Cory Trimm

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Before I Begin: The views represented here are my own and have never been views of my employer(s). Last Updated: May 2024

Backstage Software Template Repository

Note: The inspiration for this blog and associate repository post came from this Hacker News discussion.

Don’t want to read the below - the Backstage Software Template Repo is located here.

Why is this important?

One of my strong convictions is that in order to have a strong User Experience you must have a strong Developer Experience. Internal tools should be treated as products and should be evaluated as such - this includes research, design, etc. in order to ensure that these Enterprise Tools actually resolve pain points - instead of create more.

What is Backstage? by Spotify is (currently) a free and open source way to build out an internal developer portal (IDP) to add calm to the chaos that is a LARGE Enterprise IT shop. I’m not so sold on the utility of Backstage for small startups, but, I do think there is a lot of value add for GovTech / CivicTech to utilize an IDP.

screenshot of the costs plugin on the website

How to show value of an internal developer portal quickly

From my experience, I believe that in order to receive buy-in to expand an internal developer portal, you need to quickly show demo the following in 1 week or less:

Why should Civic Tech orgs have an IDP?

There are quite a few reasons why a team should consider implementing an Internal Developer Portal. In the space that I’ve operated in, contractors are typically the folks that are ‘doing’. By implementing Backstage (or another IDP), you can add a centralized jumping off point that treats documentation like code and puts a bit more ‘control’ over Platform Sprawl.

For example, by using an opinionated way that a React Application should be built out (i.e. on a secure base image containing pre-approved utility packages) teams can accelerate delivery timelines by not having to do a bunch of DevSecOps. Not only this, but the software templates can automatically index the new project in the Software Catalog that is hosted in Backstage - essentially limiting where net-new documentation lives.

Where is the repo?

You can find the Backstage Software Template repository here. This repo includes everything from decision records to automating the net-new application deployments on AWS / GCP / Azure. Over time, I’m hoping the repository will have other contributors adding in new automation capabilities.

Please be sure to read the in order to add these software templates to your backstage installation.

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