dbt Slack: Rules of the Road

As of July 2020, the dbt Slack community includes 6000+ data professionals and is growing 12% month-over-month. People genuinely love this community. It’s filled with smart, kind, and helpful people who share our commitment to elevating the analytics profession.

We are committed to maintaining the spirit of this community, and as such have written these rules to help new members understand how to best participate in our community.

We appreciate your support in continuing to build a community we’re all proud of.

Rule 1: Be respectful

We want everyone to have a fulfilling and positive experience in dbt Slack and we are continuously grateful in your help ensuring that this is the case.

The guidelines that follow are important, but transgressions around Slack etiquette are forgivable. This first rule, however, is serious -- we simply will not tolerate disrespectful behavior of any kind.

Everyone interacting in dbt Slack, codebase, issue trackers, and mailing lists are expected to follow the PyPA Code of Conduct. If you are unable to abide by the code of conduct set forth here, we encourage you not to participate in the community.

Rule 2: Use the right channel

It’s important that we make it possible for members of the community to opt-in to various types of conversations. Our different Slack channels specifically exist for this purpose. Our members do a wonderful job at making sure messages are posted in the most relevant channel, and you’ll frequently see people (respectfully!) reminding each other about where to post messages. Here's a guide to our channels:

  • If you're new to dbt and unsure where something belongs, feel free to post in #beginners - we'll be able to direct you to the right place
  • For job postings, use #jobs. If you post a job description outside of #jobs, we will delete it and send you a link to this rule.
  • For database-specific questions, use #snowflake, #bigquery, #redshift, or similar.
  • For questions about data modeling or for SQL help, use #modeling
  • For conversations unrelated to dbt or analytics, consider if dbt Slack is an appropriate medium for the conversation. If so, use #random.

If you're hitting an error, consider posting to Stack Overflow — we're moving more troubleshooting questions to Stack Overflow. A community member might summon Slackbot to let you know that Stack Overflow is a more appropriate medium by posting the words stack overflow bot as a reply to your message.

Rule 3: Put effort into your question

dbt Slack is a community of volunteers. These are kind, knowledgeable, helpful people who share their time and expertise for free.

A thoughtful and well-researched post will garner far more responses than a low-effort one. See the guide on getting help for more information about how to ask a good question.

Rule 4: Mark your questions as resolved

Were you in need of help, and received a helpful reply? Please mark your question as resolved by adding a ✅ reaction to your original post. Note that other community members may summon Slackbot to remind you to do this, by posting the words resolved bot as a reply to your message.

Rule 5: Do not double-post

Our best members are respectful of peoples’ time. We understand that even though a question feels urgent, dbt Slack is not a customer service platform, it is a community of volunteers.

The majority of questions in dbt Slack get answered, though you may need to wait a bit. If you’re not getting a response, please do not post the same question to multiple channels (we’ll delete your messages and send you a link to this page). Instead, review your question and see if you can rewrite it better to make it easier for someone to answer quickly.

Rule 6: Keep it in public channels

Unless you have someone’s express permission to contact them directly, do not directly message members of this community to solicit help, sell a product, or recruit for a role.

We highly value the time community members put into helping each other, and we have precisely zero tolerance for people who abuse their access to experienced professionals. If you are being directly messaged by members of the community asking for assistance without your consent, let us know. We will remove that person from the community. Your time and attention is valuable.

Rule 7: Do not solicit members of our Slack

This community is built for data practitioners to discuss the work that they do, the ideas that they have, and the things that they are learning. It is decidedly not intended to be lead generation for vendors or recruiters.

Do not pitch your products or services in dbt Slack: this isn't the right place for that. Vendors can add enormous value to the community by being there to answer questions about their products when questions arise.

Further, do not use our Slack community for outbound recruitment for a role. Recruiters should feel free to post opportunities in the #jobs channel, but should not directly contact members about an opportunity.

We appreciate when vendors and recruiters identify themselves clearly in their Slack username. If you see someone pitching products and services in dbt Slack, or contact you directly about an open role, let us know. We’ll delete the message and remind that person about this rule.

Rule 8: Do not demand attention with @channel and @here, or by tagging individuals

The @channel and @here keywords in Slack are disabled for everyone except admins. If you make a post containing @channel or @here, nothing will happen. Still, we'll send you a link to this rule to help you better understand how dbt Slack operates.

Do not tag individuals for in-depth assistance in your questions. If someone feels inclined to answer your question, they will do so. We are a community of volunteers, and we're generally pretty responsive and helpful! If nobody has replied to your question, consider if you've asked a question that helps us understand your problem. If you require in-depth, ongoing assistance, we have a wonderful group of experienced dbt consultants in our ecosystem. You can find a full list here.

Rule 9: Use threads

The best way to keep conversations coherent in Slack is to use threads. The dbt Slack community uses threads heavily and if you break this convention, a member of the community will let you know.

Here are some guidelines on how to use threads effectively:

  • Type your question out as one message rather than separate messages (Pro Tip: Write a first draft of your question as a direct message to yourself)
  • Leverage Slack's edit functionality if you realize you forgot to add something to your question rather than adding new messages.
  • If you see a conversation taking place across discrete messages, send over a link to this rule.