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 mousepawmedia.net/eco. 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 18.04 or later), installed directly on your computer. See Ubuntu Setup: Installing. If you need help, contact Jason C. McDonald.

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

Warning

You may NOT use Microsoft Windows, including Windows Phones, to access the Staff Network!

Staff Network

The Staff Network consists of six major components:

  • Webmail (webmail.mousepawmedia.com)
  • eHour (ehour.mousepawmedia.net)
  • Phabricator (phabricator.mousepawmedia.net)
  • NextCloud (nextcloud.mousepawmedia.net)
  • Jenkins (jenkins.mousepawmedia.net)
  • Etherpad (pad.mousepawmedia.net)

We also use IRC and Jitsi for regular communication, although these are hosted on external servers that we do not own or operate.

Our network is spread across two servers.

  • Webster is the public server hosting mousepawmedia.com, mousepawgames.com, and our email servers. It is based out of Fremont, CA, and is available 24/7.
  • Hawksnest is our development server. It hosts DevNet, our collection of development tools. Anything with a mousepawmedia.net address lives on Hawksnest. it is available from 7am to 10pm Pacific, 7 days a week.

Visit staff.mousepawmedia.com for our 24/7 staff portal, with links to Webmail, Jitsi, and DevNet. The DevNet landing has links to everything else.

Webmail

Note

Webmail is hosted on our Fremont, California servers, and thus is available 24/7!

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 web client, SquirrelMail. 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.

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

  2. Set up your signature. Click Options at the top of the window and select Personal Information. Enter your full name (including middle initial), and then add a signature. If you’re not sure what to use for this, consider the example below. Make sure you check the boxes for Use Signature and Prefix Signature with ‘–’ Line, and then click Submit

    Here’s the example signature:

    Your Name Here
    Position, MousePaw Media
    
    Visit Us Online: MousePawMedia.com
    Call Us: 208-557-GAME
    
  3. Reading email will be easier and more visually pleasing by displaying messages in HTML. This is off by default; to turn it on, click Options at the top of the window. Select Display Preferences, and check the box for Show HTML Version by Default. Click Submit.

Important

Access your company email through the webmail client.

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

Warning

Do NOT use Microsoft email clients such as Outlook or Windows Mail!

  • 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 or your smartphone.

Regular Webmail 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 and what you’re planning to do over the upcoming week. Including the Phabricator Maniphest task IDs/links for the tasks you’ve been working on. This is also a good time to ask your supervisors questions.

Important

Log into your webmail and send an email 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!

eHour

Note

eHour is on our development server, meaning it is subject to the DevNet (Hawksnest) server hours.

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

Warning

If you forget to log your time, you will not be reminded. Contact your supervisor if you missed the deadline.

To log your time, go to eHour. Login using your company username and password. You will be on the Your Hours section by default, with the current week highlighted.

Enter your time (in hours) on the appropriate box for each day. You must also include notes on each day (by clicking the pencil), listing the Phabricator objects you worked on (Tasks, Revisions, wiki pages, etc.)

Warning

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

Finally, click Store in the lower-right corner to store the hours.

Regular eHour Tasks

  • Log your hours every day you work.
  • Seriously, that’s it. Log your time!

Phabricator

Note

Phabricator is on our development server, meaning it is subject to the DevNet (Hawksnest) server hours.

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 Conpherence Preferences at left, and set it to “Send Notifications”. (Otherwise, you may get spammed.) Click Save Changes.
  5. Click Desktop Notifications at left. Select the option Send Desktop Notifications Too, 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.
  6. 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. Click Email Delivery at left. DISABLE Self Actions, but leave Email Notifications ENABLED. Click Save Changes.
  2. Click Email Preferences at left. Here, you may shut off many email notifications by selecting the Notify option for any given item.

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 Personal. This will take you to your profile and settings screen.
  2. If you scroll down a little, you will see buttons for downloading the Nextcloud client for various platforms. Now would be a good time to set up one or more up. To install the client for Linux, see Installing Nextcloud Client.

Important

Remember, Windows is banned from the company for all staff-related tasks. This includes accessing Nextcloud, even through the Windows client.

  1. The Activity section allows you to customize notifications. You should leave most Stream options checked, so you’ll know when things happen on Nextcloud. However, you may want to uncheck some Mail options, to keep email to a minimum.
  2. Uncheck the boxes labeled List your own file actions in the stream and Notify about your own actions via email, so you don’t receive notifications about your own actions.

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.

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

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: