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  • By Dominik Kundel
    Move your Twilio Functions Project to Node 12 decorative header image "Move your Twilio Functions to Node.js 12"

    In April 2021 Node.js v10 is officially going into end of life status. This means that Node.js won't release any more updates or security patches for this version of Node.js. If you are currently using Twilio Functions your project is likely still running using Node.js v10 and you'll have to update it. In this blog post we'll go through the steps that you can take to test and update your Twilio Functions project to Node.js 12.

    Please Note: These steps are specific to projects that were created using the Twilio CLI. For general steps on how to update and what the changes entail, please refer to our docs. Any new projects will already be using Node.js v12 and no action is required.

    Prerequisites

    • The latest Twilio CLI version - get it here
    • Version 1.9.0 or newer of the Serverless Plugin for Twilio CLI. - twilio plugins:remove …
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  • By Dominik Kundel
    How we built a terminal interface for our conference using React decorative header image "Building a conference CLI with React"

    For this year's SIGNAL conference we decided we wanted to enable developers to build awesome things with Twilio while watching the conference. As a result we ended up building SIGNAL Developer Mode as an extension of the Twilio CLI.

    In this blog post we'll talk about both some of the design decisions that went into building this as well as the underlying technology. We'll have some code snippets but the entire project is also on GitHub.

    Why a CLI Experience?

    When virtual conferences started ramping up this year and we attended some ourselves, we realized a few things were different than attending a conference in person.

    One of the things we noticed that was different was the urge of wanting to learn more and build with the things that were mentioned in keynote sessions and throughout the conference.

    When you are at a physical conference you try to …

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  • By Dominik Kundel
    Introducing SIGNAL Developer Mode decorative header image

    This year's SIGNAL conference is our first virtual conference and the first SIGNAL conference where you'll be sitting mostly in front of your computer. We wanted to help you make the most out of that. Seeing live coding demos is great, but we also understand that you are builders. That's why this year we are introducing SIGNAL Developer Mode!

    What is SIGNAL Developer Mode?

    terminal screenshot of SIGNAL Developer Mode

    SIGNAL Developer Mode is an augmentation to your existing SIGNAL experience running inside your Terminal. It's a Twilio CLI plugin and available to any SIGNAL ticket holder (get your free ticket).

    In addition to general conference functionality such as viewing your schedule and finding useful resources, Developer Mode provides:

    • Live keynote mode - it will not only show you the closed-captions for the keynote but also any relevant demos and resources as the speakers are talking about them.
    • Packed demos section - find a …
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  • By Dominik Kundel
    ASTs - What are they and how to use them Decorative image saying "Abstract Sytnax Trees - What they do and how to use them"

    If you are writing code, chances are that ASTs are involved in your development flow. AST stands for Abstract Syntax Tree and they power a lot of parts of your development flow. Some people might have heard about them in the context of compilers but they are being used in a variety of tools. Even if you don't write general development tools, ASTs can be a useful thing to have in your toolbelt. In this post we'll talk about what ASTs are, where they are used and how you can leverage them.

    What is AST?

    Abstract Syntax Trees or ASTs are tree representations of code. They are a fundamental part of the way a compiler works. When a compiler transforms some code there are fundamentally the following steps:

    1. Lexical Analysis
    2. Syntax Analysis
    3. Code Generation
    Diagram showing how input is transformed into tokens via Lexical Analysis and then into an AST through Syntax Analysis. Lastly it's transformed into output using Code Generation.
    Visualizsation by https://twitter.com/@_lrlna

    Lexical Analysis aka Tokenization

    During this step, code that you wrote is going …

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  • By Dominik Kundel
    Congratulations to the winners of the Twilio x DEV hackathon Decorative header image saying "Congratulations to the winners of the Twilio x DEV hackathon"

    Over the last month, we hosted a hackathon with our friends at DEV to celebrate the launch of our CodeExchange Community Program. We've been amazed by the amount of excitement and the incredible submissions that we've seen.

    In total we've seen over 200 submissions to the hackathon from developers around the world. Today we are excited to announce the winners of the Twilio x DEV April 2020 Hackathon.

    Thank you all for participating!

    Before we announce the winners, we want to thank everyone who worked on a submission for this hackathon. We are constantly amazed to see what the community builds – and this hackathon was no different. The submissions included everything from apps making life during COVID-19 better, sending SMS from databases, and even using BASIC on a TRS-80.

    For this hackathon we had four prize categories:

    • COVID-19 Communications: an app to help folks communicate …
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  • By Dominik Kundel
    Three Things You Didn't Know You Could Do with npm Scripts Decorative image saying "Three things you didn't know you could do with npm scripts"

    The Node.js ecosystem is full with useful CLI tools and most of them offer configurations that let you tune them to do exactly what you want. However, sometimes you still have the need for very custom configurations and scripts. This is where "npm scripts" come into place. While you might have used this to set up your "build", "dev" or "start" script, there's a lot of things you can do with them. In this blog post we'll talk about the most useful and some hidden features.

    Before we get started, make sure you have the latest version of npm installed. While a lot of these things should work in yarn, berry and pnpm as well, we'll focus on npm in this article. Everything in this post has been tested with npm version 6.10.

    What are npm scripts?

    When we talk about "npm scripts" we are talking about entries in …

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  • By Dominik Kundel
    How to move your project to TypeScript - at your own pace Decorative header image "How to move your project to TypeScript - at your own pace"

    We've all been there. You are working on a feature or bug in JavaScript, think you finally got it, run the code and there it is, it basically screams at you: "undefined is not a function". I love JavaScript but as my codebases for projects grow, certain pains appear again and again. From easily refactoring large parts of the codebase to avoiding said "undefined is not a function" and similar bugs, we all encountered pains with JavaScript's approach to types. One of the tools that is trying to help with these pain points and has been growing in popularity recently is TypeScript.

    TypeScript introduces a type system to JavaScript to give you a better understanding of your code and assist you in your development flow. But let's also introduce the elephant in the room early: a lot of us enjoy not having to add types to everything like in …

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  • By Dominik Kundel
    How to Apply a Promo Code Decorative header image "How to apply a promo code"

    If you received a promo code from Twilio to apply to your account, and you are unsure how to apply it, you are at the right place. In this post, we'll walk together through the process of applying a promo code.

    What is a promo code?

    A promo code is a way for us to give you some Twilio credits for you to work on your projects. They are typically all-caps alphanumeric codes and are valid for a specific time. You might have received one as part of a hackathon or other event we are sponsoring or through another type of promotion.

    How do I apply a promo code?

    In order to apply a promo code, you'll need an existing Twilio account. You can sign up for a free Twilio trial account at twilio.com/try-twilio

    Once you are signed up, your next steps depend on the type of promo code you …

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  • By Dominik Kundel
    Sending SMS from GitHub Actions Decorative header image "Sending SMS from GitHub Actions"

    At GitHub Universe 2019, GitHub announced that Actions have been moved into General Availability. We are very excited about this launch and as part of it have launched the Twilio SMS for GitHub Action. In this blog post we'll look at how you can get started with that and some use cases for it.

    Getting Started

    You can find the Twilio SMS Action in the GitHub Marketplace. Before using it, you'll need a Twilio account. Sign up for free to get your account details.

    Once you have an account, we'll need two additional things.

    Get a phone number

    If you haven't gotten a phone number yet, head over to the Phone Numbers section of the Twilio Console and select your preferred phone number. Make sure it has SMS capabilities enabled.

    screenshot of Twilio Console with arrow pointing at SMS capability checkbox in Phone Numbers screen

    Once you have that phone number, make sure to note it down somewhere. We'll need it later when …

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  • By Dominik Kundel
    Thank you to over 1000 Contributors! Decorative header image "Thank you to over 1000 Contributors!"

    For a lot of developers the first pull request to an open-source project can be the most intimidating one. It often gets even more intimidating if it is your very first pull request to open source in general. For that reason we decided this year to create the Open Pixel Art project with the aim to teach people how to create their first pull request. Today we are happy to have reached a first big milestone with the project.

    Thank you for all your contributions!

    In the first 4 weeks of the project over 1000 developers have gotten their pull requests merged into the Open Pixel Art project.

    screenshot of the canvas of open pixel art with the avatars of all contributors

    A lot of them did not stop by contributing a pixel to the canvas, they added new functionality that let …

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