but scaling it across large companies tends to expose inconsistencies, which is where platform engineering emerges as a potential solution. This webinar explores successful and failed IT models, the evolution of DevOps models, and offers a new framework for the future.

Watch what makes platform engineering succeed >>

Platform Engineering Pitfalls

C-levels prioritize developer experience (DevX) as a key factor in adopting platform engineering practices. High turnover, burnout, and skill gaps often stem from poor DevX. This podcast with DevX expert Justin Reock explores how platform engineering tools can be used to engineer a joyful and productive developer experience, shaping the future of the field.

Learn how to avoid platform engineering pitfalls >>

Achieve Security & Speed with Platform Engineering

Using data from the 2024 State of DevOps Report, this webinar featuring the authors of the report explores how platform engineering drives efficiency, speed, and security in DevOps. Hear the value of product managers in platform teams, how platforms mature and expand over time, and who really benefits from platform engineering.

Get faster and more secure with platform engineering >>

The Evolution of Platform Engineering

In only a year, platform engineering has evolved from the 2023 report to the data in the 2024 report. How can you prepare and set a better foundation for your platform engineering efforts? Learn how platform engineering supports evolving development practices, the growing importance of proactive security, and gain insights into the current state of DevOps.

Watch a webinar about the future of platform engineering >>

The People You Want on Your Platform Engineering Team

Platform engineering is the intersection of talented people who are all working toward a common goal and tools that meet their roles, skills, and responsibilities. In our research, we’ve found that the very best platform engineering teams are structured in such a way that there is clear communication across functions — usually requiring the help of a product manager to aid this communication along the way. Here we’ll explore the skills needed for great team members to make platform engineering succeed.

Why Platform Engineering Teams Are the Key to Unlocking DevOps

What is the Best Platform Team Structure?

Based on data from both the 2023 and 2024 report, the standout platform engineering teams standardized infrastructure, empowered developers with self-service tools, and accelerated development through higher-level abstractions. Here’s how they were able to achieve these results by starting with a strong team.  

Get inspired by the best platform engineering teams >>

The New Stack logo with Platform Engineering Team in background.

Here’s Why You Need a Product Manager

Product management is a long-term investment requiring training and support to foster trust and user feedback. Unlike project-based toolchains, platforms continuously adapt to user needs — product managers bring with them a product mindset, ensuring platform engineering is a continuous function, not a one-off project.

Learn why product managers are critical >>

Platform Engineering & Puppet

To enable your team to achieve the speed, security, and efficiency that platform engineering can accomplish, you need to combat manual tasks that take up your IT team’s valuable time.

Puppet Enterprise empowers platform engineers to automate tasks, build self-service platforms, and enforce security and standards, leading to a more efficient and productive development environment.

Even better, you can try Puppet in your environment for free to see how much time your team will save: