What is Slack?
Think IRC but with a pretty interface, desktop/mobile clients, and tons of integrations. Slack and it’s brethern (HipChat, Gitter, etc) are most commonly used by development teams for communication, but many companies now use them for internal communications.
At my previous employer we used the integrations to be notified about pending code reviews, build successes/failures, and infrastucture monitoring notifications. I’m a big fan of it for internal use and thought it would be fun to have be able to interact with my friends from the community too.
I chose Slack over the other options because it’s one of the most popular and it doesn’t limit the number of free users. I didn’t want to hit a user cap and have to reject new people. As much as I like everyone in the community, I’m not shelling out a per user fee.
Why would I use Slack over Twitter?
While Twitter is a great communication method, I think it’s best as a public broadcast medium. There’s the 140 character limit, conversations can be hard to follow after a few replies, and getting too many people on a thread leaves little room for content.
Slack allows for realtime conversations between many people with no character limit. There is also functionality to easily share code/configuration snippets.
Who should join?
Do you like talking tech? Do you have a sense of humor? Then sign on up!
There is no defined topic, although seperate channels can be created if the main one gets too noisy.
The only rule is don’t be a jerk :)
We also have our own Hubot! Hubot is an extensible chatbot. So far it’s mostly been used for pugs.
I have the code for our Hubot in a GitHubt repo. If you want to add a script, send me a pull request. I may do a post later on about writing Hubot scripts.
Wrapping it Up
I’m in Slack most of the day and am happy to chat about pretty much anything. I hope you join us!