(Photo by Roberto Torres)
Like many other Technical.ly articles, the walkthrough of Philly’s best Slack channels you’re about to read was born from a Twitter question:
Hey @TorresLuzardo, you ever seen/published a list of good Philly or local startup slack groups?
— Carlye Norton (@carlyewithane) April 6, 2017
And while this reporter has never yet published such a roundup (until now) former lead reporter Juliana Reyes gave two up and coming Philly Slack groups a shoutout in this 2015 article.
However, the context has changed significantly. The number of Slack users has skyrocketed around the world. From around 500,000 at the time of our previous article to an impressive 5 million in January.
In Philly, Slack has made a couple of splashes of note. For one, the Canadian company behind the platform joined a $1 million dollar investment round in Rick Nucci’s Guru, which offers a Slack bot as part of its knowledge management system.
The other, a bit more on the traditional side, is a series of ads and billboards we’ve been spotting around Center City and University City. They’re all over SEPTA bus shelters on Market Street, including some digital ones, in Slack’s trademark cheery, colorful designs. We also noticed billboards in D.C.
We reached out to Slack for comment on the advertising campaign back in February but a spokesperson declined to comment. The whole thing made us think, damn, what a time to be alive: Can you imagine proto-Slack IRC (which some companies, like Vistar Media, use) advertising on billboards?
— Roberto Torres (@TorresLuzardo) April 6, 2017
But enough chatter. Let’s get to the groups, shall we? Here are our faves, in no specific order:
- Technical.ly Slack
Since we launched our Slack group in 2015 it has grown to 1,000 users? You can expect to hear from a mix of devs, designers, assorted geeks and even the occasional investor, from all across the country. For community journalism, a platform like this is a true blessing: tips, suggestions and user feedback flows freely between reporters and readers.
- Philly Startup Leaders Slack
Though its mailing list is still alive and well, the nonprofit’s Slack channel is currently 700+ strong and rallies together a good selection of startup and tech community members. The #job-openings channel seems to be quite popular.
- PhillyDev Slack
The massive Philly Dev Slack has resources for those who are deep in the weeds of the dev world and those who are curious about where to start. At over 2,500 members, the group has language-specific channels where the latest on programming is discussed, a pretty active jobs channel and a channel to lunch meetups.
- Girl Develop It Philly
The Philly chapter of this national nonprofit — whose goal is to connect women with opportunities to learn about software and web development — is the go-to for educational resources. Get the latest info on their events and classes here.
- PHL Design
The folks behind this effort to create
non-dumb Philly-inspired typefaces have their very own Slack group. If design is your thing, here’s where to connect to others like you. You may be required to have a strong opinion about gradients.
- Code for Philly
Especially buzzing during hackathons and events, Code for Philly Slack is a civic hacker’s heaven. For those interested in keeping up with the Civic Engagement Launchpad projects ahead of demo night, this is the place to look.
- Ela Conference
Tap into open jobs and events from the organizers of the tech women in leadership event Ela Conference. But also, keep tabs on the group ahead of their 2017 conference (and pitch yourself as a speaker).
Have a favorite that’s not on this list? Tell us in the comments below.
(P.S: Thanks to Neil Bardhan, Pat Woods, Rana Fayez, Alisha Miranda and “Slack King” Mikey Ilagan for pitching in suggestions.)
Additional reporting by Juliana Reyes.