We recently had an awesome hackathon at work. We split into teams, and each team had to create a solution to a problem in the workspace. Then we had the opportunity to present the problem and its solution to everyone else at the end of the day.

Finding Problem/Solution

Remember that time you went to your office and the door was locked, and nobody was around to open it? The team that I put together focused on fixing that particular problem.

The door needed some sort of a communication tool that could be used to send notifications to the rest of the team. It needed something like what we called a digital doorbell. Slack is the primary communication tool in the office so we came up with this idea that if an individual could send a notification to a Slack channel notifying everyone they are stuck behind a locked door, surely someone would open the door for them.

Picking a Name

After we identified a problem and created a solution, we started thinking of names to call this revolutionary and amazing product. Designers were heavily involved in this process because the name of the product was going to reflect on the branding. We put down a list of names on a piece of paper and started taking votes. The name Slack Monkey won the election.

Product Brief

The project managers did an incredible job putting together a product brief for the presentation. They hashed out the summary, value proposition and target audience for the product.

How It Worked

Here is how Slack Monkey worked. The underlying technology consisted of an AWS IOT button and an AWS lambda. When someone pressed the Slack Monkey button an AWS Lambda function would get invoked sending a message to a Slack channel. The message would notify their team that someone at the door needed the door opened. A volunteer would then come to the rescue.


We had some video editors on the team and they made an amazing Slack Monkey commercial. The video was a product commercial demonstrating how Slack Monkey worked. It was choreographed, edited and made awesome in just a few hours.


At the end of the day, Slack Monkey was a success. We presented the product and everyone felt a good sense of accomplishment. We still have the Slack Monkey slacking at the door today.

AWS Devops Guy (mbejda.com)

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