Slack has a great API for building integrations and one of those types of integrations is called a “bot”. Bots are useful tools that can respond to messages the chat users type into a chatroom. For instance you could type in “what is the weather” and the bot would respond with today’s weather.
Bots are simply software programs that run on a server somewhere and when someone types in a special sequence of characters, in Slack, these usually start with a ‘/’, the message is sent to the bot. The bot then responds with whatever answer it wants to give and that answer is posted back to the chatroom.
Way cool. Buuuut… you have to run the bots on a server somewhere that Slack can communicate with and it always has to be running whether it’s being used or not. True PITA.