Increasingly companies are bringing their entire workflows and data streams into Slack via apps, integrations, and APIs. Slack is currently reporting over 135,000 active companies and that’s just the beginning amid a global rise of remote-first work.
Why this move to Slack? For millions of users, Slack is THE place for communication and collaboration. Slack is not just an email killer because it’s a novel form of communication. We already had SMS and WhatsApp. What Slack brings to the table is deeper-seated in company transparency and velocity.
Slack is seamlessly synchronous and asynchronous. It allows you to reduce context switching by creating a space for both short-form communication and long-form with a sprinkle of emoji-led authentic conversations and interactions. It also is beautifully designed.
Most importantly though, Slack brings in streams of information out of the countless siloed data sources in your consoles and Chrome browser tabs. It surfaces real-time and important metrics, queries, customer support tickets, PagerDuty downtime pings, and so much more. It’s become your dashboard for your company, team, and everything in between.
The average company loses more than 20% of its productive power to organizational drag. Put Slack in the picture though and development teams using Slack deliver 5% more output overall, with 23% faster time to market, 27% less time needed to test and iterate, and faster identification and resolution of engineering-related bugs, according to IDC research.
Here at CTO.ai, we use a plethora of Slackbots and SlackOps to run our company. From our Slack-first DevOps workflow automation platform to Geekbot for company standups to the Jira chatbot for our product roadmap to Greetbot to welcome new members of our Slack developer community, we are believers that Slack is the key to fluid, meshed flow states that increase productivity and observability.
To say the least, we are big fans of Slack, but don’t take our word for it. Below are some Slack hacks, tips and tricks for developers and engineering teams of all ilks to get the most out of Slack. In no particular order, here are what DevOps and engineering workflows technical leaders are using in Slack:
#1 Send Delayed Messages
Lizzie Sigal, Developer Evangelist, Twilio
“The Gator Slack app lets you send delayed messages at 9am in the recipient's time zone so as to not notify them if they've logged off for the day. Convenient, more thoughtful, simple.”
#2 Team Celebrations
Fletcher Richman, Co-Founder/CEO Halp; Senior Product Manager, Atlassian
“Every time a new customer signs up for Halp via Stripe, we post a gif to #halp-wins.”
Atlassian also has Statuspage, a chatbot with a full Slack integration that allows updating and maintaining your status page directly inside your ops chatroom.
#3 Infrastructure Tooling
Daniel Hochman, Platform Engineer, Lyft
“Clutch ships with authentication and authorization components. OpenID Connect (OIDC) authentication flows for single-sign on, resource-level role-based access control (RBAC) via static mapping, and automatic auditing of all actions with the ability to run additional sinks for output, e.g., a Slackbot.”
Don Burks, Technical Lead, Sphere
“/remind is one of the biggest ones. Instead of having to break flow from my keyboard and write something down, I can get Slack to remind me.”
(I personally enjoy CMD K for quick searching and /collapse for minimizing all those extra pop-ups from Slack integrations.)
#5 Wins, Failure Alerts, Retros, Standups
Brice Pollock, Senior iOS Engineer, BetterUp
Looking for a way to get sales organizations more visibility to product teams: Salesforce integration for closed opportunities in #general.
Looking for a way to get more insight into build failures: CircleCI integration to a channel that reports build failures.
Looking for a way to get more insight into runtime failures: Firebase integration into a channel that reports changes in thresholds for fatals and non-fatals.
Looking for a way to help with Team Retros: Pin a poll to the channel and use a reminder to get the team to enter responses prior to retro.
Looking for a way to automate standup: Integration of JIRA and Confluence so s new standup doc is generated every day with a random ice breaker question, randomized standup order.
Looking for a way to highlight SWAT or blocking issues: Created a macro that like reminders will print all blockers right before standup and anyone on the team can add a blocker or discussion topic.
Want the rest of the Slack Hacks for engineers? Head on over to the CTO.ai blog.