7.07.2013

hubot meet stashboard

For most of the years I've been working in software nearly everything I've written hasn't been visible to the world. Somewhat because it would probably only be of interest to this guy, but mostly because it was proprietary and owned by a massive corporation.

With my recent change of locale I've enjoyed going from coding in an airlock (bank), only slightly better than coding in a vacuum, to to coding in a more open ecosystem. I'm digging the social coding but more than that I'm really loving working with stuff that I don't need to jury rig to bypass weird limitations (ever tried writing self modifying JCL? shudder).

One of the more entertaining pieces of software we use is Hubot, a chat bot whose functionality is readily extended with add on scripts; though a co-worker recently described him as a "charming nuisance" which is more or less true. I've been thinking he could be more productive (automate ALL THE THINGS!) but hadn't settled on here to start when a recent service outage put an idea in my head.

During a minor database snafu some of the team discussed ways to get out in front of the issue with users to make sure people knew we were on top of things. Emails and blog posts were put out there but afterword we realized that the people who had the credentials to update our Stashboard were the same ones who were needed to fight the fires.

So I spent some time setting up a Stashboard, installing a Hubot to play with and learning Coffeescript. That last bit was interesting, I haven't written Javascript in about a hundred years, it seems the cool kids are all on about this asynchronous shit that took me a while to wrap my head around. This ancient blog post helped with that.

I ended up producing a pretty decent interface between the two which I've added to our fork of hubot-scripts. Hopefully somebody else out there finds it useful.
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