Lessons Learned from 7 Years of Running Developer Platforms

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 - 4:45 pm5:30 pm

Tony McCulley, VMware


This talk covers best and worst practices for Platform engineering. The trick is, we didn't always use this phrase, so we actually have many years of experience to learn from. Who are you? You're in a DevOps, wait, I mean SRE…oh wait…"platform engineering" team. People are coming at you to get kubernetes up and running and then build some kind of platform on-top of kubernetes. But you just got a build pipeline in place! Getting kubernetes ready for developers may be a new problem, but building and running developer platforms has been going on for at least ten years. This talk will cover the lessons those organizations have learned such as: product managing the platform, attracting and retaining developers, seeding trust and skills, re-skilling existing ops staff, and more. Examples are drawn from organizations like Mercedes-Benz, the US Airforce, insurance companies, banks, and more.

Tony McCulley, VMware

Tony McCulley is a member of the Tanzu Value Advisory team at VMWare where he works with the company’s most strategic customers to help accelerate their transformation and modernization initiatives with a focus on helping those customers identify and achieve meaningful outcomes.

Tony has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry ranging from startups to multiple Fortune 50 companies. Prior to joining VMWare, Tony spent 9 years helping The Home Depot transform and modernize as Head of Developer Experience and Tech Insights. Prior to The Home Depot, Tony played a key role in GE Energy’s agile transformation in addition to tours at Booz Allen Hamilton and Comcast.

Tony helped pioneer Platform Engineering / Platform as a Product in 2015 when he took over Home Depot's development platforms with no prior experience in infrastructure. He leveraged his skills in software engineering, product development, and UX to roll out their new platform and achieve nearly 100% adoption by 4000+ engineers in less than 2 years.

@conference {286206,
author = {Tony McCulley},
title = {Lessons Learned from 7 Years of Running Developer Platforms},
year = {2023},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = mar

Presentation Video