Have you ever heard about one awesome event that held over the weekend only after it had already happened? Have you ever looked forward to an event only to discover it already happened?
If you can relate, then you're not alone! We know too well how annoying it can be to miss out on awesome events (and the swag, don't forget the swag) just because you didn't know.
The idea for Developer Events Bot (DEB) was born out of the need to solve this problem Devs face all too often.
What it does
DEB helps connect you to the developer community by keeping you up-to-date with tech events happening at your location and elsewhere, assists you with getting registered and keeping you reminded so you don't forget.
No events in your location? Not to worry, DEB saves your location and helps link with other developers in that location. Together you could organize meetups and maybe you might just meet your long needed co-founder and together launch the next amazing product to help society and ultimately make the world a much better place.
How I built it
The first thing was to actually decide what exactly we wanted our product to do and how it would do that. We thought of many features that we could add but in the end, we decided to keep it pretty simple for anyone and built a facebook messenger bot.
The next step was to sync the APIs of different events sources, for now, Eventbrite and Meetup. As these two APIs had different workings, we had to make sure this was done smoothly to present the user just one view of different events (which is the Scrollable message you see on the bot). We also had to ensure that these APIs gave only UPCOMING Tech events in the user's LOCATION.
After all these, we got started on actually building the chatbot and thinking of the best user flows that would keep the developer engaged.
The advantage of building the API separately from the bot is that the API could also be connected to a website or mobile app to display these events meaning the chatbot eventually is just one part of a bigger picture.
Challenges I ran into
The major challenge was time as we begun working on this quite late into the competition while also working regular jobs. To make sure we submitted in time we had to do the majority of the job at night or during any spare time. So work during the day, code during the night.
Also connecting the different APIs of different services (Meetups, Eventbrite) to get the developer events proved to be quite a lot. Understanding their structure and syncing them all together was a challenge but we're glad to have pulled this off after much trial and error.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Completing a project, at least before the deadline and beating procrastination.
What I learned
What's next for Developer Events Bot
We are looking to integrating more developer events starting with events in local Developer circles. We are also working on making the developer recommendation algorithm better for finding developers when there are no events or meetups in your location.