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Stories From The Road

  • 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 Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Twilio Flex Launched Enterprise Connect 2018 logo

    This year at Enterprise Connect the community all came out to party — specifically a launch party for Twilio Flex.

    Flex re-imagines a contact center platform, offering programmability at every layer of the stack.

    What better way to show off Flex’s programmability than by throwing an Arduino Uno in a blender?

    So let’s say you have a call center that’s devoted to monitoring an Arduino Uno’s internet connectivity. In your Flex-powered custom call center dashboard, you could log an event the instant the device loses connectivity. For example, when it meets the unforgiving blades of a blender. That’s exactly what we did.

    You can check out Jeff Lawson‘s Flex ...

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  • By Geraldine McCabe
    Twilio Talks: Learn about Twilio’s approach to tackling GDPR TwilioTalks

    Our first leadership principle is to “wear the customer’s shoes.”  We want to make sure that we meet the standards that our customers expect from us — not just by building awesome products, but also by ensuring that our platform supports their compliance needs.

    Trust is also paramount to our customers. According to Twilio CEO, Jeff Lawson, “…trust is the #1 thing on the cloud, so we will be taking GDPR as an opportunity to raise the bar for data protection worldwide.”

    Scoping a task like GDPR compliance is the first step in tackling what needs to be done. And given the scope of GDPR regulations, that journey to compliance may seem challenging. We’re here to help you navigate and to that end, we’ve prepared a host of resources to help your team prepare for GDPR including a whitepaper, FAQ, video, and a series of blogs.

     

    In addition ...

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    MHacks Rewind: 36 Hours To Ship MHacks

    At MHacks, 36 hours can pass in the blink of an eye. Just don’t savor that blink for too long. 36 hours can also feel like an impossible amount of time to stay awake, and stay hacking.
     
    College students flock to MHacks to ship a lot in a little bit of time. MHacks participants take an idea from nebulous to tangible in just shy of a weekend. We’ve been going to the hackathon for years and are consistently surprised by the level of engineering, and hustle the MHacks participants show.
     
    Here are a few highlights (of many) from this year including an Alexa hack, an SMS Expedia type service for broke people who want to travel, and more. Be on the look out for MHacks co-founder Dave Fontenot’s rad speech (and sweater).
     


     
    If you’re still looking to scratch that code-party itch, we’re having a bit ...
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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Twilio Talks UK Ridesharing In London with DriveNow, GoCarShare, and More TwilioTalks

    Everything is on-demand. Tech savvy people are switching from owning cars, apartments, and parking spaces to renting them. The ride-sharing and car-sharing industry has massively changed from this cultural switch. Twilio is helping power on-demand services for companies like DriveNow, Lyft, and Uber.

    Last month at our London HQ, the car-sharing, car-pooling, taxi and automotive industry came together for the inaugural Twilio Talks on Modern Urban Transportation, to discuss alternatives to car ownership. We were joined by three industry specialists – DriveNow‘s Director of UK, Department for Transport’s Head of Accessibility, and GoCarShare‘s CEO.
     

    TwilioTalksUK
    DriveNow –

    DriveNow’s Director of UK, Joe Seal-Driver, told the company back-story, where and how it works, and what impact it’s having on the future of transportation. Every DriveNow car now accounts for 6-13 normal cars of the road. You can find his slides here.
    Department of Transport
    Coming from the public-sector, Department ...

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Find Team Twilio At Dreamforce 2015 dreamforce_15_cloud_logotype_RGB

    It’s that time of year again. The Moscone Center puts on its Salesforce attire, donning a two story window banner.  SOMA is chock full of conference-goers, buzzing from talk to talk. We’ll be there, on scene for all of it. The big kahuna, Dreamforce, is just around the corner and we have a jam packed schedule.

    There are partner talks, keynotes, the StartUp Summit, the 1% Pledge, and technical talks. That’s a whole lot to see. Here’s a rundown of where we will be and what to watch for.

    Find Team Twilio On The Expo Floor

    We’ll be at Booth N1903 alongside over 22 Twilio-powered partners and customers. Take a look at the partner map below to get a better look at which partners are where. Download the map here.
     
    DreamforcePartner Map

    Twilio Talks

     
    Robert Fenstermacher: Add Text Messaging to the Customer Service Experience
    Moscone North, Partner ...

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Signal Conference: Join The Conversation Again May 24-25th Signal-Twilio-Conference-640×265

    The Signal Experience
    The patron saint of coffee spoke to me on my first day at Signal, and I knew the conference would be different from the others I’ve been to and the others I’ve worked at.

    The first thing I saw at the inaugural Signal Conference was the coffee cart. Anyone who goes to a lot of conferences knows the coffee cart is more than what it seems to be. It is an emergency refueling station. It’s a watering hole. It’s a place to meet conference attendees. At 7am, it is an oasis.

    Inside Fort Mason, I saw the crew of early bird attendees holding coffee in one hand and texting the Beacon with their other hand. The massive LED chandelier that changed color at the drop of a text. It was 7:15 am by this point and people were already smiling. Whether they ...

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Building Beacon: How One Team Built A 25 Foot Interactive Chandelier at Signal beacon

    TWILIO_BEACON_03_1280A text message is a powerful tool. The folks at GMunk and VT Pro Design wanted to show each and every person that came to Twilio’s Signal Conference just how much a single text can do.

    At Signal, GMunk showed off Twilio Beacon, a giant interactive chandelier that changes color based on the mood of your text. For example, if you hadn’t had your coffee yet at Signal, and texted “I am sad” to the chandelier’s Twilio-powered number, it would change colors to a more somber tone. Once you got that Americano you wanted and texted it “I am happy” the chandelier would brighten up.

    With Twilio as a catalyst to power this massive art installment, GMunk also used custom LED lights, sensors, data sentiment analysis, and cameras to monitor and respond to Signal attendees. Once you step foot on the 25’ chandelier, you’ll see the ...

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    The Signal Talks We Wish We Saw In Person Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 10.58.37 AM

    So, Signal happened. We’re pretty sure it happened because there are a ton of videos to prove that fact. It was a blur, a glorious blur. Amidst that blur, Matt Makai and Kevin Whinnery were running around Fort Mason herding cats, pushing out blog posts and assembling hack packs. In all the activity we missed a few talks. Here are the talks we wished we saw in person, and exactly what we were doing while the talk was happening.

    [Watch all the videos from Signal here]

    Kevin Whinnery – The Fox Loves Apparently Says It Loves HTTP APIs in Swift

    One of the most popular sessions at Signal, but one I wasn’t able to attend, was “How Twilio Builds Twilio”. As a developer working at Twilio, but not directly on the infrastructure that powers the service, I am constantly awed at the ability of my co-workers to transform an ...

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  • By Kyle Kelly-Yahner
    Scaling For The White House: Wedgies Powers The State of The Union Polling Wedgies640x265

    There’s an old saying “Opportunity knocks but once.” Nowadays, opportunity ditched the whole knocking thing and prefers to send emails via a contact form field on your website. At least, that was the case for Porter Haney and Jimmy Jacobson of Wedgies, a real-time social polling platform.

    When The White House needed a polling platform for the 44th State of the Union Address, they reached out to Wedgies. The White House made their needs clear. Wedgies would have to handle the following with 30 days to launch:

    • 150,000 concurrent users
    • Handle 120,000 API requests per minute

    This was a sizable, but not impossible undertaking for the Wedgies crew. But in the limited window of time they had, Wedgies shipped a new feature for The White House and scaled to meet traffic demands that they had never seen before.

    Wedgies uses Twilio SMS to allow anyone and everyone ...

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