Thierry de Pauw ThinkingLabs

BIO: Thierry is a Continuous Delivery coach and Lean and XP Software Engineer with a high affinity for operations.

He is a jack-of-all-trades with a passion to help teams create meaningful software, having a keen eye for code quality and the software delivery process, from customer interaction to continuous delivery. Instead of balancing quality & delivery, he believes and practices that better quality is actually a way to more and better deliveries.

Thierry is founder of ThinkingLabs, a consultancy around Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery.

Presentation: Feature Branching considered Evil
session level: intermediate

Feature branching is again gaining in popularity due to the rise of distributed version control systems. Although branch creation has become very easy, it comes with a certain cost. Long living branches break the flow of the software delivery process, impacting throughput and stability.

This session explores why teams are using feature branches, what problems are introduced by using them and what techniques exist to avoid them altogether. It explores exactly what’s evil about feature branches, which is not necessarily the problems they introduce – but rather, the real reasons why teams are using them.

After this session, you’ll understand a different branching strategy and how it relates to continuous integration.

The target audience is anyone using version control systems in a Continuous Integration or Continuous Delivery context.


  • understand why teams are using feature branching
  • explain why feature branching is problematic
  • describe alternatives to feature branching
  • run an experiment with trunk-based development
  • understand if all teams can adopt trunk-based development