Welcome to the second blog post of the Twilio Flex Developer Spotlight series. This time, we are featuring a team of developers at U-Haul. This post is based on my experience attending a Twilio hackathon at U-Haul headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona in May 2019.
When you think of U-Haul, you most likely think of DIY moving trucks, trailers, and storage boxes. But did you know that U-Haul employs a team of software developers that build and maintain many of their software applications?
The development team at U-Haul have built their technology stack including their own customer relationship management, billing, payment and web chat systems. They standardized on a premise-based voice contact center solution years ago for their contact center agents. And since the business is seasonal, they have maintained a hardware footprint capable of supporting up to twice the number of full-time agents during peak season.
U-Haul Company’s ...
Before eLearning, a student needed to commute across town or even move to a different country to get a quality education. Improvements in technology, especially in WebRTC, has taken the hassle out of connecting students with great teachers and schools.
I’m Alex from LearnCube, virtual classroom software that specializes in helping language-learning and academic tutoring companies teach online.
When we started four years ago, we made a bet that WebRTC would be the video technology of the future. Users much prefer the seamless experience of not having to download an external app or software. The quality has been getting better every year and it’s already superior to many many established video-conferencing providers.
We became a Twilio customer for Programmable Video in late 2017 after learning that Twilio had acquired Kurento. What we found was a quality video platform to embed in our virtual classroom software at an affordable ...
“It’s the free speech fight of our generation.” Evan Greer, Deputy Director at Fight for the Future, doesn’t mince words about the importance of net neutrality. “We see [the rollback of net neutrality] as something that will determine not only the future of what the internet looks like, but what the future of what our society will look like.”
Battle for the Net
Net neutrality is a deceptively simple concept with broad implications. Essentially, it’s the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) should treat content equally. Without net neutrality, ISPs can treat the internet like T.V., where the voices you hear are those that can afford to pay for access, whether that’s your latest Netflix binge, a startup’s homepage, or independent journalism. “Net neutrality protections are ...
Jem Stein is on a mission to get every refugee on a bike.
Each year over 13,000 people seek asylum in London. Many arrive fleeing war, religious persecution, and government oppression. Once in the UK, asylum seekers face new challenges adapting to their new home. Among these, a lack of affordable transportation creates a virtual wall between refugees and basic resources like food shelters and health services. Led by founder Jem Stein, The Bike Project is breaking down this barrier, two wheels at a time.
The Difference a Bike Makes
Jem’s mission began after he witnessed the importance of transportation to refugees firsthand. “I mentored a Darfuri refugee named Adam at university and saw the difficulties he faced getting around London.”
Government accommodations for asylum seekers typically reside on the ...
In deportation events, every minute counts. Immigration enforcement raids can happen at any time, anywhere. When an arrest occurs, family members get separated without being able to tell loved ones what happened, or let their employers know where they are. And connected to each person directly affected by a deportation are communities around the country that lose friends, family members, coworkers, and teachers.
There are approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and 800,000 who are at risk of losing legal residency status currently provided under the DREAM Act. For these people, connections to their communities, families, and attorneys are essential to ensure that they receive fair treatment during and immediately following an immigration raid. Through their bilingual mobile app, Notifica, technologists at United We Dream seek to ensure ...
To celebrate Women’s History Month and the awesome work of women in the Twilio community, we wanted to take a minute to recognize some of our personal heroes. This is in no way an exhaustive list, but a small cross section of amazing developers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and all around badasses that are building the future of social impact through communications technology.
All of us here at Twilio are grateful for the opportunity to work with such inspiring people and look forward to seeing the history each of them continue to make every day.
Led by CEO and founder, Meena Palaniappan, Atma Connect enables people in Indonesia to share real-time information about issues affecting their communities, including floods, fires, jobs, and education. With a text-based alert system, users can stay ...
Nearly 1.2 million older people in the UK say they’re chronically lonely. Roughly 3.9 million say that TV is their main form of company. And some 200,000 haven’t had a conversation with a friend or family member in more than a month.
London-based charity Age UK set out to reduce chronic loneliness in 2005 with its Call in Time service. Once a week for 30 minutes, Call in Time connected older people with volunteers over the phone, providing companionship, advice, and support to the people who needed it most.
Although Call in Time had helped thousands of people, the service’s manual call system was labor intensive and couldn’t scale to reach the number of people Age UK wanted to help. It plateaued at 3,500 ...
I popped into Redfin’s HQ in Seattle last week, partly because I wanted to snap a few photos to highlight their developers on our website. But mostly to feed my curiosity on a development team that just keeps churning out new innovative ways to engage customers.
I walked away with a real appreciation of their approach using small development teams to continuously improve the Redfin customer experience.
For the uninitiated, Redfin is a national real estate brokerage. But in reality, they’re much more than that. They use technology to redefine the real estate experience to center on the customer — combining their own full-service employee agents with their own technology to deliver service that’s faster, better, and costs less. Every Redfin agent is backed by a team of real estate professionals who take care of everything for the customer. There’s always someone available.
A big part of ...
You don’t have to take a coding class to build that new feature. Autopilot just launched a drag and drop feature that allows you to control SMS with a visual editor.
When a user sends a text to your Twilio powered number, that’s logged in Autopilot. Using a drag and drop interface, you can set up a logic for Twilio, and other third party services, to follow when that text comes in. This gives you the ability to create a friendly bot that can communicate with your users, and also log leads.
Let’s say you’re running an ice cream shop and want to let people know about the grand opening. When a user text the number you’ve advertised, the bot can reply “Hey thanks for texting in, what’s your name?” When the user responds with their name, it becomes a variable that the bot ...
The first mistake is thinking you can fix it yourself. A kitchen sink is an understandable device, one you can surely wrangle. 30 minutes later you are down a sink, and looking for a plumber.
In those moments, you wish that the world shared your sense of urgency to remedy your problem. That wish might not be granted but your other wish will be. Streem can beam an expert into your (augmented) reality to help you assess your damage.
When you contact a plumber, they can send you a Streem invite link via SMS. Once you download the Streem app, you press one button and you’re connected with that plumber in a video chat. The plumber can see and assess the damage you ...