Our Facebook developer circle had a hackday. I was so motivated by the developers there that I was determined to at least build something that I could submit for the Developer Circles Community Challenge. That day I was talking to a friend of mine and he had no idea where was the nearest developer circle and that's where the idea struck!

What it does :v::v:

It's a fully interactive chatbot. Designed to hold a general flow of conversation. When you enter your city name it searched for the nearest Facebook developer circle, if your city doesn't already have one, and provides you with the link to the page. If you ask for information about a particular city it replies with a nice carousel of the recent 3 activities on the page.

How I built it :books:

  • I used NodeJS to write the business logic of the bot.
  • Dialogflow helped with natural language processing and intent work
  • npm libraries :
    • apiai
    • express
    • fbgraph
    • google-distance

Challenges I ran into :running:

This was an awesome learning experience. I learnt so many things, it's difficult to account all the challenges, but some of them were :

  • establishing webhooks and integrating multiple platforms into the bot.
  • learning everything from scratch, I only knew a bit of node.
  • access token provided by Facebook's graph api kept expiring.
  • finding distances between two places and writing code so that the async code could work properly. ## Accomplishments that I'm proud of :bow: I am really happy that I was able to finished something I started. Obviously, getting to know how bots are made is really awesome and now I have that in my arsenal as well. But the best part was the experience and the late nights spent coding. That's what I'm really proud of, the dedication to finish a product and launch it.

What I learned

The most important thing I learned was the fact that anything can be learned if one is really passionate about the central idea of the goal. It becomes really fun. The long nights, tiredness and perplextion all feels amazing. Also, I learned how to make a half decent chatbot so no complaints there! :smile::smile:

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