Communication

Venues

We use a few communication mechanisms that meet several different categories of need: ephemeral, archived, immediate, and asynchronous.

  • Slack: Currently, we utilize a private dxl channel on the yt project Slack team at yt-project.slack.com. You can request access to this channel and this team.
  • There is a shared Google calendar that you can be invited to. Please post your travel dates, interesting conferences, and so on on this. Lab visitors will be listed there as well.
  • We have a DXL Trello organization. This is where for longer-term projects we will track current progress and activity. It can be found at https://trello.com/dxl_ncsa/ and should be used freely.
  • For group note taking, currently we utilize Google Docs.
  • There is a mailing list for asynchronous communication and announcement dispersal. This is at dxl@ncsa.illinois.edu and you can be added on request.
  • We aim to have weekly group meetings, typically Fridays at 1PM. These group meetings have until now consisted of each person sharing a “Success,” a “Struggle,” and something they’d like “Support” on. Undergraduates and graduate students get a free pass but are encouraged to contribute.
  • Group members are strongly encouraged to have in-person meetings with each other or with Matt!

Detail Level

During the weekly group meetings, detail should be just enough and no more to communicate your work, unless probed by another group member. (As the group grows larger, we need to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to share.) Detailed updates can be sent to the dxl mailing list or shared over Slack, or during other offline chats or meetings.

For level of detail, it is fair to assume a passing familiarity with your project and problems, but it is important to first look online to find if there are common answers to issues you are encountering.

External Projects

Whenever possible, please contribute upstream to external open source projects, participate in their mailing lists, and report issues as appropriate on their mailing lists, issue trackers, and so on. We strive to be good “citizens” of the Open Source community. When engaging with other members of the community, be respectful, kind, and thoughtful in your communication.

Projects that are developed inside the lab (for instance, yt would fall under this distinction even though it is largely an “external” project) should, whenever possible, have their discussions held openly in keeping with the project standards. For instance, while it is useful to have in-person meetings, if these are held in response to an email inquiry (i.e., “I’ll come by your office to help you out”) then a summary should be sent afterwards to ensure that the project members who cannot be in the office can still participate and understand. This can help discourage the notion that projects developed on at DXL are not community projects, and will also help to continue engaging other members.

For more discussion about this topic, see Matt’s paper Scaling a Code in the Human Dimension.

Social Media Policy

In general, unless there are embargos or restrictions, social media can be freely used. However, lab members are encouraged to be respectful and kind while participating if they are representing themselves as lab members. Earlier comments about professionalism apply here when lab members are presenting themselves as representatives of the lab.