Rolling out the right features to the right customers at the right time is a challenge that requires coordination and precision. LaunchDarkly produces tools to reduce that complexity, and Clubhouse helps keep their team aligned.
LaunchDarkly, a feature flag management platform, was a natural extension of CTO/Co-Founder John Kodumal's passion for helping developers. Their product allows companies to do controlled feature and product roll-outs for their users, enabling developers to move faster and mitigate risks typically associated with code launches.
When LaunchDarkly started out, they were just a two-person team, so Trello was enough to suit their needs. But as they grew to four employees, they realized they were outgrowing it. They then switched to Asana, which held up until the team again doubled in size. Says John, "We were constantly frustrated with these tools that only grew with us to a certain size."
At the other end of the spectrum, there was JIRA. Several of the members of LaunchDarkly's engineering team used to work at Atlassian, so they had extensive experience working with (and, in some cases, building) JIRA. While they knew they might eventually wind up using it, after years of being obliged to use it, they'd hoped they could find something else. That's when they discovered Clubhouse.
Onboarding with Ease
The team was immediately impressed with Clubhouse's flexibility and simplicity; the configuration was quick and easy, and kept the switching cost low. Clubhouse defaults naturally mapped to the way they think about running an engineering team.
The LaunchDarkly team continues to grow rapidly and bring more people into their Clubhouse and onboarding has continued to be simple. According to Engineering Manager Zachary Davis, he maintains distinct workspaces against specific Labels and uses that filtered view to see what the team is working on and also to easily find work that can be picked up next.
“The ability to be working on a task list at the smallest level, where I can check things off, all the way up to tracking my entire company's engineering velocity at the milestone level, and being able to do that out of the box without any configuration or hiring a consultant to set it up is very compelling to me.”
- John Kodumal, CTO/Co-Founder, LaunchDarkly
With the new Teams feature, they've been able to better organize their discrete teams and collaborate with the customer success and support team in a single tool. The customer-facing teams can keep an eye on engineering work, while still maintaining their own board to communicate and work on team-specific tasks.
Before switching to the company's Clubhouse account, the support team was collaborating in Quip, but they knew it wouldn't scale as the team grew beyond a couple teammates. Engineering and Support work very closely at LaunchDarkly, so being able to work together in the same tool is extremely valuable. Support can use Milestones to help keep customers up to date on feature releases. They also find that relating stories between teams also helps with visibility.
"Moving to Clubhouse was great! It was fairly easy to get everyone familiar with the interface, and we immediately had visibility into everyone's work," says Support Engineer Arnold Trahktenberg.
All in all, moving to Clubhouse has helped the LaunchDarkly team stay in sync and focused on delivering industry-leading feature flag management to customers around the world.