March 09, 2016 by Matthew Creager
Whether they're publishing notifications, responding to
/slash commands or carrying a conversation, bots have become an integral part of the way we work with Slack. A bot can do any number of things for your team as part of your day-to-day work, you're only limited by your imagination. For some first-hand experience, check out the Heroku Button Gallery, where users have created all types of bots: from fun bots like poker and Jeopardy!, to more practical ones like a bot that tracks the satisfaction of your team members or one that reminds your team to review existing pull requests.
That said, the real power and fun of Slack bots comes once you know how to build your own. In this post, we'll show you how to create and deploy a Slack bot that will respond to
/slash commands in order to show the top trending repos in GitHub. While a Slack bot can be built in practically any language, today we're going to build ours with Node, and not just because I 💖 Node. Anything beyond a simple notification bot depends on Slack's WebSocket-based RTM (Real Time Messaging) API, and WebSockets and Node go together like 🍔🍟.