Erik Sowa

Feature Bits: Enabling Flow Within and Across Development Teams

“Feature Bits” is the technique we use at Lyris for deploying latent code to our SaaS application. Latent code allows us to separate rolling code to production from releasing features to customers. The flow of product development work is enabled by eliminating many of the collision points that would otherwise require intensive coordination and big-bang deployments. We review the business context for this technique, the solution design, and the coding patterns we use to implement it. We present some usage statistics and observations based on 1.5 years of experience. Attendees will take home knowledge and data sufficient to decide when and how to apply this technique in their work.


Erik Sowa Erik Sowa is Director of Engineering at Lyris, Inc. in Emeryville, CA. Erik has led product development and professional services teams for SaaS products for over a decade, first at DigitalThink (eventually acquired by Convergys) and now at Lyris. In that work, Erik has focused on building great teams that deliver great products using repeatable, scalable, and sustainable processes based on lean thinking and appropriate for multi-tenant hosted solutions. Erik has also led teams building client-server solutions and has developed computational materials science programs on massively parallel supercomputers. Erik holds a Ph.D. in Physics from U.C. Berkeley.