We had a really great turnout and a vibrant meetup hosted by Andre Kaminski, featuring three topics last night:

  • Entropy in DevOps Teams: Andrew Rose
  • The Virtues of Being T-shaped: Kyle Young
  • Progressive Exposure Using Feature Flags: Willy Schaub

You can find a copy of my feature flags presentation HERE. Let me know if the link to OneDrive is blocked by your firewall, so that I can share the deck with you through some other channel.

Top 6 FAQs from my talk

  • What's DevOps and what's the link to the session?
Definition of DevOps and link to the feature flag session
  • When should I use rings versus feature flags?
    I think of a package when using the ring-based deployment model to deploy a release and a small screwdriver to "tweak" feature flags to fine-tune the release. See Deploying new releases: Feature flags or rings? for more details.
  • How do I manage the technical debt introduced by feature flags?
    KEEP IT SIMPLE! Define technical governance to clearly define who owns the feature flags, when and how to remove feature flags and the associated technical debt,  and scenarios that are suitable for feature flags.
  • What do we mean with "Do not hide non-production ready code behind feature flags"?
    Production ready implies hat we have met an agreed quality bar and are confident to release the feature to production. It does not mean feature ready, as we may expose a production ready minimally viable product to perform experiments and A|B testing. Risk of hiding non-production ready code behind feature flags is high - it's easy to flip a switch and expose incomplete,unstable, of security breeches by mistake
  • Why LaunchDarkly?
    You need to investigate and create your own opinion, but here are a few highlights from our evaluation:
    - It's a Software as a Service (SaaS)
    - Simple administration
    - Support for experimentation
    - Feature flag dependency management
    - Identify stale flags
    - Rules to manage exposure and blast radius
    - ... and much more!
  • Can you tell me more about circuit breakers?
    Hystrix evolved out of resilience engineering work that the Netflix API team began in 2011. See A Rough Path, by Brian Harry for an example, where circuit breakers could have protected us from an Ops meltdown, caused by "flipping a flag".

Two epiphanies

Any feedback? Any questions on the session, our feature flag manifesto, or our  evaluation? Add a comment below!