We use a few communication mechanisms that meet several different categories of need: ephemeral, archived, immediate, and asynchronous.
- Slack: Currently, we utilize a private
dxlchannel 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
firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
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.
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.