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Delivering software and digital services continues to become more complex, leading many forward-thinking organizations to find new ways to improve the developer experience. By removing many of the roadblocks software developers face daily, organizations can innovate faster and stay ahead of competitors.

Platform engineering is a growing discipline that aims to simplify developer workloads and improve productivity by providing reusable components and recommended tools packaged as internal self-service platforms. As part of this effort, platform engineering teams should strive to establish pathways that are easy to use and save time, which encourages developer adoption naturally.

Let’s take a closer look at establishing a paved road for developer success, and how platform engineering teams can design governance policies and guardrails to accelerate software delivery and minimize risk.

Embracing the Paved Road for Success

Although it’s tempting to force every development team to use the same technologies to streamline software delivery, the most successful organizations recognize that standardization isn’t the best way forward. Platform engineering is a way to give different software teams autonomy when selecting tools and architectures, while also aligning them with the overall goals and requirements of the organization.

Rather than enforcing the adoption of specific platforms, organizations can mandate certain architecture, security, and compliance obligations. Then software teams can choose to build custom solutions that comply with these requirements or adopt the paved road that platform teams have designed. Developers will naturally gravitate towards internal self-service platforms that ease their workloads, which improves productivity and reduces their reliance on IT operations teams.

To further encourage developer adoption, platform engineering teams can enhance their internal platforms to better meet the needs of their organization. This means taking commercially available tools and building out common capabilities to give developers a jumpstart and address their primary pain points. When platforms handle much of the low-level work, developers will be more likely to adopt these shared services so that they can focus on more valuable tasks.

Elements of an Effective Platform Engineering Platform

The paved road that internal platforms lay out for users should have both governance and guardrails. This ensures developers make choices that are most likely to succeed and unlikely to introduce risk.


The software industry is evolving at a rapid pace, and this has led to many different emerging technologies to consider for each new project. Software teams can become overwhelmed when selecting the most optimal languages, frameworks, and architectures because they don’t have the expertise or bandwidth to understand the hundreds of underlying services that workflows rely on.

Governance is the recommended pathway consisting of components, tools, services, and knowledge that platform engineering teams curate for developers. Governance can accelerate software delivery by providing clear recommendations on the best practices, preferred technologies, and proven architectural patterns for different types of projects. By offering governance for tool selection and architectural approaches, platform engineering teams empower developers to make informed decisions that align with the organization’s overall goals.


Agile methodologies empower different software teams to choose their own programming languages, tools, and architectures for each application or microservice. This flexibility to develop unique software stacks encourages innovation but can also introduce risk if developers adopt technologies that do not meet internal company policies and external regulations.

Guardrails are hard boundaries that developers cannot cross. These guardrails can be features built into platforms so that developers do not need to worry about inadvertently violating security protocols, compliance standards, or architectural best practices. By implementing automated checks and safeguards within internal platforms, organizations can enforce compliance with policies and regulations, which mitigates security risks without impacting developer workloads.

Platform Engineering with AHEAD

As you can see, there are enormous benefits to establishing a paved road for developer success. The challenge for platform engineering teams is obtaining the systems-level knowledge for the complex underlying services that power their platforms. That’s why it’s often helpful to partner with an outside consultant that can help build and optimize internal platforms.

AHEAD’s Platform Engineering as a Service provides the tools and expertise necessary to adopt platform engineering at scale. This includes platform, CI/CD, and Developer Accelerators to automate legacy workflows related to software deployments, infrastructure management, and more. Our engineering team can also customize the templates and runbooks to meet specific business requirements.

Contact AHEAD to learn more about our platform engineering solutions and services.


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