An introductory course on Software Engineering

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Slack policies

This document outlines the Slack communication policies and guidelines for CSE 403.

0. Use Slack.

We use Slack for all class-related communication, except for sensitive information pertaining to an individual educational record (which should be communicated via UW email). Slack was designed as a replacement for workplace emails – expect information and announcements from us to come through Slack.

Since it’s much easier to keep everything in one place, we encourage you to (1) communicate to each other through Slack, (2) reflect on what works well and what does not, and (3) refine your project-team communication policies as you go.

1. Use channels.

Discussions belong in the appropriate channel. This makes finding information you need easier and more predictable, and keeps conversations from getting overwhelming. We may delete off-topic messages.

Here is a summary of the default channels for CSE 403:

2. Use threads.

Always try to reply to a post in that post’s thread. This keeps channels from getting swamped with messages, and is yet another way to make finding relevant information easier and more predictable. This rule is more important the larger the channel, and consequently relaxes as you get into smaller channels (for example it’s not as necessary in your team-specific channel(s)).

3. Know your notifications settings.

Make sure your notification settings are what you think they are, and they make sense for how often you check Slack. (By default you won’t receive notifications unless something mentions (@s) you directly.)



If you @ someone, this will generally override their notification settings and notify them.


It’s good practice to phrase questions in a way that can be answered by reaction, and to react to messages liberally.

Custom Reactions

You can upload images to make custom reactions, and it’s usually pretty fun to do that.