I've been looking at some of the Slack teams I participate in recently and been observing the various channels which promote positive information sharing in a culturally significant way. 

Slack has changed the way we work significantly for the better with more transparency, speed of communication and less meetings.

Project teams have a specific place to organise thoughts and talk through project matters (especially great if you have remote workers or 3rd party suppliers).

From  a DevOps culture perspective a vast amount of metrics and alerting can also be piped into specific channels. Great for unlocking that information for all to see and allow anyone in the business to take note and begin collaboration. 

These are the more obvious uses of slack. What I wanted to share were just a few of the nice channel additions I've seen in teams which promote a culture of information sharing and positive collaboration / learning in maybe less obvious ways. 

1. #TIL (Today I learned).

Having a channel where everyone can share anything they learned today is great for engineering and product teams. Odds are if you learned something today about a nuisance or improvement that can be made, other people in your team will benefit from a headsup.

2. #Thanks 

This came to mind specifically after talking with @lady_nerd from safestack.io in where her team had created a #thanks channel to call out great things done by or help given to their peers.

Think about this for a moment. When someone gives you a high five publicly it's a massive lift right? Are we going so fast now we don't have time to write the odd little love note to the awesome people around us? I hope not.

Its also means if you get some love from customers via customer support, Twitter or other channels from users drop it in your #thanks channel. Its awesome when you're in the thick of it to know your team's work is hitting its mark with the users and customers out there in production. 

Letting people know they value each other's input is important!

3. #Guilds

Testing guild, UX guild, and front end guild? Do you have channels like these? I really enjoy having a space thats not dedicated to the day to day or project specific discussions but instead to a general channel where you can talk about improving your craft as a team or community. Its up to you what goes in here but simply making such a space available will hopefully encourage contribution and collaboration. 

4. #Readings #blogs #RSSfeeds

Now I get there are many ways to skin the cat on keeping up to date  on your favourite tech blogs and news sites. There are many things like Feedly just for this. Why is this even a culture thing?

Well if you value sharing sources of learning with everyone it's better to do this as a community in a topic specific slack channel. You can invite other members with a common interest in and share your sources of good reads and in turn have them do the same for you.

I started channels for topics I'm interested in devops and security. In particular for security I post in NIST NVD / US CERT digest alerts to surface specific vulnerabilities I need to know about.

When I started surfacing these people began to ask where I found this information. I invited them to the channel and now they are eyes on the same material. Since i've been given many great additions to the list of things to pipe into my readings channels from other members. 

I use IFTTT to watch the RSS feeds I care about and have a recipe slack post when a new article lands. 

Now one word of caution here sharing information is great but be careful how you do it. Your company slack contains sensitive information so you need to be very careful about the bots and external services you elect to integrate with it and what access they have. Before connecting anything to slack make sure you know what your giving it the keys to!

Im keen to hear some of the channels you guys have in your slack teams which open up information sharing and collaboration.

Lets chat? I'm usually found on twitter @SparkleOps