Guide: Staff Introduction

Welcome to the MousePaw Media family! We’re really excited to have you aboard. This tutorial will help you get started. If you need additional help, contact your internship supervisor.

This tutorial will also get you started as a MousePaw Media employee. Read through it in order. Watch out for…

Important

These are things you should do now.

Warning

These are things you need to watch out for.

Employee Handbook

Our Employee Handbook outlines all the company policies, rules, and expectations for staff at MousePaw Media. You should be familiar with the latest version of these policies at all times.

We publish the latest version of the Employee Handbook at eco.mousepawmedia.com. Click Employee Handbook to view or download.

Important

Download the latest copy of the Employee Handbook from that link, and save it to your work computer for quick reference. Read it through now.

You will be emailed whenever a new version of the Employee Handbook is published.

Technical Requirements

You must have Linux, ideally an Ubuntu-based distro (version 20.04 or later), installed on your computer. See Ubuntu Setup: Installing for instructions on installing it. If you need help, contact Jason C. McDonald.

Although we work on Linux, you may access the Staff Network via Windows, macOS, iOS (Apple) mobile devices, Android mobile devices, or BSD-based operating systems if you need to.

Security

It is your responsibility to keep your MousePaw Media account secure! Here are some very important things to keep in mind at all times.

  • Never share your password with anyone. We won’t ask for it. Period.

  • Don’t leave your work devices unlocked and unattended.

  • Consider enabling full-disk encryption when you install Linux.

  • Use a secure password manager like Bitwarden. Never use your browser’s “save password” feature.

  • Add Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to your Phabricator and Nextcloud accounts. Instructions are included in those sections below. We strongly recommend using the Microsoft Authenticator on your mobile and/or the Authenticator app on Linux desktop.

  • Consider using Element for Matrix chat, and enable its optional security features.

  • Be careful clicking on unusual or disguised links in emails, even if the email looks like it’s from within the company or from a coworker. Verify URLs and SSL certificates before entering your password or other information.

  • If you lose a device you’ve used to access your MousePaw Media account, or which you use for MFA, contact us immediately!

If you lose access to your MousePaw Media account at any point, contact eco@mousepawmedia.com. We will work with you over video chat (for authentication purposes) to restore access to your account.

Staff Network

The Staff Network consists of seven major components:

  • Email (webmail.mousepawmedia.com or IMAP)

  • Kimai (time.mousepawmedia.com)

  • Phabricator (phab.mousepawmedia.com)

  • Nextcloud (cloud.mousepawmedia.com)

  • Jenkins (ci.mousepawmedia.com)

  • Etherpad (pad.mousepawmedia.com)

  • LimeSurvey (survey.mousepawmedia.com)

We also use Skype for regular communication.

Visit staff.mousepawmedia.com for our main staff portal, with links to everything else.

Email

Note

Email is hosted on Webster, and thus is unaffected by the status of Hawksnest.

Email is one of our primary ways of communicating at MousePaw Media. You have a company email address issued to you.

Warning

Be sure to check your company email every single day, and respond in a timely fashion!

You can check your email through the Roundcube or Nextcloud web clients. This is useful if you don’t want to configure an external client, or need to check your email without access to your usual device.

Roundcube

Roundcube is a modern web client with many useful features. It is on Webster, and thus is unaffected by Hawksnest/DevNet outages.

  1. Go to webmail.mousepawmedia.com. Sign in using your full company email address and your password.

  2. The first time you log in, you’ll be prompted to create your user identity. Fill in your Display Name (full name with middle initial preferred), set your Organization to MousePaw Media, and add a default signature.

    We recommend this template for your signature:

Your Name Here
Position, MousePaw Media

Visit Us Online: MousePawMedia.com
Twitter: @mousepawmedia

That’s all! Now you can begin browsing your email.

Important

Access your company email through the Roundcube client.

Nextcloud

If you find yourself using Nextcloud a lot, you may prefer to use that as your email client.

  1. Go to cloud.mousepawmedia.com. Sign in using your company username and password. Click the Email icon on the top toolbar.

  2. Set up your signature. Click the three dots next to your email account name and click Account Settings. Under Signature, enter your signature.

    Here’s the example signature:

Your Name Here
Position, MousePaw Media

Visit Us Online: MousePawMedia.com
Twitter: @mousepawmedia
  1. Click Save Signature.

  2. Adjust other settings as you see fit.

Important

Access your company email through the Nextcloud client.

IMAP Access

You can also connect your account to an external email client, such as Thunderbird or your mobile device. Here are the server settings:

  • Username: (Your full company email address.)

  • Password: (Your company password.)

  • Incoming Mail: IMAP (recommended)

    • Server Name: mail.mousepawmedia.com

    • Port: 993

    • Connection security: SSL/TLS

    • Authentication method: Normal password

  • Incoming Mail: POP3

    • Server Name: mail.mousepawmedia.com

    • Port: 995

    • Connection security: SSL/TLS

    • Authentication method: Normal password

  • Outgoing Mail: SMTP

    • Server Name: mail.mousepawmedia.com

    • Port: 465 (recommended) or 587.

    • Connection security: SSL/TLS

    • Authentication method: Normal password

Important

Connect your company email to an email client, such as Thunderbird, Evolution, or your smartphone.

Regular Email Tasks

  • Correspond with co-workers. Read and respond to messages in a timely fashion.

  • Send your check-in email on the same day each week, detailing:

    • What you’ve done over the past week,

    • What you learned over the past week,

    • What challenges you faced over the past week,

    • What you’re planning to do over the upcoming week,

    • The Phabricator object IDs or links for anything you’ve worked on (inline),

    • Any questions you have for your supervisors.

Important

Log into your email and send an message to eco@mousepawmedia.com. State what day you would like your weekly check-in email to be on.

Warning

Your check-in email is how we track your job attendance. Be sure to send it on your regular day every single week! If it is not received on time, your hours for the week might not be counted.

Kimai

Kimai is where we track time. You are responsible for reporting your time every day. Each day’s time sheets are locked automatically the next morning at 10 am.

Warning

If you forget to log your time, you will NOT be reminded. Contact eco@mousepawmedia.com if you forget, and report your time that way.

To log your time, go to https://time.mousepawmedia.com. Login using your company username and password.

You will be on the My times section by default.

We recommend creating separate entries for each major task you work on. This will make it easier for you to see how you use your time.

To add time, click the large Play button in the upper-right corner of the page. Fill out the following fields:

  • From: select the start date and time for your entry. You may estimate the start the time if you can’t remember it.

  • Duration: Enter the duration in H:MM format.

  • Project: Select Internal.

  • Activity: Select the project you were working on.

    • Most MousePaw Media projects have an entry here. If you don’t see the one you need, use General and contact your supervisor.

    • Use Research for general-purpose research and training.

    • Use General for meetings, internship assignments, and anything not covered by another category.

    • Use DevOps/IT for repository master, build system, and server work.

    • Use Operations for management, administrative, and standards board tasks.

    • Use Hiring for hiring-related tasks.

  • Description: You must include appropriate Phabricator object codes, including Maniphest Tasks, Differential Revisions, Calendar Events, Ponder Questions, wiki pages, and the like.

Warning

These notes are not a replacement for your check-in email.

Finally, click Save in the lower-left corner to store the hours.

While you’re here, take a look at the Dashboard, Calendar and Reporting tabs. These give you detailed breakdowns of your hours, including what you worked on and when you worked.

If you need a tool to help you track your time, check out the Timecard application, created by Jason C. McDonald.

Regular Kimai Tasks

  • Log your hours every day you work.

  • Seriously, that’s it. Log your time!

Phabricator

Phabricator is where most of our development work takes place. It hosts our repositories, task tracker, knowledge base, and wiki.

Adjusting Settings

To get the most out of Phabricator, you should adjust some settings and fill out your profile. Follow these instructions…

  1. Log into Phabricator using your company (LDAP) credentials.

  2. Click your profile picture in the upper-right corner.

  3. On that page, click Manage and Edit Profile.

  4. Fill out as much of the profile as you want/can. Have fun with this!

Note

Please fill out at least five “Fun Stuff” fields, as this is what we will use to craft your profile on the MousePaw Media website.

  1. Click Save Profile at the bottom.

  2. Click Edit Settings at right. Alternatively, click your icon picture at the top of the page and select Settings.

  3. Select Account at left, and set Pronoun appropriately. Click Save Changes.

  4. Click Notifications at left. Select the option Web and Desktop, and save. Then, click Enable Desktop Notifications. You may consider clicking Send Test Notification in the upper-right corner to test. Then, click Save Preference.

  5. Click External Accounts at left. Add your GitHub account.

    Click Save Changes.

Important

You should also add your company email address to your GitHub account, so you can get public credit for your contributions to our repositories.

  1. We strongly recommend adding Multi-Factor Autentication to your Phabricator account. Click Multi-Factor Auth at left. On your mobile device, install a trustworthy authenticator app like Microsoft Authenticator. On your work laptop, you can install Authenticator. ONLY USE ONE! (Using both requires both.) On Phabricator, click Add Auth Factor. Follow the instructions to link your authenticator app. Repeat for the other app.

  1. Click Email Preferences at left. Here, you may shut off many

email notifications by selecting the Notify option for any given item. Recommended defaults are provided, but you can adjust these to your needs.

Warning

Do NOT select “Ignore” for any notifications! All notifications are ultimately controlled by whether you’re “Subscribed” to an object.

  1. Take a few minutes to go through the rest of the settings independently. Use the menu at left to see more settings.

  2. Click Phabricator in the upper-left corner to return to the main page.

Regular Phabricator Tasks

Phabricator is MASSIVE, so which apps you use depend heavily on what you’re doing. There are six major apps you should be making frequent use of.

  • Phame

    • Read ‘The Check-In’ every week. You’ll find reminders, company news, helpful tips, and Jason McDonald’s “Useless Trivia of the Week”.

  • Calendar (see Calendar)

    • RSVP for all events you’re invited to.

    • Create events you’re organizing.

  • Maniphest (see Maniphest)

    • Create and manage tasks for everything you’re working on.

    • Report bugs and request features.

  • Phriction (see Phriction)

    • Monitor pages for projects you’re involved in.

    • Maintain any specs and design notes you’re responsible for.

    • Learn and share knowledge, especially via the Resources section.

  • Ponder (see Ponder)

    • Ask questions.

    • Store collected information as you research a problem.

    • Help answer other people’s questions.

  • Differential (see Differential)

    • Submit and maintain Revisions for your code revisions.

    • Review other people’s Revisions.

  • Pholio (see Pholio)

    • Submit and maintain Mocks for your graphical work.

    • Review other people’s Mocks.

All of these apps (and more) are on the left side of the main page of Phabricator.

Nextcloud

Nextcloud allows us to share and collaboratively edit documents.

First Steps

  1. When you first log into Nextcloud, click your username in the upper-right corner and select Settings. This will take you to your profile and settings screen. Fill out your profile.

  2. At left, select Security. Start by saving your backup codes in case you lose your device. Then, enable both Nextcloud Notification and Enable TOTP. That last one will walk you through linking to one Authenticator app; we recomemend Microsoft Authenticator on your mobile device. If you don’t have a mobile, use Authenticator on your Linux machine.

  3. The Activity section allows you to customize notifications. We recommend leaving many Push notifications enabled.

If you’ll be using Nextcloud regularly, you may consider setting up the Nextcloud Client on your computer. See Installing Nextcloud Client.

Regular Nextcloud Tasks

Nextcloud is where we store all important staff documents (see ECO: Employee Care and Opportunity), and where we share a lot of common non-code files.

If you work in the Design+Production or Content Development departments, you’ll especially be spending a lot of time on Nextcloud.

  • Upload files.

  • Review and proofread files. (Content Development)

  • Collaborate on documents. (Content Development)

When you upload files, be sure to place them in an appropriate folder and share the folder with your department.

Matrix Chat

We use Matrix for chat because it’s free, decentralized, and open source. Some of our rooms are open to the public, particularly #lobby:chat.mousepawmedia.com, while many others are private.

Some of our private channels on Matrix are actually end-to-end encrypted, for maximum security.

Selecting a Client

There are a number of clients to choose from. We recommend installing a native Linux client on your work machine, and a mobile client on your phone for convenience.

Here are a few (of many!) options:

All of the above can be installed on Linux via Flatpak (recommended!). Browse Matrix clients on Flathub.

Note

Right now, it’s not possible to log into our homeserver with the browser-based versions of Element and SchildiChat. Use the desktop or mobile client instead. If you want browser-based access, try FluffyChat.

You can see a full list of Matrix clients here.

Important

Install a Matrix client now. If you’re not sure which one you want to use, try Element.

Logging In

Depending on which Matrix client you choose, your login screen will look slightly different. In any case, you’ll need three pieces of information to login:

  • Homeserver: chat.mousepawmedia.com

  • Username: (your company username)

  • Password: (your company password)

Note

your Matrix login for our homeserver is tied to your MousePaw ID.

That’s all! You can now chat on our Matrix server. You should take a moment to add your profile picture to your account profile, so everyone can see your smiling face.

Important

Log into the MousePaw Media Matrix homeserver on your installed client(s) and add your profile picture.

Joining Rooms

When you log in for the first time, you won’t see any rooms. This is okay! On your Matrix client, look for the option to join a public room.

Note

Many of our private rooms are listed as “public” for anyone logged in with company credentials. Don’t worry…the outside world can’t see most of these.

Here’s the most important rooms for you to join and know:

Lobby (#lobby) is our public room, joinable by absolutely anyone. It’s where general conversation with our community at large will take place. Be careful what you post in this room! Anyone can see it, including the history.

If someone has a Matrix account with any federated homeserver, including the free and public matrix.org, they can join this room as #lobby:chat.mousepawmedia.com. It’s also bridged to our #mousepawmedia IRC room on Libera.Chat.

Warning

Because Lobby is bridged to IRC, deleting a message will not actually delete it from the room history altogether. What you say, you cannot take back.

Water Cooler (#staff) is our company-wide chatroom. Anyone with a MousePaw ID can join this room, but no one else can see it.

We also have staff rooms for each of our main departments: #programming, #designprod, and #contentdev. These are also only visible to users logged in with a MousePaw ID.

You can create your own public and private rooms as well, although I strongly recommending using Element for this, as it has the best options for encryption and privacy. If you want a chat to be encrypted, make it private, and then invite the staff members you want to join.

Last, but not least, you can private message anyone through Matrix.

Important

Join the Lobby and Water Cooler rooms.

ECO: Employee Care and Opportunity

Our “human resources” department is called ECO, which stands for Employee Care and Opportunity.

ECO Forms

All the ECO forms you’ll need are stored on Nextcloud, in the ECO folder.

All forms must be filled out, signed by hand, scanned in (see sidebar), and emailed to eco@mousepawmedia.com.

  • Formal Grievance: If you are unable to resolve a conflict with a co-worker via informal discussions, you may file this form within 15 days of the most recent incident.

  • Promotion Request: When you are ready to be promoted to Intern II, to graduate from the internship program, or otherwise be promoted to a higher seniority, you must fill out and submit this form. Interns will also need the appropriate Internship Checklist.

  • Leave of Absence Request: Any time you will be absent for a week or more, or under six hours a week in the case of an intern, you must file this request at least two days before your absence!

  • Resignation Request: If you choose to leave MousePaw Media, you must file a resignation request. If you’re an intern, we may choose to terminate your employment with us instead of accepting the resignation, as specified in your contract.

Management Forms

There are a few more ECO forms which are accessible only to management.

  • Hiring Checklist: When we are reviewing an applicant for our internship program, we use this form to collect and track all the relevant information about them.

  • Employee Disciplinary Warning Notice: For serious and/or recurring problems, a supervisor may detail the incident and the expected remedy using this form. If you receive one, be sure to read it, initial and sign it, and send it back via e-mail ASAP.

  • Employee Termination: In the rare and unfortunate case where an employee must be fired, we use this form. There is also a separate Internship Termination form.

Next Steps

Previous MousePaw Media graduates have written up some tips for new interns! You can read those on the Phabricator Phriction wiki at the link below:

Important

Read Internship Tips

You can learn more about the different parts of the Staff Network in the other sections of this documentation.

If you’re an intern, you can find a list of all your assignments on the appropriate Internship Checklist at the bottom of the Assignments Phriction page.

Programmers should check out these sections next:

Content Developers should check out this section next:

Design+Production and Mass Communication staff should check out this section next: