Brum Tech Slack

For me the kiiller feature is the ease of use. Here at the BBC we (“we” being developers, sysadmins, and other nerds) use IRC to discuss issues and communicate. It’s a pain in the arse to get onto even as a technical person, though – the BBC has an internal proxy for everything on the network so it’s not trivial to connect. I have to remember to run a specific IRC command every time I start a session in order to attach my client to the right server, and that’s before I’ve even joined a channel.

Contrast that to my setting up my (non-technical) team on Slack: took all of five minutes and they almost instantly grabbed the paradigm (even if some of it comes from IRC). I’d be stuck teaching them how to run /join commands and negotiate the firewall otherwise.

Then there’s the integrations: I have a channel that runs off our GitHub account and notifies everyone when I commit a change. Took about 2 minutes to set up. I’m sure IRC bots exist to do that but again, way harder. My other team members have added their own integrations easily – again, only a developer would be able to do that in IRC land.

TL;DR: there’s no single Shiny Thing to point to, it’s the whole package. It works easily and without requirement of existing (obscure) skills, and looks/feels beautiful.

Matt’s already said it, but it’s the fact that it does all you’ve listed and “just works” and offers the most polished UX in the zone I’ve seen so far (note: I am currently engaged at an all-HipChat client, so I know what Slack’s biggest rival is like. I’m actually pro-HipChat, FWIW)

Do you have a channel per conversation/issue or multiple conversations, all interleaved, like some kind of serial Twitter? Are there any mechanisms for unpicking the narrative of a conversation? I haven’t found them.

There seems to be a bit of a theme that “it’s better than IRC” but I rejected IRC for reasons of UX horribleness too. If that’s your only alternative reference, then maybe I can see why you’d like it.

I don’t think I ever valued integration; certainly not since I discovered Unix. I liked Lego bricks better before they came in single-purpose ‘integrated’ kits too. The creations looked more clunky but you could make anything you could imagine.

For work, a channel per project, usually, to aid context-shifting (or to mute something you don’t care about), plus a couple of more general ones (#random for stupid gifs or idle “anyone fancy lunch?” stuff). Works well!

Following ‘agile/intertwingularity logic’ that the bounds of a ‘project’ are arbitrary and there is only ‘all work’, how would you cope with projects being split or merged? I understand that under ‘project logic’ this could never happen because everything was known at the beginning or work wouldn’t have started :slight_smile: but you know, reality and stuff.

Interestingly, top of HN right now:

I saw this linked to on reddit a few days ago:

I don’t entirely understand what it is - but it looks like some long overdue improvements to the IRC protocol.

Encouraging that people are actually working on improving IRC; I personally would like to see an “edit the last thing you wrote” extension. And history, but that’s not something that the protocol can provide, I fear.

I guess that’s why stuff like came to be - history for all

Hi Jess, can you sign me up please?

Hi Denis. @Jess

Hi Andy! :slight_smile:

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