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Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2014 (Bloomington, MN) with: Alec Irwin
Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2014 (Bloomington, MN) with: Alec Irwin

Working Code Podcast - Episode 018: Feature Flags

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For me and my team, few things have fundamentally changed the product development life-cycle as much as LaunchDarkly, a feature flag management platform. Feature flags allow software engineers to separate the "deployment" of code from the "releasing" of code. Which means safer deployments; instantaneous roll-backs; smaller Pull Requests (PRs); incremental feature development; load-testing with real-world traffic; and - generally speaking - a big bowl of awesome sauce that you didn't even know you needed! And, once you have it, you realize that you can't live without it.

Mic drop!

But, while Feature Flags may seem magical, they aren't magic. And, moving feature flags through a product development life-cycle requires a certain degree of discipline. Because if you leave feature flags in your code for too long, your application logic can quickly devolve into an unclear, unpredictable maze of control-flow spaghetti.

In other news, the Working Code crew is also about to embark on their fist book club adventure, starting with Clean Code by Robert Martin (aka, "Uncle Bob"). We intend to review this book in the May 12th episode. Feel free to follow along!

And just when you thought things couldn't get any better, the Working Code Podcast now has a party line! Just kidding; but, we do have an answering service at (512) 253-2633. Please leave us a message with with your comments, questions, and anything else you feel like sharing. We miss hearing your voices!

Or, listen to the full audio:

Listen to Episode 018, with:

Triumphs & Failures

  • Adam's Triumph - Historically, when his team needed to host a private npm module, they've stored it in a private GitHub repository and then used git URLs within the package.json file. And, this worked most of the time. But, it was wonky and there were lots of quirks and edge-cases and they've been on the lookout for a better solution. Enter stage left: GitHub Packages. These allow you to "officially" store npm modules right alongside the rest of your GitHub hosted code - no hacks, no troubles.

  • Ben's Triumph (that's me) - I'm generally very regimented about the hours that I keeps. But, in the wake of losing both my Project Manger (PM) and his Engineering Manager (EM), I've been struggling to properly prioritize all the work on his plate. And, instead of being smarter, I've opted to work harder by putting in a few extra hours here-and-there. I understand that it's a slippery slope; and, it's not the life-style that I wants to live; but, I feel like if I can just get ahead of it, I'm confident that I'll get back on the right track.

  • Carol's Triumph - She's been wanting to build something with React as means to level-up on her front-end skills. And she finally finished going through a Udemy course on React! Next step: React side project (possibly to track her water intake).

  • Tim's Triumph - He's launching a skunk works project that is based on a previous skunk works project. It feels a little bit rogue; and a little bit cowboy; but, it also feels kind of amazing and is something that Tim recommends to everyone (assuming that they have some free time to commit).

ASIDE: A "skunk works project" is a secret project that the rest of (or most of) your company doesn't know about until there's a big reveal. These types of projects may or may not be authorized by the company itself.

For the full show notes and links, visit the episode page.

Follow the show! Our website is and we're @WorkingCodePod on Twitter and Instagram. New episodes weekly on Wednesday.

Reader Comments

I believe in love. I believe in compassion. I believe in human rights. I believe that we can afford to give more of these gifts to the world around us because it costs us nothing to be decent and kind and understanding. And, I want you to know that when you land on this site, you are accepted for who you are, no matter how you identify, what truths you live, or whatever kind of goofy shit makes you feel alive! Rock on with your bad self!
Ben Nadel