BrownieBot - origins

At my work we use a tool called Slack. Slack is a chat client that lets organisations set up chat rooms and share files and collaborate and that kind of thing. It's pretty awesome. One of the best things about Slack is that you can install apps on to the platform that can do all kinds of fun stuff. One of my favourites was an app called HeyTaco. 

HeyTaco lets you say thanks to colleagues who've helped you out by giving them taco emojis in the chat. Sounds silly, but actually the number of tacos you can give per day is artificially limited, and HeyTaco maintains a leader-board, so not only are tacos in short supply, but everyone can see who's the most helpful team member, and compete to get the top spot. Basically it encourages team collaboration and helpfulness.

So we were using this, and it was great, BUT THEN HeyTaco switched to not having a free plan anymore, and they have a per-user pricing model that means that we were going to be on the hook for something like £2,000 a year. Fine in theory, but that's a lot of money for fake tacos, and the company I work for didn't value it highly enough, so we didn't pay and all our tacos suddenly disappeared. So all at once we were left in this horrific position of having HAD tacos, having experienced the benefit, but now finding ourselves starved.


Well, build a replacement of course! I'll call it BrowniePoints and instead of tacos, you'll hand out Brownies (for Brownie Points).  I'm a software engineer after all. Couldn't be too difficult. Could it? Onwards! Anyway, how to do it? Well, that'll be the subject of my next few blog posts. Stay tuned.