Discussion on: If you ever have to lead a remote dev team...

jesusgollonet profile image
jesús gollonet

Use channels, avoid direct messages.

So much this.

I've been working as a satellite with a fully co-located office for a few years and I find it so difficult to enforce (or rather, nudge towards) this. Everyone defaults to direct messages and I have direct conversations with every possible combination of people on the team. But because they are co-located I assume folks just want to avoid notification overload on main channels.


rsedykh profile image
Roman Sedykh Author

I think co-location is just an excuse for poorly written communication discipline. :-( It takes being a very patient person to fix this situation, but that's possible.

Facts are simple:

  • the information must be accessible
  • annoying notifications suck
  • people are conservative

Different tools have different solutions for that. Slack has notifications settings and threads. But using them requires some effort at the beginning.

Honestly, I found it easier to try at all costs work with people who understand that than change others behavior... But still, if you're patient enough, then one by one you can show the benefits and convince everybody.

This is how Slack might look with an active discussion that notifies only the right members:

31 replies in the background. In this particular case, it was a simple feature gone wrong. Non-developer spotted the mistake only because communication was open.