AwayBot, an out of office helper

AwayBot, an out of office helper

I made a command line tool to run when I go into labor, AwayBot. This bot can also be used for all types of leave that take you out of the office for a while.

When I run the command away the bot will:

  • Calculate my first day back based on the amount of my leave and the day I go into labor
  • Update my Slack status
  • Set me away in Slack
  • Set a vacation response in Gmail
  • Send an email to my team to let them know my leave is starting
  • Create an event on my calendar for the duration of my leave
awaybot output in terminal

Setting up

I created a config.js file to store all my settings and to (hopefully) make it reusable by other parents or anyone taking a significant amount of leave. You can clone the repository and edit these settings based on the amount of leave you have and messages for each step.

You’ll need to grant the scripts quite a bit of access to your Gmail and calendar, but rest assured that all the code that’s accessing your account is in the repository, run locally, and your credentials are stored on your machine. Also, I’m going to have a baby soon so I’m too busy to hack you. (Just kidding. I would never hack you, dear reader.)

I recommend following the set up found in the README, entering some sample data in the config, and authenticating a personal account to get a feel for what all the messages will look like.

We’ll see

I’m not sure if I’ll end up using it when the baby is on the way, but it sure was fun to build!

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