agile

our first two days on #slack

Well it’s official, Jana has switched to Slack for our intra-company communication. We’d been using Skype for IM up until now, and it was way past time for a change.

Overall, the switch has made me really happy. I can’t really compare it directly with HipChat, but everyone that I’ve talked to says that there are things they like more and things they like less, and the overall consensus seems to be that both are fine, with perhaps a slight edge to Slack.

Two days in, here are my top five favorite things:

  1. Mobile client. The iOS client is slick, and it’s for this reason alone that I feel way better connected.
  2. File and image sharing is lightweight, easy. Code snippits are easy, too, including syntax coloring and such.
  3. We set up tons of integrations just in the first day. GitHub, Jenkins, Sentry, Crashlytics, Twitter, and our Trac installation are all talking to Slack already, not to mention a number of our internal tools. Talking to Slack from python is as simple as one call to requests.post().
  4. Telling the whole company, “hey I’m down the street getting a beer, come join” from my phone. Email just doesn’t seem like the right thing for this. (OK, I have to admit I haven’t done this yet, but I hope to).
  5. Being able to easily do (4) along with a picture of my excited face.

dan-o-excited

And here are my top five complaints:

  1. Lack of a Windows (or Linux, though I didn’t expect that) desktop app. The web client isn’t bad, but the Windows folks are definitely pretty unhappy about not having a dedicated app. Some folks are using a separate browser for it (like, use FireFox for slack and Chrome for everything else) but it’s kludgy.
  2. Lack of built-in incoming email support; I ought to be able to email “something@mydomain.slack.com” and have it show up on a particular channel.
  3. No group pictures!
  4. I want to make my own aliases, so “/afk” just sends a pre-formatted piece of text (or a link to a certain image, or whatever). Doesn’t seem like there’s an easy way to do this.
  5. /giphy is starting to be a bit much. I’m hopeful folks will start toning it down 🙂

I’m sure we’ll have more to say about it moving forward, but as I say, overall I’m happy with Slack so far. Watch this space!

 

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