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Announcing the winner of the Alerts & Notifications Twilio Developer Contest!


Last week, for our weekly developer contest, we challenged Twilio developers to build applications using Twilio voice and SMS that power up alerts and notifications, and it's time to announce the contest winner.  

If you are looking for the new contest category, please scroll down.

Airplane Booking System by Carl Tyler

Carl’s Airplane Booking System uses Twilio so that users can book a plane using their phone, and receive notifications to booking changes through SMS.

The flying club had been going for 40 years, and had been using a paper based system. With some club members not being particularly computer literate, it was key that those folks could still book the plane over the phone, which is where Twilio came in.

Whilst moving to an online booking system, Carl also wanted to add other capabilities, such as notifying interested members if a booking was canceled or changed.  Using Twilio, this capability was expanded from e-mail to also include SMS notifications.

The response from the flying club members has been great, with all the members finding it easy to use.  The application is currently used by only by Yellow Bird Flying Club,  but Carl has plans to productize the solution so that other flying clubs can use it.

Carl put together a YouTube video demonstrating how the booking system works:

Interview with the Developer: Carl Tyler

How did you come up with the idea for your submission?

I own a share in a plane.  The booking system was paper based, where you would either visit the airport to book the plane, or phone someone that had access to the calendar at the airport.  I wanted to move to an online system, but some of the older members don't like using the web, so still wanted to call, Twilio gave me that capability.

What technologies, tools, etc. did you use to build it (feel free to get into the details, our readers are technically minded)?

I used Lotus Domino, not the first choice for many I know, but as someone that has been using Notes and Domino for close to 20 years it made it easy for me to build it.  Combing Domino with the Scheduling UI found at made it easy to build a booking system in a weekend. 

How long did it take to build?

The Calendar/web UI took a weekend, the telephone integration using Twilio for notifications and IVR took another weekend.

What problem does it solve?

It allows members of the flying club to book and check bookings over the phone.  Combined with the SMS notifications sent through Twilio and users can more easily book the plane.

What did you think of the experience of working with the Twilio API, any feedback for us?

I'm not a professional programmer by trade, tending to be more of a project manager working with developers, so for someone like me to be able to use the Twilio API and build something in a weekend was fantastic.  I found the experience to be great.  Debugging could be a little tricky, but once I found the debug info on the twilio site life was much easier.

This Week's Developer Contest

Would you like to build Twilio apps for a chance to win prizes and be featured in the Twilio blog? We host a weekly developer contest and would love to have you involved, so please take a look at our contest page for more details. This week’s contest is Powering Up Customer Service and you have until midnight on Sunday June 13th to submit your apps.  Happy coding!

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