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  • By Tilde Thurium
    Queueing Emails With Python, Redis Queue And Twilio SendGrid Queueing emails with Python, Redis Queue and Twilio SendGrid

    If you’re sending email from within a web application, you’ll want to do so asynchronously so you don’t block requests from completing. Especially if it takes additional (potentially slow) requests to construct the email content. There are several Python libraries available to help with asynchronous tasks, such as celery. Alternately, you can use asyncio if you’re on Python 3.4 or above.

    Redis Queue is the friendliest to get started with. Today I’ll show you how to queue emails to be sent asynchronously with Redis Queue and Twilio SendGrid.

    To keep things spicy, let’s use the Taco Fancy API to email a randomly generated taco recipe.

    Getting Started

    To follow along, you’ll need:

    • Python 3.5 or above installed
    • A free SendGrid account - sign up here
    • An email address, to test things out and make sure they’re working

    First, create a new Python project. In case you need it, …

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    Sending Bulk Emails With Twilio SendGrid and Python Sending Bulk Emails with Twilio SendGrid and Python

    Sending a single email is great, but one of the big advantages of email is the ability to quickly reach a wide audience. Today I’ll show you how to send mass emails with Python and SendGrid. Just for fun, let’s say you’re a Python developer who works at a donut shop. You need a way of letting the customers who have signed up for your email list know when fresh donuts have come straight out of the oven. 🍩


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  • By Tilde Thurium
    Sending Bulk Emails 3 Ways With Twilio SendGrid And Node.js Sending Bulk Email 3 Ways With Twilio SendGrid and Node.js by Tilde Thurium, Twilio Developer Evangelist

    Sending a single email is great, but one of the big advantages of email is quickly reaching a wider audience. Today I’ll show you three ways to send bulk emails with Node.js and SendGrid. Just for fun, let’s say you’re a JavaScript developer who works at a donut shop. You need a way of letting the customers who have signed up to your email list know when fresh donuts have come straight out of the oven.


    Setting up your environment

    First, create your API key from the …

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    SMS Affirmations With Twilio And Flic Buttons SMS affirmations with Twilio and Flic buttons

    Earlier this year I built an affirmations button with Twilio Internet of Things. When I’m feeling insecure or anxious (which is often), the button lets me ground myself with a physical gesture and receive a reassuring text message in return.

    A wooden box with a blue button on the top sits on a table. The box has turquoise, teal, and neon yellow stripes.

    The box holding the button looks cool but it's not as portable as I’d like, since it contains a Raspberry Pi. As a Twilio Developer Evangelist, I’m on the road writing code fairly often. I needed something that takes up less space in my luggage.

    Today I’ll show you how to build a more portable affirmations button with Flic.

    What is a Flic button?

    Flic buttons are hardware buttons that are small enough to fit in a pocket. Out of the box, they can be configured to do various things when pushed, such as:

    You can …

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    Beep Boop: 6 Bots To Better Your Open Source Project 6-bots-better-open-source-project

    The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy always increases over time. To put it another way, chaos overtakes order little by little. Open source software projects are no exception. The longer a project grows and survives, the more issues and unmerged pull requests it will accumulate. Unresolved problems from the past make it hard to keep up with new contributions.

    Bots to the rescue. Automation can help welcome new contributors and let them know what to expect. Outsourcing this labor to robots eases the burden on maintainers, freeing up time for more important tasks. Such as reviewing all those Hacktoberfest pull requests that are pouring in.

    In this post, I’ll show you 6 ways to improve your open source project with Probot. The improvements fall into two broad categories: warmly welcoming new contributors, and communicating project norms or expectations.

    Probot 101

    Probot is a Node.js framework for building …

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    3 Ways To Brick Your Raspberry Pi 3 Ways To Brick Your Raspberry Pi

    I learned over the course of my first hardware project that, well, hardware is hard. Today I’ll show you three easy ways to turn a Raspberry Pi into a paperweight.

    Shorting the +3 Volt Pin

    For this hack, you’ll need a Pi Model 3 B+ and a multimeter. Let’s say you have a button hooked up to your GPIO pins, but pressing the button does nothing and you can’t figure out why.

    Place the prongs of your multimeter on 3v3 power pin and BCM pin 18.

    Don’t use alligator clips to keep your probe steady. Make sure that your hands are so shaky that the probe slips off BCM 18 and hits the 5v pin, letting out all the magic smoke. 🔥

    a fritzing diagram of a Raspberry Pi and a multi-meter in "volt" mode hooked up to the 3v3 pin and the 5v pin and reading 0 volts.


    If your multimeter shows 0 volts on the 3v3 pin, congratulations on successfully bricking your Pi! Of course, if you’re the conscientious sort, you can verify that …

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    Fighting Impostor Syndrome With Twilio Internet of Things Fighting-Impostor-Syndrome-Twilio-IoT

    If you’re reading this, you’ve probably grappled with impostor syndrome at one time or another.

    Experience doesn’t always help, either. As our skills grow, we tackle harder problems. Technologists are always working at the edge of our knowledge.

    What can we do to fight impostor syndrome? Studies have shown that self-affirmation can counteract negative ruminations and increase achievement.  So I decided to build an Internet of Things button that delivers an SMS affirmation when pressed.

    Physical responses to negative thoughts

    Why use hardware to fight imposter syndrome?

    This project could totally be a web application. But – taking a physical action in response to negative thoughts helps ground me emotionally.

    Using SMS lets me receive the affirmation without the cognitive load of opening another browser tab. Twilio’s IoT capabilities let me take the button anywhere with cell service. No WiFi configuration required!

    The imposter syndrome button was my first hardware …

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    Detect Robocalls with Twilio Lookup, Node.js and the Nomorobo Spam Score Add-on Detect Robocalls with Twilio Lookup, Node.js and the Nomorobo Spam Score Add-on

    Robocalls: nobody likes them, except maybe the robots. Twilio is working hard to eliminate robocalls. For the moment we need additional ways of fighting back. Let’s build a tool with Node.js, Nomorobo, and Twilio Lookup to detect robocalls. It’s easier than a Voight-Kampff test, I promise.

    Getting Started

    What you’ll need:

    Nomorobo is a company that maintains a huge database of known spammers and bots, as well as providing a service for filtering out unwanted calls. To take advantage of these features, install the Nomorobo add-on from the Twilio Console. 

    Click the install button and agree to the terms of service.  Keep the unique name as nomorobo_spamscore. Under USE IN, check the Lookups box and click Save.

    Making The Initial Lookup

    Install the Twilio Node helper …

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  • By Tilde Thurium
    SMS Code Of Conduct Reporting with Twilio Studio and Slack SMS Code Of Conduct Reporting with Twilio Studio and Slack

    If you care about ensuring the safety and comfort of your community, you must have a code of conduct. Writing a code of conduct document is a necessary first step, but it’s not enough. What happens when a violation occurs? You need processes for reporting and responding to code of conduct incidents. Ideally, there are multiple reporting channels so that people can communicate over text or in person. Some folks might not feel comfortable (or be able) to report code of conduct violations face to face.

    Decisions Decisions

    There are many possibilities for technology to enable text based code of conduct reporting. Laying out requirements will help us narrow down our choices.

    • Accessible. Reporting technology should be accessible to as many event attendees as possible. Accessibility here means having access to devices that run the technology, as well as usability for folks with disabilities.
    • Secure. Code of …
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  • By Tilde Thurium
    Introducing Twilio Developer Evangelist Tilde Thurium developer evangelist Tilde Ann Thurium looking away from the camera with the text "console.log('hello world')" imposed over the image.

    A rainbow-haired distributed systems engineer changed my life.

    I’d been feeling blue about where my career was headed. She taught me a little Python and gave me the courage to leave my dull path in Human Resources behind.  In spite of my fears about the future, I worked to sharpen my technical skills a little at a time. Eventually I landed my first engineering gig at Pinterest.

    It Ain’t Easy Being Green 🐸

     My new teammates were patient.  They taught me to cultivate a growth mindset.  Even really senior engineers don’t know everything.  Asking for help builds relationships.

    I felt supported and happy at work but one thing was still bugging me. Why were we forcing users to put themselves in a pink or blue binary gender box to use Pinterest? I gathered a scrappy rainbow coalition who cared deeply about trans and nonbinary inclusivity. Together, we built and shipped …

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