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Cover image for Teams, Slack, Discord. What's better?
Jan Schenk (he/him)
Jan Schenk (he/him)

Posted on

Teams, Slack, Discord. What's better?

Of course, the question is not as simple, and your answers will be tenfold more complex than my question.
What thoughts would go into decision making if you were to chose a communications platform for your software engineering team?

Imagine your team is going to grow from tiny (5) to large (200+) over the next 24 months and Office 365 is the predominant productivity tool in the company.

You may take into account these factors:

  • accessibility
  • image
  • privacy
  • costs
  • flexibility
  • data sharing
  • speed
  • integration of external participants
  • availability across operating systems
  • adoption
  • trend

Or just comment your favourite tool from a gut feeling. But please state what made you chose one over the other.

Happy discussing!

Top comments (20)

oraclesean profile image
Oracle Sean ♠️

"What is the worst software you're required to use, and why is it Teams?"

Slack has (IMO) a better API and greater compatibility with third-party software. It also (again, IMO) has superior UI/UX. I can participate in multiple Slack workspaces. Teams is one or another. I can't comment on Discord too much as I don't use it for anything besides community.

Background: I worked in a DevOps shop where we used XMPP chat to coordinate deployments. We converted over to Slack in its early days, and it was relatively painless. I built integrations that allowed DBAs to query and manage databases via Slack channels, and gave end users the ability to conditionally run parameterized procedural code against the database. That was in... 2016-ish? It's now 2024, and you still can't do that in Teams. :(

The Teams experience on Mac is dreadful, too, but that's another thread...

fyodorio profile image

I love Telegram these days. They got habitual groups with channels now, very simple and nice UI/UX, high-level privacy, easy communication and file sharing, bot API which is also quite easily approachable for different integrations. Pro account is cheap (and optional in fact). And the apps (all platforms w/o trade offs) themselves are native and fast, much better than overbloated Teams/Slack/Discord.

skyloft7 profile image
Mohammed • Edited

Discord. Idk why, it's also Electron based but I love it over Teams. Slack is okay too.

This is even weirder but for some reason Discord feels fun with it's UI. It feels absurd and like fun software that isn't afraid to do weird things.

thaisavieira profile image
Thaísa Vieira

Thanks for bringing this discussion, Jan Schenk, it's something really relevant

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

All three of these are proprietary products which won't be around in recognisable form in 10 years, and which rely on keeping your data in their cloud.

But as to which is better, well obviously Teams is out because it's so bug-ridden as to be virtually unusable most of the time. That leaves Discord and Slack, and the answer there depends on how you see your company. If you're the corporate, linkedIn-using types, then Slack is a better fit, otherwise Discord is more suitable. But at this point it's more about fashion than features.

eayurt profile image
Ender Ahmet Yurt

Slack is not a good option for big teams. It counts for every user :( Discord would be a good choice. Mattermost is also a good choice. If you like Ruby on Rails ecosystem, you can take a look Once application.

If I have a small company, I would give a change Mattermost probably. For communities Discord looks since nowadays many communities are using it.

schalkneethling profile image
Schalk Neethling

As with a lot of things, it depends. I find that Discord can be overwhelming for a lot of folks with all of the bells and whistles. I also know from speaking with some folks that those in the LGBTQA+ community find the default settings on Discord... problematic.

Slack is expensive, but for smaller communities, it still works great even on the free tier. Some people like Slack because they already have it open for work, while others prefer Discord to cleanly separate work and more laid-back community servers/channels.

From a user experience perspective, I still like Slack in general. As I said, it depends :) I wrote a post about the problems with Discord some time back. I hope it OK to share the link here:

jansche profile image
Jan Schenk (he/him)

Thank you, @schalkneethling, for sharing this valuable resource! <3

schalkneethling profile image
Schalk Neethling

Thank you for starting this great thread. This is a question I have been wrestling with for the longest time.

marcus-sa profile image
Marcus S. Abildskov without a doubt

thaisavieira profile image
Thaísa Vieira

Thanks for your comment, Marcus. I'm just knowing about this plataformn now and I think this is the better of the most famous ones.

praneshchow profile image
Pranesh Chowdhury

Why don't you choose Discord or Google Meet? 🤔

t1_tracey profile image
Tracey • Edited

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Discourse. It's great for asynchronous communication that scales, as per the note of 200+ people.

You can pay for managed hosting and you still ultimately have control over your data since it's open-source forum software.

You can read more on their blog.

remejuan profile image
Reme Le Hane

Teams for me is hands down the worst of the bunch, a previous company moved us over from slack to teams, didn’t take too long before I started looking for a new job.

I would describe it as a productivity reduction tool as everything with it was soo much harder or took soo much longer.

I had to upload a large file one morning, was about 7gb, took over an hour on teams. That same file took 5 minutes on slack.

I found it soo bad it became part of my interview questions and I actually ended an interview early when I found out they used teams.

srthk4370 profile image
Saarthak Singh

Personally, I would say Discord. It may a bit difficult to understand but after the initial complexity, I found its features to be very adaptive for big servers with restrictions and automatic controls using bots. I made my own server completely automatic, with them having to agree to rules and them getting newcomer role and several channels remain hidden from the newcomers. So privacy is not an issue, and it is accessible and flexible too. The only thing is that for some larger files you need Nitro, which sometimes, is a bitirritating and can increase cost, but still, I prefer Discord over teams every day. My favourite part is that all the data is on the cloud so no phone storage and accessible over multiple devices without worrying over data loss.

mariliatirachi62 profile image
Marilia Tirachi

In choosing a communications platform for a growing software engineering team, factors like accessibility, integration with existing tools like Office 365, privacy, cost, flexibility, data sharing capabilities, speed, availability across operating systems, and adoption trends must be considered. Slack excels in integration and accessibility, while Teams offers seamless integration with Office 365. Discord is favored for its community-building features. Ultimately, the decision depends on the team's specific needs and preferences.

alirezanet profile image
AliReZa Sabouri

For small teams 5-10 people I would suggest discord which is free and easy to use but for a bigger teams slack is awesome

happy_chukwuma profile image
Happy Chukwuma

Slack all the way

priestakos profile image
John Priestakos

Mattermost. I’ve used: Slack, RocketChat, Teams, Discord and I vote Mattermost for chat, Teams for meetings.

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