2F’s Anthony Butt Breaks Down Platforms and PaaS on Rise8’s Prodacity Speaker Series

December 6, 2022

Rise8 has launched the Prodacity Speaker Series, a series of webinars featuring past Prodacity speakers, with the first episode featuring Anthony (callsign “Cheeks”) Butt, Second Front Systems’™ Principal Engineer. Butt was featured as a speaker for Prodacity 2022.

The episode is hosted by Jeffery Wills, a software engineer with Rise8. Wills describes himself as a user of platforms and former builder and operator, having stood up the Pivotal Cloud Foundry at Kessel Run.

Butt is also a user, developer, and operator of platforms with experience in Kubernetes (K8s)

But what are platforms? That is the question Butt and and Wills begin with in this webinar, as well as distinguishing platforms from platforms-as-a-service (PaaS).

Butt believes a platform is “any set of tooling that makes someone's life easier.” He continued, “I like to distill it pretty far down there because I think we detract too much from that.”

Platforms take on a different definition depending on who you ask, and Butt comes to the conclusion that it comes down to the intent of the platform. He considers platforms to be more like a defined set of tools that provide capabilities for a distinct subset of people, while PaaS, within context, is meant for a wider audience, less opinionated, and offers less total control.

“We need to understand that inherently platforms are opinionated, and the best ones have the most opinionation, in some ways, and that they need to be opinionated on behalf of their users,” said Butt.

Expounding on his thoughts on K8s, Butt talks about how K8s was built to be abstract and provide a basic set of tools, but that it is a complex and complicated undertaking to implement. He notes that often software stakeholders are unaware of this.

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