Alt Tab Blog

Keeping Time with The Alt Tab Slack Bot

Posted by Tiffany Graham on May 3, 2017 12:18:00 PM


In our young stage as a company, we had some processes that were a bit cumbersome and slowed productivity — time and creativity have helped us identify these problems and create innovative solutions, one of which we’d like to share now.

 As a distributed team that is spread across time zones you can imagine that keeping track of everyone’s working hours can get a little complicated. We originally used a google spreadsheet document, where developers were supposed to enter their hours worked for each day. Not only did this quickly become cumbersome, it also became ineffective as developers would forget to enter their time.
Slack is occupied, by friendly, helpful bots

That problem is what inspired our team to build a bot within Slack, one of our most frequently used collaboration tools. It has made time keeping a seamless, and infinitely easier process for our team members. Here’s how it works:

  • The slack bot pings the developer and asks about the time worked the previous day.
  • The developer has several ways they can respond; entering worked hours, or indicating they were on holiday, or sick.
  • When the developer enters hours, the bot will then ask what they did in that time.
  • If there is overtime, the bot asks details — entering details are not mandatory.
  • The bot will send a reminder every three hours if time is not entered.
  • If a developer skips days, the bot will keep asking about the previous days.
  • The bot is integrated with the Alt Tab Portal and will save all the data in the back end — so if developers log into the Alt Tab portal, they will be able to see their timesheet.
  • Once logged in to the portal, developers can edit time if incorrect, or enter something for the future (i.e if he/she is planning a holiday).
Screenshot of our Slack Bot in action

This bot is a great step towards automation, which we believe is the way to optimal efficiency. We literally went from having to chase developers about entering time daily to zero need for any kind of chasing. It has allowed the administrative team and development team to interface in a much more efficient way. Stay tuned for more inspiration, ideas, and productivity hacks!

 Learn more about Alt Tab or just pop over to say hello



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