# Contents


  • Adopting a platform engineering approach streamlines developer onboarding and enhances productivity.

  • "Golden Paths" provide pre-architected and supported approaches to building and deploying software, simplifying the onboarding process.

  • Automation plays a vital role in simplifying onboarding by reducing manual tasks and ensuring consistency.

In the fast-paced world of software development, efficient and seamless onboarding of new developers is critical to increasing productivity and reducing time-to-market.

However, traditional onboarding processes can be arduous and time-consuming, hindering developers from quickly contributing to projects. The good news is that organizations can simplify the onboarding process and create a smoother path to productivity with the right strategy and a solid platform engineering approach.

"Successful organizations are adopting platform teams that bring together different disciplines to enhance developer productivity and create Golden Paths for smooth application development." - James Governor, RedMonk

This article will explore overcoming developer onboarding woes by adopting an effective strategy and implementing a platform engineering approach.

Adopting a Platform Engineering Approach

Successful organizations are turning to platform engineering teams to streamline the onboarding process. These teams combine interdisciplinary skills and focus on creating a platform that enhances developer productivity.

By establishing "Golden Paths" of productivity, these platform engineering teams ensure developers have the tools and resources to hit the ground running.

The concept of Golden Paths, as outlined in the article "Designing Golden Paths," is a crucial element of a practical platform engineering approach for developer onboarding. Golden Paths refer to pre-architected and supported approaches to building and deploying software applications. These paths provide developers with a streamlined and standardized onboarding experience, allowing them to quickly get up to speed and contribute to projects without learning all the underlying technical details.

Netflix, known for its innovative technological approach, refers to the Golden Path as the "Paved Road." Similar to Spotify's Golden Path, this concept revolves around providing developers with a standardized set of tools, frameworks, and services.

Both Spotify's Golden Paths and Netflix's Paved Road demonstrate the value of establishing a curated and supported path for developers to follow within an Internal Developer Platform (IDP).

This approach simplifies decision-making, reduces fragmentation, and fosters collaboration, ultimately increasing developer productivity and satisfaction.

Golden Paths should possess the following:

  1. Optional: Golden Paths should not be the only way of doing things within an IDP. There should be room for flexibility and innovation outside of the established paths.

  2. Transparent abstractions: Golden Paths create abstractions that simplify the development process without hiding the underlying technology. Developers should be able to understand and modify the Golden Path if needed.

  3. Extensibility: Golden Paths should be configurable and allow developers to augment them with additional capabilities, such as adding new pipeline steps or deployment manifests. However, extensions should not conflict with the Golden Path to ensure ongoing support.

While providing flexibility and freedom to developers is essential, certain constraints may be necessary, particularly in regulated industries where compliance and data sovereignty are significant concerns. Platform teams take the responsibility of managing these constraints, allowing developers to focus on building application functionality.

By providing pre-architected and supported approaches, organizations can ensure consistency, reduce duplication of efforts, and empower developers to quickly and seamlessly contribute to projects.

Efficient Developer Onboarding

One of the areas where the platform engineering approach has a significant impact is in the realm of developer onboarding. Traditional onboarding processes can be time-consuming and result in lost productivity. However, with a robust strategy, the onboarding experience can be as simple as hopping on an bike.

"Finding the right balance between accommodating developers' preferences and adhering to organizational constraints is crucial for a positive developer experience." - James Governor, RedMonk

The goal is to reduce the onboarding process from minutes, hours, or even days to seconds. Achieving this requires careful planning, automation, and clear documentation that guides new developers through the necessary steps while maintaining security and compliance measures.

Simplifying Onboarding with Automation

Automation plays a vital role in simplifying the onboarding process. Organizations can reduce the time and effort required to onboard new developers by automating repetitive and manual tasks.

Automation tools can help set up development environments, provision necessary software and dependencies, and configure access levels and permissions. This eliminates tedious manual processes and ensures consistency across onboarding experiences.

Through automation, organizations can provide new developers with a seamless and standardized onboarding process, allowing them to quickly become productive contributors to their teams.

Balancing Flexibility and Guidance

While automation streamlines the onboarding process, it is essential to balance flexibility and guidance. Developers often have different preferences, and allowing them to personalize their setup can enhance their satisfaction and productivity. However, it is equally crucial to establish guardrails that maintain security, compliance, and consistent coding standards.

Through effective platform engineering, organizations can create a balance allowing developers to work within defined boundaries while leveraging their preferred tools and configurations.

Adopting a Platform Engineering Approach

Overcoming developer onboarding challenges is crucial for organizations aiming to maximize productivity and reduce time-to-market.

Organizations can create a simplified and efficient onboarding process by adopting a platform engineering approach. Through careful planning, automation, and a balance between flexibility and guidance, organizations can ensure that new developers onboard quickly and seamlessly, contributing to the success of their teams and the overall business.

Embracing the simplicity of a streamlined onboarding process not only enhances productivity but also sets the stage for long-term success in the ever-evolving world of software development.

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  • onboarding
  • platform engineering
  • golden paths