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The backend powering Illustrated above by @maxwofford.

CircleCI Skylight

Getting Started

Install rbenv

brew install rbenv

Install bundler

gem install bundler -v 1.17.3

Run bundler

bundle install

Copy .env.example to .env

cp .env.example .env

Create and migrate database

bundle exec rake db:drop db:create db:migrate

Run the application

bin/rails s

Browse to localhost:3000

Alternative with Docker

Copy .env file

cp .env.docker.example .env.docker

Run Docker

docker-compose build
docker-compose run web bundle install
#docker-compose run web yarn install --check-files
docker-compose run web bundle exec rails db:drop db:create db:migrate
docker-compose run --service-ports web bundle exec rails s -b -p 3000

Other Development Setup

Setting up the integrated Slack bot

  1. Create a new Slack app on Slack
  2. Create one (and only one) bot user and set "Always Show My Bot as Online" to "On"
  3. Click "Event Subscriptions" on the sidebar in the left and set the request URL to HOSTNAME/v1/hackbot/webhooks/events, replacing HOSTNAME with your actual hostname.
  4. Subscribe to the following bot events: message.channels,, message.groups, message.mpim
  5. Click "Interactive Messages" on the left sidebar and set the request URL to HOSTNAME/v1/hackbot/webhooks/interactive_messages, replacing HOSTNAME with your actual hostname.
  6. Manually go through the Oauth flow and POST code to /v1/hackbot/auth

Production Setup

Scheduled Jobs

This application depends on a few jobs running periodically in the background. Set this up using cron or a similar scheduler on your deployment of the application -- we use Heroku's scheduler in production.

  • rails heroku_scheduler:queue_update_hackbot_slack_username_job hourly
  • rails heroku_scheduler:queue_record_slack_stats_job daily
  • rails heroku_scheduler:queue_activate_clubs_job daily
  • rails heroku_scheduler:queue_collect_projects_shipped_job daily
  • rails heroku_scheduler:queue_schedule_leader_check_ins_job daily
  • rails heroku_scheduler:queue_handle_spam_club_applications_job every 10 minutes
  • rails heroku_scheduler:queue_update_from_streak_job hourly
  • rails heroku_scheduler:queue_close_check_ins_job daily

Deployment on Heroku

We use Heroku for managing our deployment of this project and that brings along some special caveats. Specifically, we rely on multiple buildpacks.

Here are the buildpacks that need to be configured (they must be in the given order):

Refer to for instructions on configuring buildpacks.


We use Skylight to profile the performance of our backend in production. To use it, you must set SKYLIGHT_AUTHENTICATION in the environment to the value that Skylight gives you.