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  • By Stefan Judis
    How to secure Twilio webhook URLs in Node.js Copy of Photo blog Header 3.jpg

    How to secure Twilio webhook URLs in Node.js

    Twilio’s APIs allow developers to reinvent communications with things like programmable phone calls, SMS or intelligent chatbots. Developers can build applications to interact with their users and react to their responses. To respond to events like incoming messages, you can define a webhook URL. A webhook is an HTTP request that Twilio performs to find out what the reaction to a Twilio even like an incoming SMS should be. Your defined HTTP endpoints have to respond with a Twilio-understandable configuration language called TwiML (Twilio Markup Language).

    These endpoints can be hosted anywhere as long as they’re available publicly and accessible by Twilio’s infrastructure.

    Three ways to secure your webhook URLs

    Let’s assume you built a rating application that allows users to rate an event they’re at by sending an SMS to a certain number. Every incoming SMS to your number …

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  • By Stefan Judis
    The new way to create, develop and deploy Twilio functions Copy of Product Template - Functions (1).jpg

    SIGNAL, our customer and developer conference, was only a few days ago. In case you missed it, you can have a look at the keynotes from day one and day two and also many of the product sessions on YouTube.

    Whilst there were many exciting product announcements (TwilioQuest 3 anyone?), there was one thing that got me up from my chair to yell “Hell yeah”!

    Twilio Functions now can be deployed via API and this changes how many people will develop with Twilio.

    Developing in a serverless environment can be challenging and raise many questions. How do you develop your serverless project locally? How do you deploy your functions to production? How do you structure your code in the first place?

    Luckily, two product announcements answer all of these questions. In this article, I want to share how the new Serverless Toolkit and the new Twilio Runtime API …

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  • By Stefan Judis
    Five Twilio CLI features you should know about Copy of Generic Blog Header 4.png

    The new Twilio CLI beta is hot off the press. It was released at our yearly SIGNAL Conference only a few days ago. The CLI allows developers to run Twilio tasks right in their terminal without the need to visit the Twilio console in their browser.

    The tool enables scripting and execution of everyday tasks such as buying and setting up phone numbers, creating managing sync services, sending emails, and much more!

    Command: `twilio phone-numbers:buy:mobile --country-code DE` showing available phone numbers

    Command in the screenshot: twilio phone-numbers:buy:mobile --country-code DE.

    I asked the team that worked on this new part of the Twilio infrastructure what their favorite CLI features are; let me tell you what they said!

    Command discovery with auto-completion and --help

    The Twil …

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  • By Stefan Judis
    How to control and record voice calls with Node.js serverless functions Graphic showing Twilio call flow with serverless functions

    There are many ways to communicate with your friends and family. You might use good old SMS, Whatsapp, emails and of course phone calls. Recently, I came across a surprising new way of communication. It all started with my friend Michaela asking a question on Twitter.

    Would it be possible to generate an RSS feed out of Twilio voice calls?

    What she was looking for was a way to transform phone calls into an RSS feed referencing the recorded phone call. Why? Because she listens to many podcasts and sends very long voice messages to one of her friends via Whatsapp. As these messages usually don’t need a timely response, they both would prefer all the voice messages appear in their podcatchers rather than Whatsapp.

    Let me introduce you to the idea of “PodBot - the surprise podcast from your friends”.

    Podbot preview in a browser window

    The idea is a follows: All you have …

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  • By Stefan Judis
    HTTP headers for the responsible developer Hero image - http headers for the responsible developer

    This article is a written version of the talk “HTTP headers for the responsible developer”. You can check the slides or the recording.

    Being online is the default state for many people these days. We all spend our time shopping, chatting, reading articles, and looking for information like directions. The web connects us with the whole world, but most certainly the web connects people. I myself have been using the web now for 20 years, and my relationship to it changed eight years ago when I became a web developer.

    Developers connect people.
    Developers help people.
    Developers enable people.

    Developers have the power to build the web for everyone, but that power needs to be used responsibly. What matters, in the end, is building things that help and enable people.

    In this article, I want to share how HTTP headers can help you build better products for a better …

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  • By Stefan Judis
    How to send text messages from your static site using Netlify, Twilio and serverless functions How to send messages with Twilio and Netlify

    It’s exciting times to be a Frontend developer. With the rise of modern technologies such as serverless functions, Frontend engineers can do things that usually only backend engineers could do. This entails deploying scalable sites, sending emails, or creating HTTP endpoints. Due to the power of new service providers and countless APIs, building performant applications has become rather a game of connecting dots than building everything from the ground up.

    In this article, I want to share how you can create and deploy a scalable static site on Netlify and how you can use serverless functions to send text messages using Twilio.

    Screenshot of 8-bit-revolution.netlify.com

    You can see the final result on 8-bit-revolution.netlify.com. You can go there and tell me how much you love the good old 8-bit style via SMS. If you want to set-up a site similar to “8-bit revolution” you can have a look at the …

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  • By Stefan Judis
    Introducing Twilio Developer Evangelist Stefan Judis Stefan Judis (2).jpg

    It’s a Sunday morning in Berlin, and I’m standing in front of a local co-working space. With me, there’s a man in his fifties. He apologizes for leaving the free workshop I helped organize earlier. We chat about the weather, life, and Berlin. It turns out he’s a Math professor at a very well known German university. He changes the topic and starts asking me a few questions.

    “May I ask you something? Why are you doing this? It’s a lovely Sunday morning, and you just taught me my first lines of JavaScript.”

    Why am I doing this? And how did I get here?

    The professor was right — why am I doing this?

    A few years back, my day job was to sit in front of large audio mixers. I was responsible for the sound of German television shows. It was a lot of fun, but I reached the …

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