For the past several years, we have piggy-backed on the Digital Ocean event of Hacktoberfest. It started in 2017 when Josh Nerius and I put together a system to allow ServiceNow developers to accept GitHub pull requests. This year, again we are attempting to parasitically attach ourselves to the event but with a twist. Because it is a ServiceNow goal to increase the number of IntegrationHub Spokes in the world, that is what we want to focus on this month.
Last year we spotlighted a way that ServiceNow developers can be part of Digital Ocean’s Hacktoberfest challenge. About a dozen people participated and earned themselves a sweet t-shirt. I personally love mine!
Points Thing The official project of the Developer Program for Hacktoberfest is Points Thing. This is a bot that lives on an instance and is responsible for managing the points assigned on the sn-devs Slack channel whenever you execute the @user++ syntax.
After Your Pull Request is Accepted Last week we posted information on how you can use ServiceNow projects to participate in Hacktoberfest. This involves some work server-side for the maintainer to be able to emulate the merging of GitHub pull requests. Let’s say you participated, submitted a pull request and it was accepted and merged into the main repository. Now what?
To reiterate slightly, you will have your own fork of the repository, and your ServiceNow instance is connected to your copy of the repository.
Source control integration was added as a feature to ServiceNow in the Geneva release. That increased by a wide margin the quality of development tools available to the ServiceNow developer. One could save code, easily move from instance to instance, backup personal developer instances, etc. One of the details of the implementation is that under the hood it is committing update sets. This complicates standard collaboration tools. GitHub pull requests and normal patch files assume that they are working on the text of code so when that text is really an XML payload, that presents a big challenge for diffing and merging.
I have been working on a skunkworks project with ctomasi, josh.nerius and a few other people for months now as a low level background task. One of the downsides in working in an evangelism role is that sometimes you do lots of things to communicate about developing without actually doing any development yourself. In order to change that, we carved out a problem space that all of us were interested in, had an opportunity to improve toolsets and would be something that we ourselves would want to use every day.
One of the ongoing issues that we deal with in the Developer Program is the continuity of the free developer instances. No matter how well intentioned you are, it is always possible to have a time period where you are out of the office and miss the email about your Developer Instance expiring. I don’t like the idea of anyone losing their work but there is only so much we can do to prevent it.