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  • By Tilde Thurium
    Getting started with Deno 1.0 getting started with Deno 1.0

    Since 2018, the creator of Node.js has been working on a new JavaScript runtime called Deno that addresses some of the pain points he had identified. Deno’s features include:

    •  An improved security model
    • Decentralized package management
    • A standard library
    • Built in tooling

    Check out this blog post for a full overview of Deno’s features and how it compares to Node.js.

    Deno 1.0 was just released. What better time to dive in? In this post we’ll get started with Deno by building a small project.

    When I’m learning a new framework or language, I try to find a Goldilocks project. That is, not too hard, not too soft, somewhere between “hello world” and production ready code.

    Let’s write a Deno script that sends you an SMS affirmation. In order to do that we'll use Deno to:

    • Read a file
    • Read environment variables
    • Run a script
    • Import and …
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  • By Tilde Thurium
    10 HTTP status codes that sound like relationship problems 10 HTTP status codes that sound like relationship problems

    404 Not Found and 500 Server Error are probably the most famous HTTP status codes, but many others exist.

    For some reason, a lot of the lesser-known HTTP status codes sound like descriptors of relationship problems. In this post we’ll explore them.

    If you’re already familiar with how HTTP response cycles work, you can skip HTTP Requests 101 and head straight to the good stuff in the next section.

    HTTP Requests 101

    HTTP requests involve at least two computers. The computer asking for the data is called the client, and the computer sending the data back is known as a server. This dance is called the request-response cycle.

    Illustrated diagram of the request-response cycle. A purple computer with heart shaped eyes and feet, labeled "client" has an arrow with the words "request" pointing towards the other computer, which is pink and labeled "server." The server has an arrow pointing back towards the client, with the text "response."

    When the server returns a response, it also sends back a status code to provide more information. The status codes are grouped into buckets based on their starting digit.

    • 1xx indicates a status update on a request that’s still in …
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  • By Tilde Thurium
    Writing to Airtable from your Twilio app Writing to Airtable from a Twilio serverless function

    Airtable is an awesome product. It’s like a cross between a spreadsheet and a database, but with a lot more flexibility for creating dynamic views of your data. In this post you’ll learn how to write to Airtable from a Twilio application. The advantages of doing so are as follows:

    • Rapid prototyping. If you need to persistently store data, it’s easier to create an Airtable base than to set up a proper database.
    • Maintenance flexibility. Folks who don’t know how to code can easily maintain and extend the data.
    • Seamless authentication. Sure, you could use Google Sheets as a lightweight database, but authenticating with Google Sheets API can be tricky.

    Today we’ll be building a Net Promoter Score (NPS) app that writes data from SMS messages to Airtable. NPS is a calculated value summarizing how a group of people feel about something -- a brand, an event, …

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    Using Airtable as a database for your Twilio app Using Airtable as a database for your Twilio app

    "Air Hockey" photo by LadyDucayne is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

    Airtable is an awesome product. It’s kind of like a cross between a spreadsheet and a database, but with a lot more flexibility for creating dynamic views of your data. In this post you’ll learn to read Airtable data from a Twilio serverless application. The advantages of doing so are as follows:

    • Rapid prototyping. If you need to persistently store data, it’s easier to create an Airtable base than to set up a proper database.
    • Maintenance flexibility. Folks who don’t know how to code can easily maintain and extend the data.
    • Easy authentication. Sure, you could use Google Sheets as a lightweight database, but authenticating with Google Sheets API can be tricky.

    Today we’ll be building an app that returns facts about animals, but you can customize this code to fit your use case.

    Prerequisites …

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    5 obscure HTTP methods to impress your hipster friends 5 obscure HTTP methods to impress your hipster friends

    GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE are classics for a reason but also they’re soooo 1999. In this post, you’ll learn about 5 HTTP methods you’ve probably never heard of.

    If you’re new to web development, you may want to check out this guide to REST APIs first.

    1. PATCH

    Image of a small dog with a peg leg, an eye patch, and a pirate hat with its ears adorably poking through.

    "Pirate Dog" by Tony Werman is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

    PATCH is similar to PUT, but with a couple of key differences.

    Let’s review the difference between PUT and POST, because TBH I need to look it up every time. PUT is idempotent and POST is not.

    I·dem·po·tent, /ˌīdemˈpōt(ə)nt (adjective)

    An operation is idempotent if it produces the same result no matter how many times you run it. In terms of APIs, let’s say you had a  /v1/corgis/create endpoint. If you made a POST request to /v1/corgis/create?color=fawn twice, you’d have created two fawn corgis. If …

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    Forwarding SMS and voice calls to an alternate phone number Forwarding SMS and voice calls to an alternate phone number

    Balancing privacy and convenience can be tricky. Today I’ll show you how to forward messages and phone calls with Twilio so that you can give out a phone number where people can reach you, while keeping your real phone number a secret.

    There are lots of reasons you might want to hide your real phone number. For example:

    • Transacting with internet strangers such as buying/selling on Craigslist
    • Giving delivery folks a number to reach you
    • Putting a phone number on your business card

    Prerequisites to create a forwarding number

    • A Twilio account - sign up for a free one here
    • A Twilio phone number with SMS and voice capabilities
    • A phone number you want to forward calls and messages to. For the rest of this post, we’ll call it your cell phone number to simplify things but it can be any number with SMS and voice capabilities.
    • A friend …
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  • By Tilde Thurium
    How to build a conference line with Twilio Studio How to build a conference call line with Twilio Studio

    Twilio Studio is a visual application builder that allows you to write conditional logic for handling messaging flows without writing any code. In this post I’ll walk you through how to build a conference call line using Twilio Studio.

    Prerequisites

    Creating your Studio Flow for conference calling

    Head over to the Studio Dashboard. Click the “+” button to create a new Flow.


    You’ll be prompted to give it a name. Let’s call it “conference call.”

    Screenshot of the dialog box for creating a new Studio Flow. There's a "Flow Name" input field, that has the text "conference call" in it, as well as Cancel and Next buttons.

    On the next screen select “start from scratch” and …

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    7 cool APIs you didn't know you needed 7 cool APIs you didn't know you needed

    Human beings learn better through play.

    No matter what your experience level, this post will show you 7 fun and silly APIs you can play with and build on top of.

    If you’ve never written a line of code, don’t fret -- we’ll show you how to get started. Experienced programmers, feel free to skip down to the 7 APIs section.

    What is an API?

    An API stands for Application Programming Interface, which is a way for a program to communicate with another program. These programs can be running on the same computer, or not -- it really doesn’t matter. There are different types of APIs -- it’s a really broad term. Today we’ll focus on REST APIs.

    REST APIs follow a pattern that specifies how the information will be transmitted from one computer to another. The computer asking for the data is called the client, and the computer …

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    Using Twilio Studio and Conversations with SMS Using Twilio Studio and Twilio Conversations with SMS

    Communication is complicated. No matter what your business is, it’s important to meet people where they’re at and engage with them on the communication platforms they’re already using.

    Twilio Conversations enables you to build unified spaces where users on different platforms can communicate with one another. Think of it like a video conference bridge, but for text-based communication.

    Twilio Studio is a visual application builder that allows you to write conditional logic for handling messaging flows without writing any code.

    In this post you’ll learn to integrate Studio and Conversations with a few steps of configuration and a small amount of code. Doing so unlocks a few use cases, such as:

    •  Access to the status callbacks so you can keep track of message delivery status
    • Sending the entire chat transcript to a human operator

    Prerequisites

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    QR Codes And Security: A Shallow Dive QR-codes-security-shallow-dive

    QR codes have been referred to as “robot barf.” Which is too bad, because they’re pretty fascinating if you take a closer look.

    In this post, you’ll learn about:

    • History and inner workings of QR codes
    • Use cases and risks
    • How to generate QR codes in your application
    • How QR codes are used for two-factor authentication

    QR codes 101

    QR code is an abbreviation for Quick Response code. They’re a type of two-dimensional, or “matrix” barcode which means that information is stored across both the horizontal and vertical axes.

    QR codes were invented in Japan during 1994. They were originally used for tracking automobile parts. QR codes could store more data than UPC barcodes (the kind you commonly see on grocery store products and such), so they started to catch on in other industries as well. Denso Wave, the company that invented QR codes, made the spec …

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