Taming Irreversibility with Feature Flags

10:15am - 10:40am on Friday, October 4 in PennTop North

Hugo Bessa

Slides:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1O4UjUFL39CIKcAXvIz5SUO_Yi1uj8Csc7EAplp1T-4Y/edit?usp=drivesdk

Description

It’s been 10 years since Flickr’s development team documented the use of Feature Flags in their software. Tech giants like Google and Facebook have also stated their use, yet weirdly enough there seems to be only but few around the community benefitting from feature flipping.

Flags make toggling whole features on and off without touching the code possible. This can help the development team not only by cutting down on response time to disasters but also by loading on peace of mind for developers. There are also great improvements on code sync frequency and in the launching flow of new features - especially in applications with a large sum of users.

Along with these great benefits, feature flags also raise some concerns: there are multiple strategies to implement them and numerous new things to worry about when developing new gated features. From the tools you can use to store and retrieve your flags to the way you can maintain your application’s consistency in edge cases scenarios.

This talk focuses on some of the benefits and challenges faced when using feature flags on team projects, and how to extract their best value without losing sight of code quality.

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