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  • By Margaret Staples
    Tech Community and Barbecue in Austin, Texas TwilioBBQuest

    As I get ready for tomorrow's day of learning, barbecue, and prizes, I'm reflecting on this spring as I've been getting acquainted with tech communities here in Austin, Texas.  

    Starting back in March for Women's History month, Austin was one of four cities to host our git hired --f "Women and Non Binary Humans in Tech" events centering skills that make it easier to get hired as a developer.

    bartender and women in STEM decorated bar

    The Austin community delivered amazingly insightful talks from Victoria Hood, on creating a solid resume, Kelsey Huse introduced us to the myriad opportunities behind the opaque title "Support Engineer", CC Yang gave us a crash course on algorithms for interviews, and Twilio Champion Jenna Ritten compressed much of her full day git hired workshop on how to be a great candidate into a resource packed half hour session.

    stage at Capital Factory venue

    I was blown away by the knowledge these women put together to share ...

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  • By Margaret Staples
    Encoding Diversity: A New Sponsorship Tool Logos from Employee Resource Groups celebrating and supporting diversity at Twilio.

    A little over a year ago my team lead looked at my first few months as a Developer Evangelist and decided that since I was already doing work for and with underrepresented developers, that we should try making that one of the communities I officially serve.

    All through 2018 I ended up having the same conversations about inclusion, representation, and accessibility with event organizers again and again. Everything from venue accessibility, to Codes of Conduct issues, to representation - every organizer was starting from square one on at least some of the concerns most important to underrepresented developer communities.

    Looking at the perpetual churn of community volunteers putting together events I realized this was an inevitable ongoing issue and needed an ongoing solution that could scale in a way my one on one conversations could not.

    One of my favorite things to do with code is facilitate emotional labor, so inevitably ...

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  • By Margaret Staples
    PHP + Twilio + Whatsapp: Would You Like to Play a Game? PHP Twilio WhatsApp

    There are 1.5 billion people using WhatsApp's end to end encrypted messaging platform to communicate. Many of those people prefer WhatsApp to SMS and other messaging platforms. It's currently the most popular messaging app in the world.

    Twilio is adding options to the same API calls you use to send and receive SMS messages with Twilio, so you can now reach those users the way they prefer: on WhatsApp.

    Using the Twilio API Sandbox for WhatsApp in your Twilio console, you can experiment with this new channel for connecting your software to the world.

    Here are a few ways you can play with the Twilio API Sandbox for WhatsApp using PHP.

    Before Getting Started

    To code along with this post, you'll want:

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  • By Margaret Staples
    Twilio + PHP to Call and Text PHP_Twilio_Banner

    Twilio is all about communication. To help us communicate with a wider range of learning styles, on our YouTube channel you can find out how to get started with many of our APIs and services across a variety of languages, with new videos being added all the time.

    Here we will step through making a phone call and sending a text message using PHP and the Twilio REST client. Each of these has a corresponding video on our YouTube channel for those who prefer to watch.

    Twilio Setup

    In order to make a phone call, we will need to own a Twilio number.  If you don’t already have one, you can get one here.

    To make our call or send our text, we will send information to Twilio using the PHP sdk and specifically the REST client. We will send both the information to authenticate our account and our ...

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  • By Margaret Staples
    Continuous Delivery with Jenkins and GitHub github_jenkins

    If you can set up a project server once, you can set up Jenkins to deploy that project again and again as you develop, maintain, and expand it.

    In this post we will set up a multi-stage deploy server and the Jenkins jobs we need for continuous delivery. By the end you will know how to set up a server and Jenkins jobs to automatically deploy successfully built branches into each environment.

    In a previous post we set up a dedicated Jenkins Server and gave it access to our projects’ GitHub account with an SSH key.

    We will use a PHP project as an example, but we’ll also talk about how these same steps can be used to deploy most web projects regardless of language, framework, or other considerations.

    Tools

    In order to follow along with this post, you will need the following:

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  • By Margaret Staples
    Creating a Jenkins Server for GitHub Projects github_jenkins

    A deploy process should provide consistency, incorporate tests, and utilize a multi stage deploy process to protect your production server, provide useful logging, catch breaking changes quickly, and integrate smoothly with your version control software.

    There are a few options available for managing a deploy process like this. Many of these are managed services which means much of it is opaque and outside your control. If you’re like me, you’d rather have total access to and control of your deploy chain. The best option for control freaks like us, is Jenkins.

    This post will walk through creating a dedicated Jenkins server and setting it up with an SSH key on your GitHub account.

    Tools

    Moving forward this post will assume a few things about you and your project:

    • Your projects host their repositories on GitHub.
    • You have a DigitalOcean account. You can create one here.
    • You have some ...
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  • By Margaret Staples
    Laravel and Twilio: Group Video Chat laravel

    While words alone are powerful, the inflections of people’s voices, the gestures and expressions we unconsciously flow through during conversation all contain a wealth of information often lost to us in our technology driven communications.

    Using Twilio’s Video API you can now add the richness of face to face interactions to any web project.

    Here we’ll look at how to create a Laravel web application that gives users the ability to join existing video groups or create their own.

    You can preview what we’re building here.

    Assumptions

    This walkthrough assumes you have a PHP development environment setup with git installed, a global install of composer, and which enables you to access your project through a browser using localhost or virtual hosts. You will also want to gather some information beforehand:

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  • By Margaret Staples
    Symfony 3 and FOS User Bundle: Customizing Users symfony_logo

    User handling is a fundamental part of a ton of web projects.  This post will walk through how to customize Friends of Symfony (FOS) User attributes and forms in a Symfony 3 project.

    By default FOS Users only have username, email, and password attributes.  If you want to add more information like an address or phone number to your users there are several steps you’ll need to take which are described here.

    The FOS User bundle also comes with some handy forms for user registration, login, and profile editing.  These forms do not contain any styling information, and will not automatically incorporate any custom attributes you add to the User entity.  How to overcome these obstacles is also detailed here.

    Assumptions

    This post will assume you have already set up some things:

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  • By Margaret Staples
    Creating a Symfony 3 Project with Basic User Handling symfony

    User handling is a fundamental part of a ton of web projects.  This post will walk through how to get setup using the Symfony 3 framework and the Friends of Symfony bundle so that your project can allow users to register, login and out, and view and edit their User profile.  The steps here will serve as a great starting point for your next web project.

    Assumptions

    This post will assume you have already set up a couple of things:

    • make sure you have a working database user and password – you will need to input these during the install process

    Install Symfony Standard Edition

    The install command will create a new folder and build the project within it. Inside the directory where you would like to place your project folder run the following command:

    composer create-project symfony/framework-standard-edition UserLove

    Interactive Install ...

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  • By Margaret Staples
    Introducing Twilio Developer Evangelist Margaret Staples iJ9jGeANTKX-oFYA7eAhL6Ieo9UCIlg1N2LEF7dM8Qj0faYVH7k3NFur9JkIWiYEqPzYRi3eYtI2AWz6cRhGVF1orBsxMXibeSq037F5LNTvsx1FDqmIq6d1iGmOAshjiGh777ResN_k-zHr8w

    Once upon a time when I was just considering what a Me might be I thought designing space colonies would be the right job for me. I made plans to spend a lifetime pouring focus and attention into helping humans be happy, healthy, and successful in a diaspora into space by meticulously designing purposeful coordinated systems.

    From the stories I was pulling heroes from I thought that this was how progress happened.  Each individual picking one thing and doing only that. All on their own.

    Time scale is a tricky thing.

    Growing up, as I continually integrated more time positioning data, something like a prolonged motion sickness rippled through my existence. Things I thought of as the “past” were more recent and things I thought of as the “future” were further away from my “present”.  The first graduates of Starfleet Academy raced from the vision of “within my lifetime” out ...

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