Monday, August 17, 2020

Resources for Product Management for Internal Platform

"The purpose of a platform team is to enable stream-aligned teams to deliver work with substantial autonomy. The stream-aligned team maintains full ownership of building, running, and fixing their application in production. The platform team provides internal services to reduce the cognitive load that would be required from stream-aligned teams to develop these underlying services."

The last year I have been leading the Platform Team in a startup during the scale phase. First at Nextail and currently at Although it is the first time I focus exclusively on that team, the truth is that throughout my career, I have always got very involved in any initiative or organization focused on improving internal tools or provide a platform for the rest of the engineering team.

I have always liked these teams, for the transversal impact they have on the whole product organization and the capacity they have to enable the DevOps culture.

But I've always seen that they usually focus too much on technology and not so much in the customer, our colleagues.  Happily, it seems that these teams are starting to be treated as product teams and are beginning to use modern product management techniques.

There are still not many resources dedicated to how to treat the Platform as an internal product. So I have decided to compile in this post the most interesting resources I have found about it.

Interesting presentations


Articles and blog posts


I didn't find any specific book about Product management techniques for Platform teams, but we can always adapt the techniques described in modern product management books.

Other resources

I'd love to share resources with anyone who's interested in the subject. Any suggestions/resources/ideas are welcome.


Sunday, August 09, 2020

Good talks/podcasts (Aug 2020 I)


These are the best podcast/talks I've seen/listen to recently:

  • Six Decades of Software Engineering (Mary Poppendieck) [Agile, Devops, Engineering Culture, Lean Software Development] (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) Great talk with the evolution of our field from a lean perspective. Great insights about the engineering role, agile, the current painful division between business and development, how we can think about complex systems, the failure of having proxy roles as the product owner, etc... Great talk, lot of computer and development history, and great Q&A session. Slides:
  • 7 minutes, 26 seconds, and the Fundamental Theorem of Agile Software Development (J.B. Rainsberger) [Agile, Design, XP] (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) Short excellent talk (7:26') that distilled the essence of software development and agile development. Essential. A must.
  • YOW! Singapore/Hong Kong 2017 The Best OO Language is a Functional One (Dave Thomas) [Design, Functional, OOP] Interesting talk about some OO concepts using elixir.
  • 15 teams and 4 months to achieve Continuous Delivery (Thierry de Pauw) [Continuous Delivery, Engineering Culture, Lean, Lean Software Development, TOC] Interesting presentation about how to transform the engineering culture of a company to reach Continuous Delivery. He talked about Improvement Kata, Value Stream Mapping, and the Theory Of Constraints to choose which changes to apply first, and kickstart the organisational changes we needed to improve quality and drive down lead times.
  • Mastering the Problem Space to Achieve Product-Market Fit (Dan Olsen) [Lean, Lean Product Management, Product, Product Discovery, Product Strategy] Good explanations about modern Product Management concepts (Product market fit, Problem Space vs Solutions Space, Lean product management, etc).
  • GOTO 2020 • Modern Continuous Delivery (Ken Mugrage) [Continuous Delivery, Engineering Culture] (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) Great description of a Continuous Delivery process.
  • What got you here won't get you there: How your team can become a high-performing team by embracing observability (Charity Majors) [Engineering Culture, Observability, Operations] (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) A ton of useful insights and ideas in this excellent Charity presentation. Great description of observability and its need in modern systems.
  • Podcast with Deloitte - Building Great Software Takes Great Teams and Communication (Matthew Skelton) [Agile, Architecture, Devops, Engineering Culture, Management, Technology Strategy] The show covered the original DevOps Topologies patterns and how these have been used in industry, and then talked about what’s in the book Team Topologies: well-defined team types, what we mean by a modern platform, team interaction modes, clear responsibility boundaries, DevEx, and using difficulties in team interactions as ‘signals’ to the organization that something is missing or misplaced. We also talked about moving beyond the Spotify model - success in software delivery is not just about team structures but about how teams interact and what kind of relationships they create, sustain, and evolve.
  • Software Modernisation (Sandro Mancuso) [Architecture, Architecture patterns, Technical leadership, Technology Strategy] In this talk, Sandro Mancuso, Software Craftsman and Co-Founder at Codurance will cover the key aspects of Software Modernisation initiatives and why they are neede
Reminder, All these talks are interesting even just listening to them, without seeing them.