Self-Destructing Feature Flags

Monday, March 14, 2022 - 12:10 pm12:50 pm

Jamie Gaskins, Forem


You deployed an optimization behind a feature flag, tested it yourself in production, and QA signed off. After enabling the feature flag, you monitor error rates for a while between this version vs the last and there has been no significant change, so you decide to go to lunch. Right after you walk out the door, the error rate skyrockets because a group of power users from your largest clients have all just come online.

Obviously the answer is to disable the feature flag, but you're AFK so you have to hop onto Slack to tell someone on your team that that feature flag is the likely culprit so they can disable it. What if they didn't have to disable it manually? What if we automated that? This would be a complete non-event. This approach is what you'll learn about in this talk.

Jamie Gaskins, Forem

Jamie is a Principal Site Reliability Engineer at Forem, the company behind the DEV community and the Forem open-source software on which it runs.

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@conference {278106,
author = {Jamie Gaskins},
title = {{Self-Destructing} Feature Flags},
year = {2022},
address = {San Francisco, CA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = mar

Presentation Video