What happened when Slack went down? Our dependencies and lessons learned

The inner turmoils when Slack went down while working from home

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Photo by Stephen Phillips - Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash

Wait? Is Slack or my Internet down?

I was in the middle of debugging when a Slack notification popped up on the bottom right of my computer.

Let me post a GIF of that.

I suddenly realized how reliant our team is on Slack. Before the whole work-from-home policy took place, it might have been annoying if Slack goes down, but it wouldn’t have been as catastrophic and we could have still walk to each others’ working desk.

Slack is also a distraction

Don’t get me wrong, I am well aware of the distractions social media brings. I even touched upon this in a related article myself: What a Broken Phone Taught Me. Yet, somehow I never associated Slack with the word distraction. Mainly because I subconsciously classified Slack messages as work and believed that in a way, I am getting paid to respond to Slack messages.

The importance of quiet time

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Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

Efforts to deepen your focus will struggle if you don’t simultaneously wean your mind from a dependence on distration. — Cal Newport, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

I started to ponder the idea of a “F.O.C.U.S” time for developers. “Focus On Coding Useful Shit”. Normally, mornings are filled with daily standups and catchups. Afternoons are filled with business and decision meetings. As a developer, I’m forced to squeeze in the actual coding work in between these meetings.

Set up a 3-week experimentation phase

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Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Written by

software engineer (web full-stack) + Machine Learning grad student at UT Austin. I write about studying tips, productivity, and minimalism.

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