Chapter 5. Common Uses and Tasks

Much of what ChatOps provides teams and organizations is a common interface to interact with a growing number of services and tools. The benefits are clear, and with minimal effort, automation of tasks (while preserving the conversations and context related to them) can provide a great deal of value to not only the operators executing commands and discussing the results, but additional stakeholders as they review the timeline of events.

Aside from querying the weather or sharing random GIFs, what can be done that brings immediate value to our teams and the business? In this chapter, we’ll break tasks down into several categories and discuss examples of what teams are currently doing with ChatOps.

Pushing Context

The easiest and therefore first step that many take on the path to ChatOps is simply pushing additional context about events or actions into the conversations. Without good context, team members don’t have the full picture of previous and present conditions. It’s through extra and ongoing context that teams remain aware of situations as best they can, shortening feedback loops and facilitating quicker responses.

Many services that we use on a regular basis are able to “push” data to modern chat clients in a variety of ways. Through the use of webhooks or RESTful endpoints, chat clients can ingest data seamlessly and with very little setup. The result is that as an event takes place somewhere outside of the natural bounds of awareness, ...

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