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Prioritizing Platform Development

Alex Brashear

Product Manager

The New York Times

Alex Brashear is a former iOS developer now Product Manager for The New York Times Android and iOS apps.


As an application scales and more engineers come on board, the prospect of all the new things you will be able to build for your users is incredible. But sometimes the idyllic vision of more engineers = more features doesn’t pan out. Fast and effective development is as much an issue of what tools you have in place for your developers as it is how many developers you have. In other words, focusing on creating an amazing experience for your developers will better enable you to create an amazing experience for your users. At the New York Times we call this “Platform” level work, and this year we built a team that focuses on developer effectiveness and foundational support for our mobile teams with the mission of making NYT the best place to build apps. Why should you invest in a platform team? What kind of work should a platform team prioritize? This talk will attempt to answer these questions while exploring some lessons learned, challenges overcome, and even some lingering, unanswered questions about building a platform app development team.

Introductory and overview

Lightning talk