Toggle – Using Feature Toggles to Support Development Teams

February 25, 2024 by No Comments

Toggle is a digital trade magazine that spotlights the vital role technology plays in the business world and the men and women who lead it. Our mission is to show readers the unique challenges these leaders face, from how to dig out of technical debt to how they make their organizations resilient to the latest security threats.

The word toggle means to switch between two states, like the on/off key that turns your caps lock back and forth as you video chat with a friend. Toggles have a distinct appearance, with a different color for each state, to make it clear which one is active. They also produce a clear effect when clicked, so that users don’t have to wonder if their action has the intended impact.

Feature toggles have many uses for product teams, from A/B testing to acting as circuit breakers during code deployment. But perhaps the most important use for a feature toggle is as a tool to support development teams. Often, a dev team will want to implement a new feature without having to merge the entire master branch into production. A feature toggle will allow them to do that while still allowing the dev team to meet their delivery goals and deadlines.

Toggles can be long-lived or semi-permanent, but it’s important to keep them within a small scope to reduce the overhead of their management. When a toggle has run its course, it should be removed as soon as possible so it doesn’t interfere with other features or increase a team’s risk. This may be accomplished by adding a task to the team’s backlog or putting a process in place within the management platform.