What Happens to Infra Engineers?

Nov 7, 2022

If companies continue to outsource all their infrastructure work to the cloud providers, does infrastructure engineering as a skill set become much rarer?

Pre-cloud, companies rolled out their own data center software and bespoke platforms. Cloud and abstraction of some of those layers changed that. Now companies are much more likely to have platform engineers who piece together building blocks like Kubernetes into developer platforms.

This, too, will be standardized. Instead of platform teams building a thin veneer of functionality over cloud, developers will use cloud directly (or a few companies that successfully solve the developer experience over it).

Of course, there will still be infrastructure engineers who work on things like Kubernetes, but they will only work for Google, Amazon, or Microsoft (or the small host of companies that need to run their own infrastructure).

Just look at Snap — one of the first at-scale companies to start on a high-level PaaS (App Engine). They still have infrastructure engineers, but most of the work is outsourced so they can focus on their differentiated feature development.

IT, Ops, DevOps, Platform Engineers, ???.