Applying product thinking to slack's internal compute platform

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When creating a platform, it’s critical to have clearly defined customers and products that will benefit from it rather than building in a vacuum. By Javier Turegano Director, Software Engineering @slack.

But, where do we start? It seems to me that we can re-use a lot of the techniques that have been developed over the years when building external products in order to build this compelling internal product. We can simply call this applying product thinking to our internal platform.

We’ve come a long way on applying product thinking to our internal platform at Slack in the last couple of years, in particular to our internal compute orchestration platform, code-named “Bedrock.” The intent of this article is to share some of the initiatives that we have started to bring a product-thinking approach to building our internal platforms.

The article focuses on:

  • Introducing Bedrock
  • How we’ve stayed close to our internal customers
    • User experience interviews
    • User surveys
    • NPS (Net promoter score)
    • Dogfooding
    • User advisory group
    • Self-paced training and video materials
    • Promote your new product features within your own product

In order to be successful in building your internal platform, you can benefit from applying product thinking and developer experience techniques to your processes. At Slack, we obtained feedback from our developers, prioritized our investments, and made our offering more appeal. Nice one!

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