June 8

Where we went wrong in building a self-service platform on Kubernetes

In building a self-service platform on Kubernetes, we aimed to give application developers autonomy over their own services. But did we go too far in giving developers control? Join us as we explore how to find the right balance between standardization and flexibility when building a self-service platform.
Talk abstract

In the dark ages of pre-Kubernetes at Affirm, application developers toiled over many tasks when it came to maintaining their service. Creating a new service took months, giving your service access to external resources could take weeks, and viewing machine logs was restricted: In short, infrastructure was a huge bottleneck.

Then came Kubernetes. We were finally able to build a self-service platform! But, in our efforts to place developers back in the driver’s seat, did we go too far in the other direction? 

We will cover:

  • How Affirm built a self-service platform, including the tools and tech we used to implement critical guardrails
  • Where we went wrong in offering flexibility to developers (and what we’re doing to correct it)
  • And the lessons learned about balancing flexibility with simplicity