This page will acquaint you with how we use Slack in Dext. It’s organised by topic. Please read it carefully.
Your Slack profile is the first thing most of your coworkers see about you. Please fill it in neatly. It’s best to fill in all the fields, but the following are mandatory:
- Full name. Use your real names here.
- What I do. This is shown under your picture in Slack. You can enter your official role or anything else that will help your coworkers understand what you do.
- Phone number. Please enter your phone number. It’s not going to be used, unless it’s an emergency.
- Time Zone. It will help Slack and anyone who wants to contact you know what the time it is for you.
- Role. Enter your official role, as per your role description.
- Location. Where in the world you work from. Useful, since we’re all around the globe.
- Team. Which team are you a part of.
- Manager. Enter the person you report to. If you are uncertain, that is usually the person you have your one-to-ones with. If you can’t find them, they might not be in Slack yet – make sure you fill it once they are.
Upload an Image. It makes Slack considerably more personal. Don’t just put in any picture there – use a photo where we can see your face and you can be identified.
If you’re an engineer, make sure your username in Slack matches the one in GitHub. If you don’t have GitHub, you can ignore this.
You should already be in the following channels. Please join them if you are not.
#announcements– Company-wide announcements and updates. What gets posted here is important, so we try to limit the volume of conversation and use threads, so that messages don’t get lost.
#random– Fun stuff. Anything that is non work related to keep us connected and remind us to be lighthearted.
#hellos-goodbyes– Say hello. Introduce yourself here.
#all-hands-meeting- Notes and recordings from all-hands meetings.
There are many channels for various topics, so it might be worth it to give a quick glance over the list and see if you’re interested in any. But don’t fret too much about it – if you are needed somewhere, people will invite you.
Creating new channels
Feel free to create new channels any time you need to. Here are some guidelines:
- Separate words in the channel name with dashes
-, not underscores
- Always, always add a topic to the channel. Note that there is a difference between topic and description. The topic is visible at the top of the screen when you’ve opened a channel, next to the channel’s name. Anybody reading the topic should get a good sense of what the channel is about. Remember that not everybody is in your department, so make sure that you include enough context for everybody.
- Some channels are in Bulgarian. That’s perfectly fine as Slack is very heavily used by the Engineering team in Bulgaria. Those channels have a 🇧🇬 Bulgarian flag in the topic.
- Some channels are expected to be thread-only. This is indicated with the
- When your channel is not needed anymore, please archive it. You can always unarchive it should you need it again.
- Don’t use private channels, unless you really, really need to. We’re trying to keep a culture of transparency here. All team channels should be public - if you find yourself in a private team channel, ask to archive it and create a new public one.
Keep in mind that channel names are unique, even for private channels. If you intend to create multiple channels for related topics, it is nice to prefix them with a single short word or abbreviation.
Slack is intended for asynchronous communication. This means that people don’t need to be in it at the same time – somebody can message you now and you can reply later, when you see the message. In practice, this means two things:
- It’s perfectly OK to message anybody at any time. Nobody’s expected to see it or reply straight away. People will answer when they have the time or if it’s after-hours for them expect a response on their next working day.
- If there is an emergency, it’s not the best way to get somebody’s attention. That’s why we have our phone numbers in the Slack profile – if you need somebody right this minute, consider phoning or messaging them. But please don’t do this unless it’s really important – people need to be able to focus and get the work done. Interruptions are the productivity killer.
- For important announcements that need to be seen by everybody Slack is not going to be enough, send those by email as well.
Avoid the cardinal sin of sending just “Hi” and waiting for the other side to reply. There is nothing wrong with pleasantries, but include why you are contacting the person and preferably something actionable for them to do. If you have a question and you think you might want to have a meeting, don’t just say “Hi, can we talk?” or “Can we have a meeting later today?”. Add some context and allow them to give you a meaningful reply.
The two most commonly used statuses should be “🌴 Vacationing” and “🤒 Out sick”.
Please use statuses only as means to communicate availability or if your current situation is atypical. If you are always working remotely, there is no point in setting “🏡 Working Remotely”. Also, avoid setting a status only as a joke.
When you set your status to “🌴 Vacationing”, edit the default text to add when you’ll be back, e.g. “Vacationing (back on Sept 25th)”. This is very useful for people who want to contact you as they’ll immediately see when you’ll be back.