How to Setup Slack for Your Codecademy Pro Intensive

Authored by Jordan W., Codecademy Coach

Welcome to your Codecademy Pro Intensive! Let’s take the next few minutes to set up your Slack account for an optimal learning experience.

1. Slack Introduction

Chances are you’ve probably heard about or used Slack, but if not, here is a quick introduction. Slack is one of the most popular team/group chat applications on the market today and will act as your virtual classroom space during your Pro Intensive.

Even though Slack can be used directly from the browser, it is highly recommended to install a Slack app directly on your computer or mobile device for a better experience!

2. Downloading and Installing Slack

Slack is available as a free download from the Slack Website for Windows and Mac computers as well as for all mobile devices (e.g. Android, iPhone, etc.). Since you will be using an actual computer to complete the Pro Intensive material (instead of a mobile device), it is recommended that you download and install Slack for your computer and then on your mobile device, if desired.

If you haven’t done so already, head on over to the Slack downloads page from any computer or mobile device and download it now.

Once the download is complete, simply install and start the application so you can join your Pro Intensive workspace on the day your cohort begins.

3. Joining Your Pro Intensive Slack Workspace

Each Pro Intensive includes access to a Slack workspace allowing you to interact with your fellow learners and Slack Moderators. Your Slack Moderators are there to assist you throughout your learning journey.

On your cohort’s official start date, you will receive an email with a Slack invitation requesting you to join. Be sure to accept this invitation!

4. Adding Your Workspace to the Slack App

Now that you’ve downloaded and installed the Slack app, you can sign in and add your workspace to your app. In order to do this, re-open the Slack workspace invitation email and copy the Slack workspace URL at the bottom of the message.

Quick tip: the Slack workspace URL should look like codecademy-<Pro_Intensive_Identifier>.slack.com

Open the Slack app and click on the "Sign in to a workspace" button in the far left toolbar (the button looks like a giant plus sign). Paste the Slack workspace URL into the "your-workspace-url" field. Then, click "Continue" and sign in with your email address and password.

5. Slack Workspace Overview/Tour

After joining the workspace and adding it to your Slack app, you should see a list of channels (i.e., starting with a “#”, such as ‘#general’) in the main toolbar on the left.

Cohort Channels

The first set of channels in the list are the cohort channels. You’ll use these channels to build community with other learners in your cohort through asking and answering questions, sharing your experiences, motivating one other, and finding learning/coding partners. Your Slack Moderator will also be posting weekly updates in this channel to summarize the material for the week along with any important news, reminders and/or extra resources that supplement the course material.

Multiple cohorts are active at any given time within a workspace, but you’ll only use the cohort channel that corresponds with your Pro Intensive cohort start date.

Interested in hiding all the other cohort channels? Check out the Hiding Channels below to find out how!

Unit Channels

The unit channels are designed to match the structure of your Pro Intensive syllabus and should be used to ask technical questions related to a specific unit.

General Channel

The #general channel is where you can socialize with the broader community of Pro Intensive learners (from other cohorts), as well as anything else that is outside of the purpose of the other specific channels (e.g. discussing code editors, general best practices, career advice, etc.).

6. Preparing your Slack Workspace for Learning

At this point, your workspace should be all set up, however, it is highly recommended that you configure your workspace to create an optimal learning experience. Please read through each section below:

Personal Profile

Customize your personal profile (such as adding an image, setting your timezone or writing a short bio) by clicking on your name at the top and selecting "Profile and account". This helps you connect with your Slack Moderator and other learners.

Hiding Channels

As you’ll engage with your specific cohort channel, it’s helpful to hide all of the other cohort channels. In order to hide a channel, click on the channel name in the list, select the "Channel Settings" icon (it looks like a gear) on the toolbar at the top and select the _"Leave <channel_name>"_ option.

Joining Channels

You may leave a channel, and decide that you want to rejoin! In order to join a channel, click on the word "Channels" at the top of the Channel list and select the appropriate channel from the "Channels you can join" list.

Muting Channels

Since you might only be concerned with your specific cohort or current unit channel notifications, you have the option to mute all notifications from other channels. In order to mute a channel, click on the channel name in the list, select the "Channel Settings" icon (it looks like a gear) on the toolbar at the top and select the _"Mute <channel_name>"_ option.

7. Slack Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices

Slack is a robust and very effective team/group chat tool and, like most tools, may seem a little complicated at first. Here are a few tips, tricks, and best practices for an effective learning experience!

Slack messages can be easily formatted using markdown.

How to Post/Share Code

Code can be shared a few different ways in Slack. One of the easiest ways it to include a snippet of code inline with your chat message by wrapping it with backticks (``), or a block of multi-line code with three backticks (```), e.g.:

let name = 'steve';
console.log(name);

Lastly, code can also be added by clicking on the plus sign to the left of the chat field and selecting "Code or text snippet".

How to Reply/Respond to Others

Using the built-in thread feature is the best way to keep message responses organized within the workspace. To reply to a message using a thread, hover your mouse over the message and click the "Start a thread" button (looks like a dialogue bubble).

How to Mention/Tag a Moderator

The best way to receive direct help from a Moderator is by mentioning (or tagging) them directly on a message by typing the "@" sign followed by their username.

8. Wrapping Up

Well that about wraps it up for how to set up Slack for your Pro Intensive. Good luck on your learning journey and thanks for joining! We look forward to helping you along the way.

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