Platform Engineering vs DevOps: What's the Difference?

Quick Answers: Platform Engineering vs DevOps

Platform engineering and DevOps have distinct responsibilities. But they work together to optimize IT infrastructure. To understand how they relate, read on.

Shamyla Riaz, MS A photo of Shamyla Riaz, MS

Shamyla Riaz, MS

Cloud and IoT Expert

Our quick answers series is here to deliver easy, speedy answers to some of the most common cloud tech queries. Today, we’ll be covering the key differences between two popular software development methodologies - platform engineering and DevOps.

What’s the Difference Between DevOps and Platform Engineering?

Platform engineering and DevOps are two different but complementary approaches to operations. They have distinct responsibilities but work together to optimize application delivery in terms of speed and efficiency.

The DevOps approach is to improve code quality, reduce deployment time, and accelerate development cycles. In contrast, Platform Engineering focuses on the design, development, and management of technical platforms which can be used by developers. 

Both approaches share common company goals, whilst focusing on different aspects of managing a company’s IT infrastructure.

Comparing the Two

The lists below present the key differences between Platform Engineering and DevOps:

Primary Focus

  • Platform Engineering: Platform Engineering focuses on building and developing internal platforms. These consolidates developer tools, webflows, and other user requirements.

  • DevOps: The focus of the DevOps team is to deliver the technical features of an application.


  • Platform Engineering: The Platform Engineering team is responsible for explaining and evangelizing the platform to internal customers, such as the DevOps team.

  • DevOps: The DevOps team is responsible for directly releasing the features to external audiences like software customers.


  • Platform Engineering: The Platform Engineering team will focus on defining their platform by finding and understanding the customer’s (developers) requirements.

  • DevOps: A DevOps team will address specific technical and engineering challenges related to their delivery focus.

Is Platform Engineering Replacing DevOps?

Platform Engineering shouldn’t be considered as a replacement for DevOps. Rather, platform engineering is a complementary practice.

The primary objective of DevOps is to enhance operations by using innovative tools and collaboration frameworks. Platform Engineering builds internal developer platforms that can help remove bottlenecks and improve efficiency in application development. Think of them as different sides of the same coin.

The teams that do DevOps and Platform Engineering have distinct responsibilities and target audiences.

Other Common Questions and Answers

Is Platform Engineering the Next Evolution of DevOps?

It’s more of an offshoot of DevOps, rather than a replacement. Certain projects would benefit more with a DevOps approach, and vice versa.

Is Platform Engineering Better than DevOps?

Neither methodology is better than the other, and this is because they both approach development 1) from different angles and 2) focus on completely different tasks and objectives. They’re complementary rather than competing. In fact, platform engineering and DevOps teams routinely collaborate together on projects.

In Conclusion

To sum up, although Platform Engineering is considered a distinct practice,  it is commonly included as part of a DevOps strategy. From another viewpoint, DevOps is a broader concept than Platform Engineering. It involves a complete workflow of activities that go beyond internal development tasks.

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