Slack & Code of Conduct

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Our community spends a lot of time helping each other on Slack.

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The following guidelines will help you get the most from our Slack community.

Every member of CodeBuddies is a person

This is a safe space. No question is too "stupid", no topic too "basic".

This community is intended for self-directed learners, CS students, programming enthusiasts, and professional developers to share knowledge and techniques. The admins, moderators, and everyone else in CodeBuddies are donating their spare time; nobody is being paid. Our suggestions/answers may not always be correct, & you may not always get an answer. Treat us like somebody friendly you don’t know who’s standing next to you offering help or suggestions.


CodeBuddies is asynchronous & international

We have members on every continent (except Antartica), and many of us are working professionals. You may get help within 5 minutes if somebody who knows the answer is looking for something to do, but it’s entirely possible that you won’t get a response for an hour or day or more. If you’re asking about a less popular tool, or a specific edge case, you may even get an answer several days later.

So remember to keep CodeBuddies open in the background for a while after asking a question - or check back periodically.

Please don't cross post the same question in multiple channels. People in this community may not be super-chatty at any given moment, but we are reading posts across all channels. Someone will eventually see (and help) you.


Some channels are more active than others

Questions in #general or #advice tend to get answered quickly, or they get pushed off the screen & forgotten. We have a handful of dedicated people that read the scrollback and try to answer forgotten questions, but there’s a lot of discussion/movement happening, you may want to re-post.

Conversely, if a channel is particluarly quiet, please do not post "this channel is quiet". Instead, try posting a question/article/or discussion point that others in the channel might comment on or enjoy.


Don’t “ask to ask”

Newcomers very commonly ask about asking a question in one of a few ways.

“DOES ANYONE KNOW ABOUT [X TOOL OR LIBRARY]?”

The answer is probably “yes,” but nobody can help you until you state what your problem is.There are several questions to this effect every week, and all too often by the time somebody asks what the real question is, the person who needed help has disconnected.

Please be specific with your questions so all of us can help you even when you aren't online. Share a code snippet, a link to where you're seeing the issue, a description of what is confusing you, and specifics on what you've tried so far. More often than not, it also helps to paste your error logs into a snippet or text file (instructions here on how to do that in Slack) to accompany your question/issue.

“IS IT OKAY IF I ASK ABOUT [X TOOL OR LIBRARY] HERE?”

We have a dizzying array of channels, which we’re aware of and for which we apologize. We have utility channels such as#announcements, #general, #advice, etc. All our channels are listed alphabetically.

Instead of asking, browse the Channels list for any that seem like obvious places to ask your question. If you don’t see any topics or Channels that fit, don’t hesitate to post it in #general or #advice. If there’s a better place for it, one of the moderators or other helpful users will suggest it, but don't worry - off topic messages aren’t going to get you banned.


Don’t ping / DM members unless it's directly relevant

It’s very tempting to try to get more attention to your question by @-mentioning one of the high profile (or recently active) members, but please don’t. They may not actually be online, they may not be able to help, and they may be in a completely different timezone – nobody likes push notifications at 3 am from an impatient stranger.

Similarly, don’t DM other members without asking first. All of the same problems as @-mentioning apply, and private conversations can’t help anyone else. Your questions are likely not unique, and other people can learn from them when they’re asked in a public channel.


Be helpful

We are a pay-it-forward community. If someone here has helped you, please give back by helping someone else!

It doesn’t matter if you can’t answer a question in a brief sentence, or if you get pulled away before you can type out further replies. If a question isn’t clear, ask a clarifying question. If you remember something you read that seemed related, send a link. A lot of people who are stuck will be fine if you can’t provide the solution, they just need another place to look.


Be polite

All the CodeBuddies here deserve your respect, so be polite. Not “retail employee” polite......but don’t fan flamewars, get sucked into lose-lose arguments, or other internet classics.


Be a model Slack citizen

Be the change you want to see in the world! Remember ours runs on volunteers and collaboration.If a conversation is getting heated, try to defuse it. If a hard question is unanswered, dig in & work through it with others. If a channel is full of unanswered questions, mention in #codebuddies-meta that you’d like to take ownership of it.


Where should I share a commercial post on Slack?

Occasionally you'll want to promote a project you've been working on that asks for money. Should you share it? Absolutely! But please respect the following guidelines about posting commercial content:

Commercial Posts

In general, all commercial posts can be shared in the #promote channel. These include links to ticket sale pages to conferences, requests for members of CodeBuddies to sign up to join an external link, or a link to purchase a course you created that's behind a paywall.

Job postings

If you want to hire someone or want to forward a job posting, we'd love for you to share the opportunity in#job-postings! Many members keep an eye out there for opportunities.

Promoting a paid book or course

If you're the author of a course or a book that you think might benefit the community, congratulations on the achievement! Feel free to mention it casually in conversation so that members of the community can ahem, potentially start study groups around the content you've created. Or potentially give you feedback/serve as beta readers/ask you interesting questions.

Personal projects are fine to talk about anywhere

Got a personal project that isn't behind a paywall that you want to share? Post it anywhere! We've got a #personal-projects channel where you can write about progress or victories. If the project happens to fit in another channel -- e.g. if you created a flashcard app that helps people brush up on core javascript concepts -- try not to crosspost the same link in too many channels, but feel to share it elsewhere, like in the #javascript channel as well.


We want to celebrate all the projects members are working on -- commercial or not -- but for the sanity of all Slack users who don't want to be jarred by paywalled content, please follow these guidelines.


Thanks to everyone who has been following these etiquette rules already! This community is international and distributed across timezones, and it is nice to find that even with our diverse backgrounds, experience levels, and nationalities, we have similar goals and can support each other It's always a delight to be late-night coding – & suddenly realize that halfway around the world, a cheerful hangout collaborator is pouring their first cup of coffee for the day.