Due to the COVID-19 situation, people find themselves in a new working environment, alone at home. Besides regular company/team meetings, random chats between a small group of individuals rarely happen in a remote-only environment while they are usually a part of everyday office life.

Having a virtual assistant by your side will lower the barrier to have a casual conversation with your colleagues, to receive and give support.

What it does

Moodificator is a Slack App for setting up meetings between coworkers. It reaches out to you periodically, every workday once, by sending you a short series of questions. If you would like to talk to others, you can set the time, the topic, optionally limit the number of participants, and the Moodificator will post the events to a static #Events channel. Anyone who is interested in the topic or who is eager to cheer you up or listen to your problem can sign up to meet you. Once it's time, the Moodificator creates a private channel, invite the participants and then let the conversation begin!

How I built it

  • Leotrin: For backend, I used Laravel with MySql and create an API upon it. After I created the different endpoints for each action I had to change them and find a solution to make all the actions in one endpoint and work with only one endpoint and different parameters to accomplish the entire process. Building an API with one endpoint for different actions is challenging but it does require only one app to accomplish multiple microservices within it.

Challenges I ran into

  • Konstantin: new coding environments and software concepts. Tight schedule for a learning process.

  • Anna: Yes, the short time and having a small team is indeed a challenge, for me the biggest one.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

  • Anna: even if we could not deliver a working solution, we learned so much in the last 2 days! Amazing how many new tools we used and how many awesome, passionate people we got to know. I'm proud of the team, we could always count on each other!!

What I learned

  • Konstantin
    • Drafting an app concept in a team.
    • Designing an App in Slack.
    • Working with Bolt SDK to provide frontend functionality.

What's next for 10_Moodificator

There is still a lot of work to do on the technical side:

  • A periodic reminder and topic-poll have to be implemented
    • To achieve that an interactive Slack-app controller needs to be manufactured
  • An automatic creation of chatrooms for each topic has to be implemented
    • As a perspective, an anonymous chat is a desirable option

On the HR-side the questions have to be answered regarding how the answers the users provide have to be handled and whether the chats regarding each topic should have an obligatory schedule for all participants.

In the end, the question stands how can we make the users perceive the app as a chance to overcome the problems associated with social distancing. Regarding this a snowball effect would be crucial - the more people are using the app, the more granular the topics can become, which in turn makes it more attractive for new users.

...stay tuned!

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