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Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.

Video Presentation: Feature Flags Change Everything About Product Development

By Ben Nadel on
Tags: ColdFusion, Work

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of participating in the Adobe ColdFusion Developer Week conference. I wanted to share a topic that I am extremely keen on: Feature Flags. My presentation was called, Feature Flags Change Everything About Product Development - a title that is in no way hyperbolic. The presentation covers what feature flags are; how I use them in my day-to-day work; how critical they've become to the product development workflow at InVision; and, how I can't imaging life without them. I hope that this presentation gets you jazzed-up about how feature flags might take your engineering efforts to the next level!

To view this video in higher quality, or to watch all of the other videos from the Adobe ColdFusion Developer week, proceed to the Adobe Video Portal. There, you just need to click, "Join Now", and you're in like Flynn!

A lot of the information in this presentation is also covered as prose in my post, Personal Best Practices For Using LaunchDarkly Feature Flags. Of course, you miss some of the color and nuance (and GIFs) that I'm able to express in the video presentation.

I want to give a special shout-out to LaunchDarkly, my feature flag service of choice. It can be pricey; but, it works flawlessly and makes my life so much easier.

And, of course, a huge shout-out to Adobe ColdFusion and Lucee CFML - without you, my life wouldn't be nearly as fun, or efficient, as it is today. You truly make product development a joyful experience!

Slides

I've exported my slides as PNGs, which means that you don't get to see some of the fun GIFs that I included. To view the slides in full-fidelity, go to my Google Slides for Feature Flags Change Everything About Product Development



Reader Comments

Great presentation! Was lead here by the latest Modernize or Die podcast episode and so glad I did. While I do use a couple flags like this at a super high level, your talk opened my eyes on how they could be used in so many more ways (flag-based production load-testing = awesome). Love the incremental / quick PR / fast shipping aspect too!

Oh and while here I discovered your podcast too..... #subscribed

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@Dan,

I'm so excited that you are excited about feature flags. Embracing them has probably improved my development more than anything else in the past 5-years. I liken it to using git for the first time and suddenly being able to create branches and experiment, and then just throw those experiments away if they don't work out.

Feel free to hit me up about any of this stuff - obviously I have some strong opinions 😂

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@Ben,

So funny you mention that correlation. My thoughts exactly! I remember when someone first introduced me to git years ago, I walked around with a feeling of weightlessness for days! I can see where aspects of this have that same benefit.

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Hi Ben! I too was super excited after your presentation... not only is this exactly what I need for one of my biggest clients (after updates to Firefox blew up the large suite of Selenium tests we'd used for years as our integration testing) but they also LOVE doing things like A-B testing and having that ability to use with new or changed features is such a big plus. We're planning a lot of big code migrations that will be done piecemeal over the next couple years so feature flags will be a HUGE benefit to making that a lot less painful to get through.

I do wish there was an easy way to find all the feature flag related posts on your blog (no tagging?? really?!😄) so would love a post that along with your very excellent list of best practices, lists out some of the best and most useful posts on using feature flags to those of us that are new to them. Along with any good external resources.

In looking at what platform to use, like your favorite LaunchDarkly and some other platforms like www.split.io which has a free version with unlimited MLKs, this seems the biggest stumbling block in making a recommendation to a client when you are new to feature flags, particularly one with a very busy website, figuring out exactly what features you need and how much it is going to cost them.

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@Mary Jo,

I'm 💪 super pumped up 💪 to hear that you enjoyed my presentation. That really means the world to me. And, that you're excited about feature flags. They really are a game-changer.

About the blog organization, adding "tagging" is on my list of projects to do one day. I agree, it would make finding things much easier. I search my site all the time; but, I use Google's site: feature to search my own content 🤣 It's not a perfect situation, but it works for the moment.

Really, I should maybe add a Search box that does that for me (ie, just directs the user to the Google with the site: filled-in already.

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