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

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joncalhoun profile image
Jon Calhoun

I'm still not sold on Slack being the ideal tool for remote communication. I think it works well enough for "everyone is in the office at the same time" type teams, but when asynch and catching up quickly and efficiently become important it falls short.

My biggest complaint with Slack is that it is too easy to fall behind and feel like you most of your time just trying to get caught up. I found myself reading through old channels that really didn't pertain to me, or were just people chatting nonchalantly, all to find the one or two messages that did matter.

Threads help, but getting everyone to use them properly is hard.

It would also be nice if you could clearly denote who a thread needs attention from. Eg in a #design channel it would be nice to create a thread like "Increasing accessibility on the checkout page" and to then mark the people you think need to see the thread. Right now it just gets blasted out to everyone in #design, which isn't bad, but not having a way to say "bob and jane need to read this thread sometime" kinda sucks.

I suppose that isn't entirely honest, as we could just @ mention them, but @ mentions usually suggest urgency that often isn't there in threads like this.

I think there are some outage tools out there that handle this by created channels for each outage, linking to them in a common #outages type channel, and then I believe channels are just archived upon an outage being resolved and cleaned up. I wonder if that approach might work better for remote teams with the right sort of app integration... 🤔

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rsedykh profile image
Roman Sedykh Author

It would also be nice if you could clearly denote who a thread needs attention from. Eg in a #design channel it would be nice to create a thread like "Increasing accessibility on the checkout page" and to then mark the people you think need to see the thread.

This is exactly how we use threads. With @ mentions. It is somehow ok for us without suggesting urgency. We're just trying to be really careful with each other's attention.

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joncalhoun profile image
Jon Calhoun

I suppose if everyone agreed that this was what we were doing, and everyone always used threads, it could work well. I'd be curious how this compares to one of the other tools out there (eg Twist)

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rsedykh profile image
Roman Sedykh Author

My friend worked in Doist on Twist back in the day and he hooked me up on the early beta.

I think Twist is like Basecamp. It's good for planning and long conversations, but it sucks when you need to discuss something quickly because you end up in a direct messages conversation. I ended up using Trello + Slack, and Google Docs for planning.