Summer Interns Build IMPACT Bot
Today we are highlighting five IMPACT high school summer interns who collaborated on creating an IMPACT bot, or a program that helps users operate the workplace messenger app “Slack” more efficiently. Created by team members William Diana, Kyle Song, Petru Zubek, Michael Tsai, and Shankar Bahadur and their mentor Satkar Dhakal, the bot is capable of providing information and functionality directly to Slack threads by randomly selecting peer reviewers for coding projects and providing information on IMPACT’s program increment (PI) and sprint cycle.
The Random Reviewer Bot is a bot that allows Slack users to request a certain number of random reviewers to look over a project. The user can use /select-random # or a github.com link followed by a reviewer count tag. The end result is the bot mentioning the chosen reviewers in a notification message.
The PI Controller commands utilize the current date which gives the information needed to get the current PI, the next PI, next sprint, and the starting PI dates of the year. Team member Kyle believes the bot could be helpful to the scientific community. He explains:
It can help make sharing and collaborating in Slack much easier. The bot itself isn’t scientifically driven, but can help other projects that do involve science get more eyes on themselves.
Teammate Shankar adds:
Many aspects of the project can be molded to everyday use for other groups that use Slack for communication. By using the project as a blueprint others can expedite information access by creating a similar slack bot that sends information from a database to their slack threads.
The team coded the Slack bot in Python. The command is passed to the Slack bot, which calculates the dates and returns the answer to the respective queries. The team deployed the IMPACT bot into the code channel in the IMPACT Slack in the last few weeks of their internship. The entire development team used the reviewer format in order to call a manually selected user and a few randomly selected users.
The students are all motivated by a shared passion for computer science. William Diana says he became interested in programming while taking AP Computer Science A. Kyle states that this project initially caught his interest because it involved learning Python, a language he was eager to learn but not yet comfortable with. Shankar adds that he was particularly interested in the Slack bot project because of his interest in task automation, concluding that he feels “that automation is a central pillar in programming, therefore I was enthusiastic to gain more experience in the automating processes, especially on a larger scale than my past experiences.”