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Introducing Atomcal bots

Beep boop you're out of job...??

Atomcal is built by 3 builder bots

Since you all know the story... there were three eggs and out of those three eggs came crashing 3 bots ... wait what? were you hoping for a chicken?

On a serious note, since the early version of Atomcal was developed as an indie effort it was pretty difficult to also find time to share the developments with the community AND share any progress or things that weren't working like error logs.

To automate this process of developing and publishing, Atomcal bots came into being to help out the developer(s).

The bots live on Discord by choice

All the bots live on Discord by choice. Not that they had any other choice. Because Discord is great fun place to hangout in. The bots like to live in future (obviously) and for that, they pledged to avoid Slack so long as they can afford it. "those capitalist buggers"... said Logcat who always had a grim personality.

The publisher bot

Ghosty helps to write blog posts and change-logs by watching the development progress! Not only write them, but it also schedules these posts for a later week to be published. Once published it also sends them via email to the users and posts them on social media.

This system can be thought of as an engine of growth, where this engine automagically keeps pushing out new content on the internet for people to find.

The logger bot

Logcat wasn't happy with how the application kept on throwing errors both on the frontend and the backend. He decided to deal with this by sharing the error(s) and any other logs with the developer and with the community as well His idea was noble though, public errors get fixed faster. Not that he was wrong!

The calendar bot

Atomcal is the calendar bot and it helps with sharing your events and member details and any other useful information when the time is right, like if someone gets access, or if someone start Believing the product!

If you're on the waiting list Atomcal puts people out of the waiting list too (so technically he is the guy to bug if you're still waiting). Maybe one day when users connect an account Atomcal could give them immediate access but he said he is still thinking about that. All for good reasons.

Here is how they work together

To begin with, the bot detects any commit that is made on the repositories with specially tagged messages (either "hotfix: message", "improvement: message" or "feature: message") via git webhooks.

Then, using the commit messages the bot writes (or updates) the blog post on the Ghost CMS via their API, and schedules it for next Tuesday at 2 pm (because apparently, Tuesday 2 pm is the best time to send out a newsletter.

Ghosty is the bot that deals with publication and writing blog posts

Once published the blog post is also sent to the user base in email format, and also posted on social media, and it also notifies the discord community via discord channel messages.

For example this changelog https://atomcal.com/changelogs/changelog-1646748000000/ was written entirely by a bot through webhook automation.

How this help the product as a whole?

By automating this process, it is now possible to write code (and develop features) at least a month in advance (given that each new feature is scheduled next Tuesday from the last scheduled feature). In theory, this gives the leverage to go on weeks worth of break and the marketing engine would still keep on running.

Well in theory at least!