Why is receiving voicemails still such a pain in 2015? With landlines you need to deal with overpriced and outdated hardware. On mobile phones you need to call a number, enter a password, and sift through the voicemails until you reach the one you want. Wouldn’t it be easier to just receive a text message to listen to a new voicemail? Fortunately, Twilio plus a little Java code gives you the power to do just that.
In this blog post we will use Apache Tomcat and Twilio to create a virtual answering machine that will receive and record all incoming calls. The answering machine will then text you a link to hear the message that was left for you.
If you don’t want to follow along and just want to see the code, it has all been open sourced in this Github repository.
The first step to building …
Calling into customer support or similar support lines can lead to some not so great experiences. Often times I find myself being tossed back and forth between different agents with no context of who I am talking to and when I am being transferred. These kinds of calls feel a lot like this:
A better way for agents to handle incoming callers is to use a warm transfer. The term “warm transfer” can mean different things to different people. For this blog post we are going to use this scenario to explain a warm transfer: Agent A (Artemis) is speaking to the caller. Artemis needs to transfer the caller to Agent B (Barnabas). Artemis conferences in Barnabas, introduces the caller to Barnabas and then releases the call.
In this blog post we will setup a very simple call center that supports warm transfers using Twilio’s Java helper library and an …
Getting started with Docker feels more like a game of Simon than it does learning a new tool. Using Docker on OSX requires, at a minimum, boot2docker and docker. Multi-container applications require docker-compose, as well. It’s extremely easy to confuse the interfaces for each of these applications. For example, build, up, start, stop, ps, and save are commands shared across two, if not all three of the applications. The cheat sheet below covers the most basic workflow necessary to work with docker.
Download and install the latest release package ( Boot2Docker-x.x.x.pkg) from here. Then run the following:
$ pip install -U docker-compose $ bo …
In this post, we are going to build a simplified GroupMe clone using Meteor, MongoDB, and Twilio. The app will serve as an SMS group messenger that will let us create groups of phone numbers and blast a text message to every member of that group. We will also expand its functionality to allow groups and individual numbers to be toggled on or off depending on who we want to receive a particular text.
If at any point you are receiving errors and feel lost, or you just want to run this application without building it, you can obtain the finished source code here.
Otherwise, prepare to explore the Meteor universe.
Building Your Space Ship
The first step …
I sat on the bus in wonder, both scared and excited for what would lie ahead of me when the doors opened. Anticipation and uncertainty dwelled in the pit of my stomach. I felt like a little kid on the way to the first day of kindergarten, when in fact I was in my sophomore year at The College of New Jersey. This bus wasn’t taking me to school, but to the financial district of Detroit, Michigan where I was joining nearly 1000 like-minded students, many undoubtedly going through the same anxiety as I. This event would be far from the normal eight hour school day. Today there was only one class and it was 36 hours long. This was MHacks III and it was my first hackathon.
My nerves quickly settled when I realized that hackathons are not a competition but a facility to …