Everyone at Qwilr keeps a list of goals/things achieved the previous week, and it’s distributed around the company through the “standup” email thread each week. I’m not the first to have discussed the benefits of these emails, but I do regularly forget what I’ve done that week, so I took liberal amounts of inspiration from Will Larson to create a lil Slack bot that can record and recall the things I did that week.

It’s super simple and just takes items from a Slackbot posted to AWS Lambda endpoints, and dumps them into a DynamoDB table. Ridiculously easy!

Tell him what you did:

A screenshot of recording a reflection

And he’ll remind you the following week when you get around to writing your status update:

A screenshot of grabbing all reflections from the past week

Under the hood

I alluded to the fact that this thing was pretty simple and is just a Python-based AWS Lambda function; I used AWS Chalice to scaffold the thing out and it was super easy to get started. Compared to the overwhelm of manually configuring all the widgets in AWS, it was far less complex.

The only drawback to this approach is that I couldn’t get the updating of the policy working - I had to manually add DynamoDB access to the IAM role that Chalice had created for my Lambda 😓

Quick rough sketch of how it all fits together:

A sketch of how my system fits together; Slack talks to an API gateway, which fires AWS Lambdas to both fetch and create reflections from a DynamoDB table

Check out the code on GitHub.