Agile + DevOps East 2021 Concurrent Session : Effectively Managing Feature Flags

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 11:45am to 12:45pm

Effectively Managing Feature Flags

Our repo has around 300K lines of code and more active feature flags at any given moment than we have fingers and toes. As we have moved into a world of continuous deployment with controlled releases, the use of feature flags has become an essential way of writing software. Yet, when we started out, we ended up with code that was hard to read, hard to reason about, and hard to manage. After exploring several strategies, we have found a pattern that aligns feature flags with larger code units (classes, components, reducers, actions) rather than at individual lines of code. This alleviates much of the pain that a naîve application of feature flags to a code base can introduce, restoring the development velocity we need. I’ll share what works for us and pass along some tips for right-sizing practices to your unique situation. While the focus here is on a front end codebase (JavaScript/React/Redux), the principles will apply to any language or domain.

Split Software

David Burrowes is a software engineer at Split.io with a decade of experience developing web applications for companies like Box, Delphix, and VMware. Having worked without feature flags, and with clunky in-house feature flagging frameworks, David is deliriously happy to have all of Split's capabilities at his disposal for every project. For fun, and to prove he’s more Star Trek than Star Wars, David likes to randomly quote large sections for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.