Before starting Port, me and my co-founder and CTO were Platform engineers in a large enterprise, building a DevPortal used by many developers. I would like to share 5 lessons we learned while building it, do's, dont's, product concepts, etc.
1. Changes are hard but worth it. The developers had got used to the freedom to work in their own way. You'll meet resistance if you introduce a new way of working and suddenly ‘force’ them to implement it, even if it’s as simple as a specific folder structure.
2. Ticketing systems are not enough, self-serve for the win. We had many templates for our tickets, and we were constantly improving them. Yet, no matter how hard we tried, there were always special requests or vital missing information. The biggest issue with the ticketing system was the level of manual work our DevOps teams had to do.
3. Balancing DevOps <> Developers priorities is a fine line.
As a person immersed in DevOps, I need to know that infrastructure is deployed ideally, well-monitored, and not hitting peaks. Don’t even mention things like “out of RAM.”
4. Fit your solution to the organizational structure
5. Once the system stabilized, the possibilities were limitless! After going through the inevitable growing pains with adoption and platform positivity, we discussed with DevOps, team leaders, developers, and stakeholders. Then, taking advantage of the fact that everything infrastructure is centralized, we came up with awesome ideas for improvements.