My journey with Platform all started a few years ago when I read Key Person of Influence. It ultimately prompted my intrigue with writing. Blown away by the ideas in this book I had to dig deeper. This is when I discovered books talking about similar concepts:
I recommend them all.
The concept of Platform can apply to every type of software developer career. It doesn’t matter if you: want to work full time, start a business or go into management … The concepts of Platform apply no matter your career vision.
What is a platform?
A platform is the strategic leveraging of online presence. Having a blog/website and a platform aren’t synonymous. A platform is the sum of all the individual parts of your online presence. A platform has a unified vision and an intent to share it. With a target audience to share it with, too.
Examples of great platforms
The idea of a platform for software developers is best described by seeing it in action.
Learn to code with me
Learn to code with me – Laurence decided she wanted to learn to code. But she did it with a twist. Instead of only learning on her own, she shared her learnings with the world. Through her blog, Laurence cultivated an audience of young developers. All looking to make a splash in tech. The strategic building of her platform allowed Laurence to land her dream job. At Teachable the online course platform. Laurence (amongst many other things) has a podcast, online courses and a Facebook group. All these parts form her platform.
Simple Programmer – Jon Sonmez is the owner of Simple Programmer. Jon is the author of the books: Soft Skills: The Software Developers Life Manual and The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide. He has many online courses hosted on his website and also on Pluralsight. Jon is an active YouTuber. Currently, he’s doing several high-quality videos every single day! Jon’s platform centres around helping software developers advance their careers and lives.
Thoughtram – Thoughtram is different to the others. Thoughtram has 3 owners. But they leveraged the principles of Platform the same. Thoughtram is all about writing great Angular code. They deliver seminars and training both online and in person. As well as some awesome online tutorials/blogs. An amazing platform with a very specific audience.
There are many other tech industry platform owners such as Kyle Simpson of the You Don’t Know JS series. Troy Hunt, an online security specialist. And even my good friend and colleague Miiro Juuso of Get Into Devops.
The list goes on. All these software developers have the same thing in common. They have a definite purpose and a medium to communicate it. They’ve laid claim to a metaphorical piece of land that they now call their home. It is their brand. It is their Platform. It is the ‘Platform’ which they utilise to share their vision and ideas.
Having a platform can be great for your software developer career. The only thing it takes is the commitment to a single audience member. And the desire to create great content/value for that specific person or group. It might take a lot of time and effort, but it will definitely be worth it. To find out more about Platform building I’d recommend Michael Hyatt’s book Platform: Get noticed in a noisy world.
If you were to build a platform who would be your target audience?