A story of open APIs
What do you get when you combine a group of entrepreneurial hackers, a single weekend, and two open APIs? A brand new Slack command to request an Uber without pulling out your phone — built by some talented young minds in just 48 hours.
Here at Uber, we are huge on empowering developers to create innovative solutions by having an open API that any developer can use — anywhere in the world. That’s why when a former colleague and leader of App Academy reached out to us on Friday afternoon about a somewhat-crazy-but-not-so-crazy idea, we just had to listen.
Their idea: create a Slack command to book an Uber using Slack’s new and improved APIs. Even better, they wanted to open-source it so that the community could improve it over time. Excited and anxious to go, they wanted to get started as quickly as possible.
And get started quickly, they did. By Saturday morning, they were cranking out code, crushing red-bulls, and pumping through some of the initial designs. By Saturday afternoon, they already had some of the basics of Slack and Uber’s API up and running. By Sunday night, they had a working prototype.
We all loved the challenge of delving into two different powerful APIs and then melding them into a cool new app. The fast development cycle — from our first strategy session to our initial working product in under 48 hours — was also really exciting.
– Nicole Devillers, App Academy August 2015 cohort and Hackathon participant
- Simply add the Uber bot to your Slack.
- In any Slack channel, type /uber ride <pickup address> to <destination address> to request an Uber
The Uber Slack Bot allows you to do the following commands:
How it was built
The gang at App Academy used Heroku and Ruby to get it done quickly. They implemented open libraries such as rails, geocoder, and unicorn to speed up development and build on a solid foundation. By developing on the Uber sandbox, they iterated rapidly on their design and worked through all the kinks.
Request an Uber inside of Slack
Ready to take a ride with Slack? Have your team admin add it now.
And if you want to look under the cover, check out the GitHub repo. Contributions welcome!