A guide outlining the steps that should be taken when it comes to sunsetting features
Everyone hates tests. Ever since our school days, just hearing the word ‘test’ puts us on high alert and brings nothing but dread.
It seems we cannot escape the word even in software development. And it’s not just any test but a ‘test in production’.
Yes, it is the dreaded phrase that leaves you sweating and your heart pounding. Just reading the phrase may make you envision apocalyptic images of the inevitable disaster that could occur in its wake...
We, too, hate tests but even we have to admit that testing in production is a pretty big deal now. Let us tell you why before you run away in horror…
If it helps, think of it more as an essential part of your software development process and less as an actual ‘test’ where the only two options are pass or fail but for the sake of consistency and clarity, we’ll refer to it here as testing in production and who knows? Maybe by the end of this article, it won’t be so scary anymore!
So here’s the low-down...
First things first, what is testing in production? Testing in production is when you test new code changes on live users rather than a staging or testing environment.
It may sound downright terrifying when you think about it. So what? You have a feature that is brand new and you’re supposed to unleash it to the wild just like that?
Let us break it down for you with the help of our finest selection of memes about test in production...
At this point, you’re probably vehemently shaking your head. The risks are simply too high for you to consider, especially in this day and age of fickle customers who might leave you at the drop of a hat if you make any simple mistake.
You may have a well-established product and you cannot risk upsetting your customers, especially your most loyal customers, and damaging your well-crafted reputation by releasing a potentially buggy feature.
Or you might even just be starting out and you simply cannot afford to make any amateur mistakes.
Why, oh why, should I test in production?
We’re here to tell you that you should absolutely test in production and here’s your answer as to why:
Testing in production allows you to generate feedback from your most relevant users so that you can adjust and improve your releases accordingly. This means that the end-result is a high-quality product that your customers are satisfied with.
Additionally, when you test in production, you have the opportunity to test your ideas and even uncover new features that you had not considered before. Plus, it’s not just engineers who get to do this but your product teams can test out their ideas leading to increased productivity.
So now you’re thinking, great but there’s still the issue of it all leading to disaster and disgruntled customers.
But really, it’s not as terrifying as it sounds.
Wrap up in a feature flag
When you use feature flags while testing in production, you can expose your new features to a certain segment of your users. That way, not everyone will see your feature and in case anything goes wrong, you can roll back the feature with a kill switch.
Therefore, you have a quick, easy, and low-risk way to roll out your features and roll back any buggy features to fix them before releasing them to everybody else, lessening any negative impact on your user base if any issues arise.
Be the king (or queen) of your software development jungle
With feature flags, you are invincible. You are in complete control of your releases. All you need to do is wrap up your features in a feature flag and you can toggle them on and off like a light switch!
Still confused? Still feeling a bit wary? If you want to find out more about testing in production, read our blog article and let us show you why it’s very much a relevant process and a growing trend that you need to capitalize on today.
With a feature flagging platform like Flagship by AB Tasty, it’s easier than ever to manage testing in production. All you need to do is sit back and reap the benefits.