The all-encompassing platform for developers is a myth

Is the discussion around platform superiority a waste of time?

Before I dive into the topic at hand, want to disclose I work much more closely with Pivotal Cloud Foundry then I do with Docker, Kubernetes, or anything else; so my perspective is obviously skewed based on what I work with every day.

One of the most interesting discussions to have right now is the platform/developer discussion. I didn’t know these conversations were happening until about a year ago and I’ve been sucked in since. I’m not necessarily interested in the frankly fruitless conversation of “which platform won”, because I don’t see platforms that way. However, I’m interested in how we view platforms and how we see their relationship with developers.

The line of thought around platforms that fascinate me the most is the platform’s friendliness to developers. How much responsibility do developers need/want in deploying their apps? Turns out despite the somewhat heated conversation around this topic, the answer seems to be that most developers want deployment to be simple. Code is code and they want to throw it somewhere.

As most things go in the world there needs to be some sort of grey area in the platform conversation. Most of the discussions I’m apart of or overhear regarding platforms seem to stick around K8s or CloudFoundry “won”. Or even if everyone agrees that’s a dumb conversation it still rotates around favorites.

To me, the conversation is simple. It’s foolish to say that a platform is for everyone, even within a company. The more I work with CloudFoundry the more I see its benefits for larger enterprises, and the more I dabble in the K8s world I see the customization and endless possibilities for what a developer can do when properly empowered.

At the end of the day, in my noob opinion, the best solution in the coming few years seems to be something along the lines of Eirini. CF on top of K8s. You give the majority of your developers the cf push ease and capabilities of CF, and the underlying infrastructure has the flexibility of K8s.

What I more so find interesting is how long the lifeline of a platform should be. With IaaS+, or K8s, becoming a thing, and CF’s underlying infrastructure to be obviously on its way out, a middle ground seems appropriate. Eirini seems like it’ll get to that point first, but Google and others are certainly on their way. Developer friendly K8s really could be some form of cf push on top of K8s. That’s exciting.