C# / .NETDevOpsMisc
Cognitive Minion
Alexandru Puiu
Alexandru Puiu
November 01, 2018
1 min

We have a lot of very simple tasks that come up all the time at work, and due to the impact they can have on security, can’t be automated away. Some examples include whitelisting an IP for an admin or client, allowing a new file extension to be uploaded for a client, adding a list of email addresses to a distribution list, moving users to other departments or groups within our app (which affects things they see), and many of these types of requests. We already have xUnit tests for each one of these, so when it comes up, we open the codebase, make the changes needed basically plugging data in, and run them. It takes maybe 1 minute to do, but it has about a 30-minute overhead all things considered (reading the task, updating the task, communicating with the person who requested it, opening the project, making the changes, verifying, running, etc.) Basically just a lot of overhead

But I believe there is a simple solution for every problem, especially when an intern or junior developer can just be assigned these boring repetitive things. So we brainstormed for about 5 minutes, and came up with a way of using Microsoft’s LUIS (language understanding service) to extract the intent of a request along with parameters, figure out what functionality to call, and have the capabilities of doing it, but asking permission first.

Introducing Cognitive Minion

The concept is simple:

  1. Read a request (email, slack, TFS work item)
  2. match to intent
  3. extract parameters
  4. each intent can have an owner or logic to find the right person to approve the request
  5. send a message to the right person to approve it with the text or the original request, the proposed solution (API call to make, db script to run, etc) and ask if it looks good
  6. upon user confirmation, execute the solution


Alexandru Puiu

Alexandru Puiu

Engineer / Security Architect

Systems Engineering advocate, Software Engineer, Security Architect / Researcher, SQL/NoSQL DBA, and Certified Scrum Master with a passion for Distributed Systems, AI and IoT..



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