A Bot That Actually Does Useful Things For Me
I’m not a fan of the unfolding bot universe. I get it, you can do interesting things with them–the key word being interesting. Most of what I’ve seen done via Twitter, Facebook, and Slack Bots really isn’t that interesting. Maybe it’s that I’m old and boring, or maybe because people aren’t doing interesting things. When you hear me complain about bots, just remember it isn’t because I think the technology approach is dumb, it’s because I think the implementations are dumb.
After several dives into the world of bots, looking to understand how bots are using APIs, I’ve found some interesting Twitter bots, and an even smaller number of Slack bots I found to be useful–I have yet to find an interesting Facebook Bot. Honestly, I think it is the constaints of each platform that are incentivizing interesting things to be done, and also the not interesting, and even dangerous things to be done. So I find it interesting when the bot conversation moves to other platforms, bringing with it a new sets of constraints, like I just saw with a new bot out of Hashicorp.
Hashicorp’s Bot does mundane Github janitorial work for me! This is automation (aka bot) activity I can get behind. I feel like much of the Slack automation I’ve seen is doing things that wouldn’t actually benefit me, and would be creating more noise than any solution it would bring–this is due to how I use Slack, or rather how I don’t use Slack. I’m a HEAVY Github user, and there are MANY tasks that are left undone. Things like tagging repos, README files, licensing, and the other things we either forget about, or just don’t have the time for. You fire up a bot to help me with these things, my ears are going to perk up a bit when it comes to the bot conversation.
In the end, I just need to remember that it is not bots that are boring and dumb–people are. ;-) That includes me. I find the concept of a Github bot infinitely more valuable than a Facebook, Twitter, or Slack Bot. I’m curious to see where Hashicorp takes this, and now that the concept of a Github Bot is on my radar, I’m guessing I will see other examples of it in the wild. I’m hoping this is an area we’ll see more bot development and investment, but I also understand Facebook, Twitter, and Slack have relevance in other peoples world, and that I’m the oddball here who finds Github a more interesting platform.