Experimentation is a huge part of getting your product right, whether it’s trying out a new feature or potential tweaks to existing elements of your app. When it comes to running these kinds of product tests, using feature flags can be a really effective and minimally disruptive way to go.
We spoke to David Martin, Senior Solution Engineer at Split, about how feature flags open up dynamic, low-risk possibilities for product experimentation—and, thanks to Split and Mixpanel’s integration, without leaving data holes in your valuable product analytics.
Feature flags have been used by engineers since prehistoric times, even before Martin Fowler popularized them. Early flags turned snippets of code on and off, usually with configuration or properties files and sometimes in the database. Using a feature flag meant you could engage in trunk-based development.
When it comes to experimentation through feature flags, the big selling points are being able to easily turn a feature on or off for a specific cohort of users, sometimes as small as 1% to start, in order to minimize the disruption to your overall user base.