The Difference Between Platform and Developer Experience Engineers
In recent years we have seen the creation of a new and highly important role within software teams, that of the developer experience engineer. Whilst closely related, there are differences between the two careers which we will try to explain in detail here.
What Does a Platform Engineer Do?
Platform engineers specialize in building, deploying and maintaining the infrastructure that applications run on. They design and create cloud-based systems such as databases, web servers, networking hardware and storage solutions. Their job is to ensure that the system they have built is reliable, secure, efficient and easy to manage. They may also be involved in developing new features for existing systems or helping with problem solving when there are issues with the platform. Platform engineers typically work closely with sysadmins to ensure that their platform is running optimally.
What Does a Developer Experience Engineer Do?
Developer experience (DX) engineers focus on making sure developers have an enjoyable experience when using their software products. This involves creating documentation, writing tutorials, designing APIs and other tools that make development easier. DX engineers also help maintain code quality by providing feedback on coding style, performance optimization and security best practices. They often collaborate with product managers to develop new features or improvements to existing ones and strive to create a positive developer experience across all of their products.
A platform engineer focuses on building reliable infrastructure while a developer experience engineer focuses on making sure developers have an enjoyable experience when using their software products. Both roles are important in creating successful software applications and build the foundations for a better overall developer experience.