Strange Loop

Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2021


Union Station


St. Louis, MO

Register for 2021!

Branchstack: branching infra for better development

Impedance doesn't just exist between objects and relational data.

12 factor apps, GitOps, and yes, even monads, can be seen as attempts to bridge across a more general form of the same impedance mismatch: between the logic of a system and its stateful infrastructure. But these and most other such practices bridge the gap between logic and state in one direction: they adapt codebases to the shape of "pet" environments.

In branchstack development, we go in the other direction, asking how we can make environments, state, and even external services as flexible as code. Our central primitive for this work, branching, is inspired by one of the most successful orchestrations of logic and state so far in our industry, git (a record of the successive states of your application logic).

Branchstack tools and practices complement cloud architectures, work well with the pull request previews of tools such as Netlify and Vercel, are in production at more than a dozen companies, and are under evaluation in the Fortune 100. In this talk, we show how making everything outside of your code easily branchable pays off in ways that matter to your team and your business: speed of developer onboarding, fidelity during development to production resourcing and instrumentation, easy multitenancy at a number of different isolation levels, realistic testing against stateful third party services, and instant full-stack previews for dev and business users.

Patrick Flor

Patrick Flor

Platter, Flexbase, CVKey

I spend my time building and supporting strong and diverse engineering teams, helping students grow their skills and careers, and working on tools to give us all more technical leverage. Currently I am CEO/co-founder at and CTO at, spending additional time as Development Lead at, where we help communities operate and reopen safely while maintaining data privacy in the time of Covid. In the past I've worked on infrastructure and interfaces at Google, machine learning for human learning at Volley, demand prediction at Groupon, and a little of everything at Wagon (the cult favorite Electron + Haskell cloud-connected SQL editor). I am a former band/chess club director, and an almost-everything enthusiast. Find me during the conf and share something that gets you excited!

Alex Pearson

Alex Pearson


Alex is dreaming up and building better tools for developers as CTO at Platter. He has taught and mentored hundreds of developers, mostly from non-traditional backgrounds, through his work as co-founder and instructor at SavvyCoders. He knows arcane things he would rather forget about learning management systems and markdown storage/rendering engines from past stints in publishing and education technology. Before his career in software, he founded and ran a CrossFit gym in Nashville and was president of a non-profit in music education. He recommends the Porchetta at Dressel's in Central West End if they are open again by October 2021, and since he let Patrick write his bio, please find him during the conf and share your most groan-inducing jokes and puns with him.