Using Feature Management to Move Faster without Friction

How Coder uses LaunchDarkly to enable teams to deploy faster, while decreasing merging issues.

Coder Overview

Increased developer velocity by 15%

Increased developer velocity by 15%

Saving thousands of dollars a month by eliminating staging server

Saving thousands of dollars a month by eliminating staging server

Changes to production occur in just minutes, instead of days or weeks

Changes to production occur in just minutes, instead of days or weeks

Coder Timeline

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Challenge

Coder is relentlessly focused on enhancing the developer experience. Internally, they are "obsessed with engineering velocity", as CTO Ammar Bandukwala puts it. But as they began scaling teams, Coder started to see a dramatic decrease in both development velocity and developer happiness. Merge conflicts and rollbacks were also occurring with increasing frequency.

Coder’s CTO wanted to help the growing engineering team move fast without friction. They recognized that any tool they chose would have to protect the "development pipeline", meaning that it could not increase the time it took for an engineer to get new code deployed to production. They saw feature flagging as a solution that would help engineers move faster, as well as address merge conflicts and rollbacks.

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Solution

LaunchDarkly enabled Coder’s growing engineering team to streamline their development pipeline. With LaunchDarkly, the team can safely engage in trunk-based development and deploy directly to production, hiding features behind a flag. This reduces time in the development pipeline, and eliminates the need for a staging environment. While the team was most excited to see an increase in developer velocity, they were also pleased they no longer had to divert budget and other resources to maintain an up-to-date staging environment for the many microservices they have. Furthermore, LaunchDarkly’s straightforward pricing meant that as Coder’s team continues to grow, their subscription will scale with them predictably.

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Results

With LaunchDarkly, Coder is deploying simple changes to production in just 10 minutes. The team is engaging in trunk-based development, prevents divergence and merging issues. Larger, more complex changes are deployed to production in just a matter of hours, not days or weeks. And now that the team no longer needs to maintain a complex staging server, they are saving many development hours and thousands of dollars a month.

After implementing LaunchDarkly, Coder found that they could also leverage feature management to automate the de-provisioning of account signups from bad actors, specifically those looking to use Coder's free tier to mine cryptocurrency. Prior to LaunchDarkly, the engineering team would have to turn off accounts that were abusing its service. Now, with LaunchDarkly, Coder checks signups against a blacklist they've developed and uses a feature flag to grant entitlements to new customers only after they pass the blacklist check.

LaunchDarkly is a secret power up that gives us an edge.

Ammar Bandukwala

CTO, Coder

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