Solomon Osadolo

The second edition of Talks at Andela held on  November 14, 2018, with Brian Douglas, developer advocate at GitHub, speaking on Improving Your Developer Workflow With GitHub Apps. Brian’s talk, which spanned about an hour focused on two main apps – Probot and Actions.

Probot is an open-source pre-built app that triggers actions by listening to webhooks. It leverages Octokit – an open source framework to interact with GitHub’s API. Octokit saves you the bother of having to build your own webhooks, interactions and functions. With 5 lines of code, you could essentially build your own Probot app and improve your workflow:

Probot + Octokit

 app.on(‘issues.opened’ , async context => {





Actions is GitHub’s newest feature. Currently in beta mode, Actions is a set of containerized workflows, and it is the biggest feature built by GitHub since the Pull Request.  Like with Probot, Actions lets developers automate processes, using pre-built apps so that they can focus on the one thing that truly matters: code.

Where To Begin

According to Brian, the place to start when thinking about automating your workflow process is to identify repeated tasks [that aren’t optimal].

“We {action}

Every {Period of time}.”

GitHub apps are essentially bots. Because it’s easier to have bots automating processes than allowing humans going through the tedious process of manually implementing such processes. GitHub Apps allow integrators the flexibility to requests specific access to resources and act as a first class actor without taking up a paid seat within an organisation.


Functions let you run your Probot apps for virtually zero cost. Whether you’re using Lambda, or Google Cloud or any other Functions, you could deploy your Probot or GitHub apps on those Functions and run them perpetually like so.

For the remainder of the presentation (see slides here), Brian walked everyone through some of the use cases for GitHub apps and showcases how to leverage GitHub apps API to build stuff. At the end of the webinar, he introduced the GitHub Developer Program.

In case you missed the Webinar, we will be posting the recorded video of the talk on our YouTube page in the coming days and share with everyone.

About the Author

Solomon Osadolo

Content Guy @ Andela. Dilettante. Techie. Retired Superhero.

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