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Test in Production Panel Discussion on Configs, Feature Flags and Automated Canaries

At LaunchDarkly, we host a monthly Test in Production Meetup ( in the Bay Area where we ask the DevOps community to show how they test in production, and share learnings and best practices around doing it safely. Testing in production isn’t something everyone is comfortable doing. There’s a lot of risk involved with exposing new functionality to users, especially features you’re still validating. We really enjoy hearing from other organizations about how they do this — test in production safely — what they’ve learned, best practices to live by, and new ways to automate processes. We recently discussed configurations and feature flags with a panel of speakers. We questioned configurations in general — how much do you want to rely on a single state vs configs as code that you can test, roll back, and fix. “I think at the end of the day, all of these things are about, maybe not configuration because configuration is just the state of the world, right? It is the truth that is out there. But both canaries and feature flags are just ways that you can gain confidence when there really isn't any confidence.” - Tim Wong, LaunchDarkly Before our discussion, however, the three panelists gave their own talks. Brandon Leach, Senior Engineering Manager at Lookout, spoke about increasing deployment safety with metric-based canaries and how his organization used canaries to move towards continuous development. LaunchDarkly's Principal Technical Account Manager and Chief of Staff, Tim Wong, gave a talk about ways you can manage operational risks with feature flagging. And TR Jordan head of Marketing at TurbineLabs (recently a part of Slack), gave a talk about how his team tries to get configs as code, phases rollouts to prevent downtime, and moves what they can into machine-driven states so they can focus on important config changes. Watch the video for the panel discussion and learn more about how these organizations think about decreasing the risks involved with releasing continuously. If you’re interested in joining us at a future Meetup, you can sign up here: #launchdarkly #testinproduction Subscribe to LaunchDarkly: Learn more about LaunchDarkly: Website: LinkedIn: Twitter: About LaunchDarkly: Feature management allows development teams to innovate faster by fundamentally transforming how software is delivered to customers. With the ability to gradually release new software features to any segment of users on any platform, DevOps teams can standardize safe releases at scale, accelerate their journey to the cloud and collaborate more effectively with business teams. Today, LaunchDarkly deploys peaks of 20 trillion feature flags each day, and that number continues to grow. Founded in 2014 in Oakland, California by Edith Harbaugh and John Kodumal, LaunchDarkly has been named on the Forbes Cloud 100 list, InfoWorld’s 2021 Technology of the Year list, and the Enterprise Tech 30 list.