re: [Ask Dev] Is Slack disruptive at work? VIEW POST

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re: That's exactly the kind of thing I'm interested in, I feel like developers NEED asynchronous communication to be the default. Otherwise, it's so ha...
 

Starting with more of an abstract comment, but I find the mantra of "developers require focused work more than other professions" to be incredibly unproductive and disrespectful to colleagues in other disciplines. To argue that development is the only profession that requires deep, focused work implies something incredibly negative about other professions. It doesn't matter whether your career is writing code, writing blog posts, completing financial audits, or any other number of things. If your profession requires mental effort then it requires deep focus and, in your eyes, asynchronous communication.

Having said that, I'd argue that - despite its default notification settings, which are designed to get the maximum engagement out of users, thanks to Slack's origins as a VC-backed company that needed to show growth - Slack is an asynchronous communication tool. You can entirely mute channels, DMs, or the whole darn app. You can actively prevent coworkers from interrupting your thought process. If you want you can disable @here and @channel notifications, disable push notifications on your device, as well as leave Do Not Disturb on 24 hours a day, and you'll be able to functionally use Slack the way you'd use email. In fact, it's how most people in my office have their accounts set up. In my mind, Slack is great in that it allows you to choose your level of engagement, and if you'd like that level to be "none" then that's your prerogative.

Searchability is a fair argument, though I personally feel that "starring" and "pinning" messages, combined with the new search interface rolled out earlier this year, I no longer struggle to find messages like I used to. Slack search used to be problematic, but I haven't felt that pain in a while.

...I find the mantra of "developers require focused work more than other professions"...

I don't believe this argument was made.

Thanks for you thoughts. I didn't mean to say other disciplines don't need focus, but I really feel that pain as a developer.

I think that's an interesting approach, but I feel like the people building the product are opposed to using it the way you've described.

I don't believe this argument was made.

I interpreted developers NEED asynchronous communication to be the default to be an exclusive statement, but I now see that I added some personal context, I apologize for putting words in your mouth.

I think that's an interesting approach, but I feel like the people building the product are opposed to using it the way you've described.

I think that's completely fair, but I don't much care if they disagree with my notification setup :) Twitter probably doesn't like that I have notifications entirely disabled, but I'm not letting that stop me either.

It's probably only exclusive in that this is a developer-centric site. In the small, remote fishing village where I do stuff, we use the term Maker (as in Maker vs. Manager) to describe those of us who need focus — artists, designers, developers, writers, etc.

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