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Zach Saucier's thoughts

Developer chatroom etiquette

I’ve been part of some web developer chatrooms for ~4 years now. In order to help newcomers quickly get used to them, here are some etiquette tips:

  • Keep the number of messages you post to a minimum. No one wants to read 10 separate messages that should have been one message. It fills up the chatroom and makes less content in total visible.
  • If you’re requesting help, be very concise and clear, generally keeping the question of your scope very limited. This is true in all mediums, but especially true for chat. It is better for everyone, including yourself, to do so.
  • Don’t update people every time you’re leaving or apologize for not responding immediately. There are exceptions, but in general people don’t expect immediate replies all of the time. Be patient when expecting others to answer and don’t flood the chat with, “be back in 2 minutes” type of comments.
  • Chatrooms operate in UGT (Universal Greeting Time). Or better yet, no time at all. Don’t create a bunch of noise about the time of day when someone includes it in a message of theirs.
  • Use chatroom features appropriately when they are available. If your chatroom platform supports threading, use it. If it supports editing old messages, use that for corrections and simple additions instead of creating new messages. If it has a bot, don’t abuse it by using it too much or posting content irrelevant to the chat. If it supports “pinging” people, don’t do it unless you really need to.