Built with Botkit: Welcomebot

This post originally appeared on the the Howdy.ai company blog

We made a bot for our developer community that tells you all about making bots for Slack and other platforms!

For new users to our Bot Developer Hangout, the top channels are a few clicks away!For new users to our Bot Developer Hangout, the top channels are a few clicks away!

As part of Howdy’s open source efforts, we curate a public slack bot building community named The Bot Developer Hangout. Despite the name, it actually contain discussions from all over the bot making world, with channels dedicated to all things Slack, Facebook, Cisco Spark, Microsoft Botbuilder and more.

Topics can range from the basics of standing up our Botkit starter kits on your Slack team, to scaling your commercial bot across dozens of servers, to best practices from everything to greetings to color choice. Almost everyone there has either built a bot, or really wants to build a bot. We are very lucky to have many friendly and successful developers volunteer their time to share their knowledge and work with all kinds of users.

When you have a no barriers entryway into a complex concept like bot development, making an onboarding resource that works for newcomers and experts alike can seem daunting. Assume too much, and you can easily confuse and overwhelm. Too little, and you lead to boredom and uselessness. To create a great baseline experience in our community, we created Welcomebot.

Welcomebot was designed to be a concierge to new users joining our slack community. Through it we hope to cut down on the uncertainty of where to ask your getting started questions, illuminate which channels to look for examples and existing tools, and in general make the onboarding experiencing informative and easy for the entire spectrum of users.

Built using our new **Botkit Studio** tool, we will be able to quickly respond to necessary content updates, user experience tweaks and fixes, and adding cool new features to the bot. For me, a non-native coder, having access to a visual CMS for scripting the bots word was great experience, and quickly proved to be a powerful tool in designing targeted information via the constraints of Slack chat formatting.

Welcomebot main functions are the following:

  • When a user joins, it sends them a DM.

  • It responds to things like ‘help’ and ‘get started’ and gives suggestions about channels and resources.

  • It informs people about the code of conduct and the rules.

If you want to build a bot like this for your team, a great starting point is this blog post by my colleague Eric Soelzer.

Using the tools you make, and seeing real-time usage and reaction from your community is an intensely satisfying process, and will continue to be an important part of our internal design processes going forward.

Are you interested in taking Studio for a test drive? Sign up here to be added to our developer preview or to be notified when the tool is available to the public!

Botkit is the leading open source tool for developing bots for Slack, Facebook and other major messaging platforms. Dive into our extensive documentation, examples and starter projects, then join 3500 other bot developers in our community chat room.