Last we released ridiculously simple conferencing as a new feature of our phone API, and we challenged developers to take this feature to come up with submissions to the contest.
Congratulations to David K. Pham, winner of last week’s Twilio developer contest with Conferous – a elegantly simple way to set up a professional conference line for your business.
Interview with David K. Pham
What gave you the idea for Conferous?
Well, actually, Twilio gave me the idea for Conferous. I saw the attractive promo for simple conferencing on the home page on Twilio and, being one who loves to play with shiny new things, I wanted to create an application that used this feature. After checking out some other conferencing applications on the market, I decided that a simple, easy-to-use conferencing application would be valuable to businesses that don’t have time to learn how to create conference calls.
What technologies/languages/frameworks etc. did you use to build Conferous?
built Conferous using Ruby on Rails with a slightly customized version of the Twilio gem from Webficient to communicate with the Twilio API. The Twilio API was so flexible and easy to use that I was able to develop the core functionality very quickly. In addition, I deployed the application on Heroku, which sped up the development/deployment process even more. On the front-end side, I used jQuery to create some of the UI effects and for AJAX interactions. You could say I’m a sucker for technologies that make my life easier and let me focus on functionality and not nitty-gritty details.
How long did the application take to build?
The application took me 4 days to complete during my college’s fall break. I worked on it mainly in the late hours of the night after hanging out with my family during Thanksgiving and my sister’s birthday – yes, I’m quite the nerd and I’m fine with that. The conferencing functionality only took an hour or so to create, but the rest of the development time was devoted to creating a billing system from scratch and the design of the user interface.
Who do you see as the main customer for this product?
I see businesses with no single physical location and employees around the US or the world as Conferous’s main customers. I think that online chat for businesses is great and a big part of the future, but phones will also always have a big part since it is a close relative to physical interaction and a good medium of communication.
If you had all the resources in the world, what would you build with Twilio?
I would build an online school system in which the conferencing ability would lend itself nicely. The teacher would be able to create a moderated conference and have the students phone in to attend class. Students would be able to create schedules and simply call in to their classes or they could even be automatically transferred to their classes one after another. I could definitely see this taking root in nations where computers aren’t as pervasive and there are many obstacles to getting an education.
Any else you’d like to share?
It’s refreshing to see such a clearly documented and simple API for my applications to consume. Twilio has opened up many possibilities for developers and given me many great ideas.
Get Involved – Build a Twilio App for Holiday Retail This Week
Each week we announce a new category to focus the attention of Twilio developers and those looking to hire them, and we award a Netbook to the best application (as determined by our employees) each week. Whether you win the contest or not, we want to bring exposure to all the creative work being done on the Twilio platform AND we are passionate about connecting developers and business people to solve problems and build products together.