Meet Your GitHub BFF: Probot the Robot

Are your GitHub projects disorganized? Have a bunch of open issues you haven't gotten to yet, or forgot to close? 20 old branches like "feature-request-new-header-2016"? I know I have all these problems, which is why I was delighted to discover Probot.

Probot is a framework for building Github Apps. You can have Probot handle GitHub chores - and even help with project management and community-building tasks like polls, sharing, and welcoming new contributors. Check out a list of some of the great Probots people have built on their Featured Page.

But how do you get your very own GitHub Probot? Glitch is the perfect place to make one, and now it's easier than ever. We teamed up with the Probot community to update our "Hello World" Probot app.

Before today, getting started with Probot required some time and attention to detail. You had to go back and forth between Glitch and GitHub over and over again. With the updated Probot Hello World you can do all of the setup with the click of a button. No more copying keys or webhooks, and the "app manifest" (see app.yml) configures permissions for you.

That means more bots to do your bidding! What can they do? We spun up a couple of popular ones on Glitch to give you some ideas:

  • Probot WIP- makes sure you don't accidentally merge code that's WIP!
  • Probot Todo- turns todos in your code into new issues so you don't forget about that "@todo" buried in some random file

We also created a new one just for Glitch! Open an issue here in this GitHub project and you'll get a special welcome message featuring rainbow text and cats.


OK, maybe rainbow text and cats aren't for every project, but it's a good starting place for a bot that can welcome new users or make images programmatically.

Inspired to make your own Probot on Glitch? Check out some of the community built picks in our Probot Collection. And if you domake a cool Probot, then be sure to share it with us by tweeting us at @Glitch.