September 6, 2023 5 min read

Flipt's Inaugural Hack Week

Mark Phelps

Last week at Flipt, we took a break from our regular projects to kick off our first company-wide Hack Week. If you're unfamiliar with the concept of Hack Weeks, they are dedicated periods during which teams can work on creative and innovative projects outside their regular responsibilities. It was an excellent opportunity for everyone to stretch their creative muscles and explore new possibilities.

This post will cover the projects we developed, the insights we gained, and how these innovations might fit into our broader company vision.

We had three days to work on our hack projects, starting on Tuesday and culminating in a demo day on Friday. I'm incredibly proud of what the team accomplished in such a short period of time. Without further ado, let's dive into the projects.

Project 1: Flipt Migrator

Mark Phelps

Flipt Migrator

I wanted to simplify the process for users migrating from existing solutions to Flipt. One of the biggest challenges teams face after deciding to switch tools is the absence of a straightforward migration path. Teams often either:

  1. Run the new solution in parallel with the existing one, leading to inconsistent data between the two systems.
  2. Spend considerable time and effort writing custom migration code, sacrificing productivity that could be better spent on core business activities.

To address these issues, I created Flipt Migrator, a CLI tool that automates the migration process. The tool extracts data from the existing solution, transforms it into a Flipt-compatible format, and allows teams to validate and import the data.

Above is a short .gif demonstrating the migrator, where I migrate data from a competitor into a format compatible with Flipt and validate it using our new flipt validate command.

The tool, written in Python, currently supports only one source but we open-sourced it to encourage community contributions. Check it out on GitHub!

It leverages the Pydantic library for type validation in Python3, making data transformation more reliable and intuitive.

Our goal is to make Flipt the best solution for feature management, and that includes making it easy to migrate from other solutions. We're excited to see how this tool evolves over time.

Project 2: Slack Bot

Yoofi Quansah

Flipt Slack Bot Create Feature Flag

Yoofi's project was a Slack bot designed to centralize communication and auditing for feature flag changes. In organizations where multiple teams communicate via Slack, feature flags often require cross-team coordination. Existing solutions lacked a centralized system for auditing and tracking these changes. Our Slack bot fills this gap by integrating feature flag management directly into Slack.

The bot operates through a custom server-side application that interfaces with Slack. Users configure Slack to send specific event notifications to this application. The application then performs various tasks, such as serving block kit forms back to Slack for creating new feature flags or listing existing flags within a specific namespace.

The Slack bot has the potential to become an indispensable tool for broader platform management within Flipt. We're exploring additional API functionalities and the possibility of enhanced authorization through OAuth or OIDC providers.

Outside of Slack, we've also got some new auditing features in the works that go beyond our existing file-based event sink, so stay tuned for more updates!

Project 3: Ready - Feature Flight Plans

George MacRorie

Ready Feature Flight Plans

Developed by George MacRorie, our third project is "Ready," an app designed to standardize the way engineers plan and execute feature releases.

The journey from code completion to general availability is complex and varies from one organization to another. It often relies on word-of-mouth knowledge or outdated internal documentation. Ready aims to define this process, integrate all relevant tools, and build an executable flight plan for releases.

Ready is a task list focused on feature releases, offering rich integrations with essential production tools. It guides developers through a tailored process, allowing plans to be created, templated, and shared within the organization. A central dashboard provides visibility into active features and their current state.

Over time, Ready could become the go-to tool for getting new features into production. Some ideas include integrating more source control management systems, observability tools, and deployment solutions. Ultimately Ready could evolve to include autopilot features to automate actions at each step, allowing for a more streamlined and less error-prone process.

George also prepared a longer Loom video demonstrating the app. Check it out here to see Ready in action!

We're super exicted about the potential of this project and how it could help teams streamline their release processes beyond feature flags.

Until Next Time

This first Hack Week was a great success, and we're already looking forward to the next one.

We hope you enjoyed this brief overview of our projects. If you have any questions, feedback, or want to try any of them out for yourself, please reach out to us on Twitter (X) or Discord. We'd love to hear from you!

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