TLDR; Scaling teams are hard. A platform team done right can help ease the hardships.
At Conde Nast International we grew from a team of 20 engineers to less than 100 in less than a year. We found out that building out a system that will be used in many markets has a lot of moving parts and repetition. For example rebuilding the infrastructure and application configuration. Adding third party add-on software. Building the application using CDN redirects. DNS registration and configuration.
The authority of the platform team lies not in the enforcement of standards. But in the subtle steering of the development team into one decision or the other.
Accountability as a team is important to make sure that whenever the team is making a breaking change the rest of the teams are informed.
Blameless post mortem is a requirement to make each of the member feel safe to make changes. Building a better system at the same time taking ownership of the system.
Having a semi flat structure with multiple senior and principal engineer that could make agile decision is recommended. Also having a big team like this with many moving parts would mean that a technical lead role is unsuitable rather having a engineering manager for platform and solution architect is essential.
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