Meetup random user picker

Being co-organizer of two meetups (HumanTalks and TechLunch) in Paris, I often give random prizes to the attendees at the end of the sessions. It can be free tickets to conferences we are partners with, or gifts from some of our sponsors.

To choose who is going to get the prize, we resort to randomness and we have a bunch of JavaScript scripts lying around to do that. To make the process easier and scalable to more meetups, I created an online random attendee picker.

Screencast of the tool in
action

You enter the url of your event in the input field and it will get the page and pick one of the attendees at random. Because of CORS issues, I could not directly load and parse the remote meetup.com page from the website. I used webtask.io to do that instead.

webtask.io is mix between Gists and Heroku. You push a server-side snippet of js code to their platform (or write it directly in their online editor), and it automatically hosts it. You then have a url you can use to target your script, make it run, and get the results. It accepts query string as inputs.

The whole download, parse, format-as-JSON logic was then moved into this webtask script and that's this script that I'm requesting on my webpage. You can find the code on GitHub.

This kind of architecture is called serverless, and that is the future of the web. Static hosting through GitHub pages, while still allowing for server-side scripting when you need it. All of that, for free.


Tags : #meetup #serverless

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