Hey! I built a bot!

I’m excited and amazed at my doing that, if anyone had told me two weeks ago i would be building and making a demo of my bot to a group of enthusiastic developers, i would have probably smacked them back into reality.

The month of September came with all rush and a lot of activities that i had little time to work on myself and progress in my learning. I had always wanted to build something away from the regular web i was used to, but the busy work life kept getting in the way, and the few times i started up on something, i always ended halfway into it and never got back to it.

In life, deadlines keep me in check, it’s not the best of things to take pride in, but if they provide the best of results, oh well… Some weeks ago i applied to be a speaker at forloop women, a community aimed at giving business and technical support to all women in tech.

Good news; i got accepted. I was going to run the attendees through building Facebook bots. This was a challenge to me with knowing next to nothing about Facebook messenger bots, but seeing the opportunity to grow technically and also achieve what i had always wanted to i.e build outside the web, i took up the challenge.

Days and nights of reading up related articles and following the same routine for practice: assemble, build, run, dissemble. I was able to understand the concepts and some of the technicalities involved to be able to explain with more confidence.

Just like they say, practice makes perfect!

All while trying to get better at it, i built four different simple messenger bots
(with almost the same function for all), and for the first time, i got to find out about ngrok, learn and work with it with no hassle so as to give Facebook an accessible web URL to set up my webhook.

Knowing that i had to make a live demo of what ever it was i was going to teach / talk about at the event, i pushed myself to learning, understanding at all cost else live forever with the shame of disappointing the attendees. Thankful i went for the first!

My semi-final bot isn’t as perfect as i would want it to be before it’s published, and after a session on messenger bots with Tudor Săpunaru, Partner Engineer at Facebook, at the Facebook Partner Developer workshop,Lagos, i sure am back to working on adding some more interesting features, and who knows, build more!

As i like to share my learning with the public via tutorials, i’ll be putting up one on how i built my bot, explaining technical terms where necessary and steps i took.

I am thankful to the organizer of forloop women, Eyitayo Alimi for the opportunity, thank you for literally insisting on me handling the session. It’s given me the opportunity to improve and expand on my learning!

Just like a friend of mine keeps saying, “you are not a developer until you build out something with it”. I never would have come around to learning or knowing a thing about bots, if i hadn’t taken up the opportunity and defied all odds.

go for it, who say’s you can’t?

So there you have it, I — BUILT — A — BOT!