Secret ingredients to quality software

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Rules to Better Slack - 5 Rules

  1. There are many tools used to communicate and collaborate online. The most efficient platforms for chats and calls are:

    We think Yammer could soon be decommissioned to reduce confusion.

    In China:

  2. Do you add your Email groups as Channels?

    When adopting a new technology it can sometimes help to include a familiar paradigm. This helps users see how their understanding of the old technology applies to the new one.

    Companies should have Email Groups for the main offices, and one for the rest of the world. To help figuring out what channels to be posting to and what content is appropriate, recreate these groups as Slack channels.

    slack 1
    Figure: Our Main Office Email Groups

    slack 2
    Figure: Our Main Office Email Groups recreated as Slack Channels

  3. You should create an #in-and-out channel on Slack and use the employees' MAC Addresses to identify who entered and left the office.

    Figure: Bad Example – Scream out “Where is Marlon?”

    Slack in out
    Figure: Good Example – Using in/out functionality with Slack and Ubiquity Access Point

    Although there is one bug with the solution:

    Figure: Ubiquity Access Point Bug

  4. One of the main strengths of Slack is that, unlike SMS, Skype, and to some extent email, it is a pull based system, meaning that you only go to it in your own time to look at topics you’re interested in, rather than having the information pushed to you with attention grabbing notifications. For this reason, it’s important that you turn off the sounds on the iOS app, and potentially all notifications all together.

    slack ios 1
    Figure: Bad Example: The noises will grab your attention and interrupt your daily work

    slack ios 2
    Figure: Good Example: although you’re still getting notifications, hopefully it’s only when you’re taking a break to look at your phone anyway

  5. Do you use Slack as part of your DevOps?

    Figure: See how Slack can be setup to improve your Devops

    With all these different tools being used to collect information in your application, a developer will frequently need to visit many different sites to get information like:

    • Was the last build successful?
    • What version is in production?
    • What errors are being triggered on the app?
    • Is the server running slow?
    • What is James working on?

    This is where a tool like Slack comes in handy. It can help your team aggregate this information from many separate sources into one dedicated channel for your project. The other benefits also include a new team member instantly having access to the full history of the channel as well so no conversations are lost.

    At SSW we integrate Slack with:

    • Octopus Deploy
    • TeamCity
    • Visual Studio

    Even better, you can create bots in slack to manage things like deployments and updating release notes.

    2016 06 06 11 22 03
    Good example - One centralized location for team chat, deployment issues, exceptions and TFS changes

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