Coffee is the center of the tech geek universe; the bean is our sun to which we gravitate.
With HipChat’s explosive growth, what used to be an easy coffee run became a trek around the building with folks handing over cards, cash and various forms of wampum. Couple that with people wanting their coffee black, with skim milk, almond milk, a Slim Jim hanging off the top – the ordering process got hectic.
This is coffee, not a Bloody Mary!
We started with a hand written list. Soon after realized, “wait, we’re a tech company. Let’s solve this.”
Next, was a list application. It worked well enough, but there were issues with getting folks on board. The app was static and without any back end or data persistence – it was just people and coffees.
So, the list application was 86ed.
Someone needed to up the ante: someone needed to create…a HipChat Bot.
Tired of lists, Leo Balan created the Caffeinator, a HipChat Connect add-on. Over a weekend, Leo cobbled some time together during his daughter’s naps. His desire for easy coffee ordering was that strong.
Leo assumed trying to write a HipChat Bot, test it, deploy it and into the Product Growth room would be hard. Turns out, it was pretty easy.
Coffee was on its way
Following a comprehensive and easy to follow guide, Leo created The Caffeinator. That informative guide became Leo’s bible.
Leo set up his dev environment and the results looked promising. He was pretty sure he pulled it off. The next step was creating a HipChat account with a test room.
The basic breakdown is pretty simple:
Create a “coffee run group”, and then add everyone you want to include. People will input their default coffee order.
Every morning The Caffeinator will reset, and all members have to do is opt-in. Your default order will be saved – a simple command will earn you your daily brew.
Alphabetical by last name, you can see the next three people whose turn it is to buy. Once someone has bought, they can either “/done” or someone can do it for them. The buying order automatically updates.
So now, coffee orders around the HipChat offices are pretty easy.
I need this for my team. Can I use it?
The Caffeinator came together quickly, so there’s room for improvement. We’re sharing the code with our users because we want to challenge our community. What’s the next for The Caffeinator?
HipChat Connect add on’s are brimming with untapped potential; if we’re creating applications that can tackle an office coffee run, what’s the next innovation of tomorrow?
Get involved, check out the code, make improvements, offer suggestions.
Coffee today, Mars tomorrow?