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Done Reports - Open Source Bridge


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When our company was acquired we needed a way to keep our team and remote teams updated on what we was done. Some members were often travelling or in different time zones. We needed a way to see everything that was done each day all in one place, especially as the teams worked on more complex projects. Everyone was using different methods to do this: standups, written reports, emails and meetings. Nothing stuck.

“!done reports” introduce a simple IRC command: !done. Team members say !done and what they just did. These !dones are put into a daily report. !done becomes a part of everyday at work, not a strained task that’s easily forgotten.

Many development teams already use IRC, Skype and other systems to communicate. !done is an addition to existing systems, is open source and easily modified. It is built off of ZenIRC bot and bundled into Loqi, the friendly IRC bot lurking in the #pdxtech channel on freenode. This presentation will show you how a simple bot solved a lot of problems for a lot of distributed people.

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Done Reports - Open Source Bridge

  1. 1. Amber Case @caseorganic Aaron Parecki @aaronpk Director, Esri PDX CTO, Esri PDX !done - Hacking IRC Bots for Distributed Teams Open Source Bridge 2013!
  2. 2. Changes • Team dynamics change after 6 people • Scrum lasted about 4-5 days • Daily standups = cumbersome • Needed a way to quickly share status
  3. 3. > !done
  4. 4. First system 11/2012 - built quick system to let us use existing communication channel: IRC Team used IRC for years for group chat, also for server log messages to get a pulse on the system
  5. 5. How it works • During the day, the IRC bot asks you what you’ve done • You say !done what you did • At the end of the day, everyone gets an email with what everyone has done > !done squashed some bugs
  6. 6. At the end of the day, everyone gets an email with what everyone has !done > !done squashed some bugs Daily Email!
  7. 7. !done commands > !done pushed to production > !todo send out notification emails > !hero caseorganic for bringing Legos! > !blocking loud noises from construction work
  8. 8. And…
  9. 9. > !meme
  10. 10. > !meme to production | and beyond!
  11. 11. Adoption Someone sees our channel & asks “what is that?”
  12. 12. Scale! Lots of people want to use it! !donereports was built as a hack, we needed this quickly It was a database, IRC bot and a daily email, no other interface!
  13. 13. Aaron was the bottleneck: had to add users manually mysql> INSERT INTO users (username, email, nicks) VALUES ('aaronpk’,'', 'aaronpk');
  14. 14. All Groups
  15. 15. Limechat
  16. 16. Limechat
  17. 17. Email report!
  18. 18. Documentation? No documentation! Invariably, someone else in the channel will explain how it works!
  19. 19. Usage Suggestion • If a group doesn’t use one of the features (such as !hero) then that email contains a tip at the bottom with a suggestion!
  20. 20. Building IRC Bots Use ZenIRC Bot! • Great framework for building bots! • Benefits • Modular – service oriented • Can write in any language and run under the same bot • Uses Redis PubSub to pass message between the different frameworks
  21. 21. Bot Architecture
  22. 22. Beta for OSBridge Attendees! Want to try it out? Sign up at and we’ll let you in!
  23. 23.
  24. 24. > !done presented at OSBridge! Amber Case @caseorganic Aaron Parecki @aaronpk Director, Esri PDX CTO, Esri PDX Tweet suggestions to @donereports!