Engineering Your Organization: Services, Platforms, and Communities

All organizations are wrong, but some are useful. This session discusses the different ways high-performing engineering organizations gain leverage by specialization and sharing. Taking an engineering approach, we can factor out common capabilities into Services, Platforms, and Communities, with the goal of enabling other teams to sustainably deliver specialized value to customers and to the business.  

With common Services, organizations effectively divide work and expertise by domain. We discuss full-stack teams, the healthy vendor-customer relationship between provider and consumer, and the need to allow customer teams to choose whether or not to use a service.  

With a common Platform (or platforms), organizations share foundational capabilities and make it easier to build, deploy, and operate services and applications. We discuss the value of a Paved Road a la Netflix or Google, the fear of lock-in, and the need to charge customer teams for usage of the platform.  

With common Communities of Practice, organizations share ideas, practices, and idioms outside the formal organizational structure. We also discuss the value of an internal open source model for developing and improving shared systems.  

Lastly, we outline the critical characteristics of Leadership that make all of this possible, including technical competence of leaders, employee empowerment, psychological safety, and inclusive decision-making.  

You will take away actionable insights you can apply in your own organization.


Randy Shoup

VP Engineering and Chief Architect @eBay
Randy has spent more than two decades building distributed systems and high performing teams, and has worked as a senior technology leader at eBay, Google, and Stitch Fix. He coaches CTOs, advises companies, and generally makes a nuisance of himself wherever possible. He is currently VP... Read more Find Randy Shoup at:

Wednesday May 26 / 11:10AM EDT (40 minutes)

TRACK Optimizing Your Organization for Speed TOPICS Organizational Patterns ADD TO CALENDAR Calendar IconAdd to calendar

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