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Dogfooding

Dogfooding, also known as "eating your own dog food," is a practice where a company uses its own product to test and improve the product. The term is believed to have originated from Microsoft in the 1980s and it's a way for a company to demonstrate confidence in its own products.

Side note: There are more appetizing expressions emerging lately, such as “tasting our own champagne.”

The idea behind dogfooding is that if the company expects customers to buy and use its products, it should also be able to use these products internally. This practice allows the company to test its products in real-world scenarios before they are released to the public.

In the context provided, the term "Internal Dogfooding" is used to describe a framework at Whatnot, where the team uses their own product to identify potential issues and gather initial feedback. This is done by using Statsig's Feature Gates to gate new features to internal Whatnot employees only, in a real production workload. This allows the team to confidently test and polish features before they roll out to real users.

For example, when a new feature is developed, it is first rolled out to the internal team at Whatnot. The team uses the feature as if they were regular users, identifying any major issues and providing initial feedback. This process helps the team to quickly identify any problems and fix them before the feature is released to the public.

This practice not only helps to improve the quality of the product but also helps to build confidence in the product among the team members. It also allows for faster release cycles, as issues can be identified and fixed quickly.

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