It is not often that one gets to summarize an update on a nearly 30 year old software tool! Slack is a very popular group collaboration tool which has its roots in the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) tool. Since relatively few IT pros under the age of 40 have much exposure to IRC, we’ll review Slack and make only occasional references to its IRC roots.
Features added: Slack App that runs on just about every platform you can think of. Integration with dozens of other apps and services. Enterprise security (paid level).
Quick history: Announced in 2013, Slack started as single web based group collaboration tool with easily configured “group meetings spaces” called Channels, all content searchable, integrated direct peer-to-peer messaging, and private groups (private Channels). The tool has grown rapidly in use, still maintaining a free single team with limited features compared to the paid subscription version. Slack made integration with tools and services a major feature and thus far has over 150 services integrated including Google Drive, Trello, Dropbox, IBM Bluemix, GitHub, and ZenDesk.
Demo screens: we will show as many samples of Slack features as we can, both from the web browser version and the App version (Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux supported) as well as open up a few Slack teams and show you how teams are using Slack today.
Note: Slack is free to use, and there is an nct4g.slack.com for you to try if you wish. It’s free and may engage you a whole lot more than e-mail + group lists + meetup sites!
Mark Smith, Twitter: @w4chl, Instagram: @mark.w4chl
Mark has a day job as a Data Health Architect working in RTP. At night Mark turns his attention toward creating interactive content from Maker group & church presentations, shepherding Community Church social media content, and working with his family on outreach related to their many electric vehicles. He is also a frequent contributor to NCTech 4 Good and Alamance Maker Guild (alamancemakers.org) Meetup sessions.
Mark teaches courses and leads several online communities dedicated to assisting budding IT Architects through certification and is the producer of a monthly multimedia series. Mark is an Open Group Certified Master Architect, a Light Electric Vehicle Assn (LEVA) certified instructor, an Amateur Extra radio operator (W4CHL) and a Masters Swimmer & Runner. Mark is also a Senior Member of the IEEE and holds degrees in Electrical Engineering from Duke University and Virginia Tech.