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How to prepare for platform engineering

Preparing for a career in platform engineering requires a combination of technical skills, knowledge, and practical experience. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to advance in the field, here are some steps you can take to prepare for a career in platform engineering:

  1. Understand the Basics: Start by gaining a solid understanding of computer science fundamentals, including data structures, algorithms, and object-oriented programming. This knowledge forms the foundation of platform engineering and will help you grasp more advanced concepts later on.
  2. Learn Programming Languages: Platform engineers typically work with a variety of programming languages, so it’s important to become proficient in at least one language commonly used in the industry. Popular choices include Python, Java, JavaScript, and Go. Familiarize yourself with the syntax, features, and best practices of your chosen language(s).
  3. Study Cloud Computing: Platform engineering often involves building and managing cloud-based infrastructure and services. Familiarize yourself with cloud computing platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Learn about key concepts like virtualization, containers, microservices, and serverless computing.
  4. Explore DevOps Practices: DevOps principles and practices play a crucial role in platform engineering. Learn about continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD), infrastructure as code (IaC), configuration management, and automated testing. Familiarize yourself with popular DevOps tools like Jenkins, Ansible, Terraform, and Docker.
  5. Gain Experience with Containers and Orchestration: Containerization technologies like Docker and container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes are essential tools for platform engineers. Learn how to create, deploy, and manage containerized applications using Docker and Kubernetes. Explore concepts like container networking, storage, and security.
  6. Build Projects: Hands-on experience is invaluable in platform engineering. Start building projects that demonstrate your skills and knowledge. This could include creating web applications, building microservices architectures, setting up CI/CD pipelines, or deploying applications to the cloud. Use version control systems like Git to manage your code.
  7. Stay Updated: The field of platform engineering is constantly evolving, with new technologies and practices emerging all the time. Stay updated on industry trends, attend conferences, participate in online forums and communities, and take advantage of online courses and tutorials to continue learning and expanding your skillset.
  8. Network and Collaborate: Networking with other professionals in the field can provide valuable insights and opportunities. Join industry groups, attend meetups, and connect with professionals on platforms like LinkedIn. Collaborate on open-source projects or contribute to community forums to gain exposure and build your reputation.

By following these steps and continuously learning and adapting to new technologies and practices, you can prepare yourself for a successful career in platform engineering. Remember to stay curious, persistent, and proactive in your learning journey.

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