Decommissioning stuff is important. This morning I suddenly heard water gushing in my kitchen. I turned off the water to prevent immediate damage. On inspection, I couldn’t find water anywhere inside - not a sausage. What I did find was a mysterious service valve which when turned off stopped the flow of water and the water meter clicking over ....

@naxxfish I tested everything in the house that uses water - sinks, baths, washing machine, boiler, toilets. All of them were working fine. What on earth was going on. Then I remembered. There is an outdoor tap on the side of my building ....

It’s not connected to anything. The pipe has been cut. There is no evidence of where it was supplied from before either. Except ...

The pipe which originally fed it was still there ! Coming out of the property, to an inaccessible location around the back. And now pissing water at mains pressure everywhere. I can only imagine that the plumber (or more likely handyman) wanted to disconnect the tap, but thought it was easier to just cut the pipe out and use a service valve inside to stop water coming out of it, rather than replacing the plumbing under the sink with the correct fittings for the new requirements 🤷‍♂️

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And my point is, rather than this just being a story about my plumbing, is that software engineers do this kind of thing all the time by accident. Whilst things like feature flags are a great way to let you ship fast, they are the “service valves” in your code. If you end up not shipping that feature or turning it off later, 🔥 *delete it* 🔥. Don’t keep it around “just in case we need it”. If I wanted an outdoor tap, I wouldn’t be reconnecting it to that pipe again!

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