Pseudorandom

Build an SMS Bat-Signal Powered by Twilio and Azure Functions

8 minute read Published:

Sometimes in life, you've got to send out boat-loads of SMS messages, and you've got to do it fast. Fortunately, SMS doesn't get much easier than Twilio plus Azure Functions.

Wouldn’t it be cool to send out an SMS SOS with the touch of a button? Like your own private SMS Bat-Signal!

I’ll show you how to do it using Twilio and an Azure Function. Here’s an overview of the simple architecture:

                                   /--> |        |--> 📱
|--(HTTP POST)--> [ Azure Func 𝛌 ] ---> | Twilio |--> 📱
                                   \--> |        |--> 📱

Simple, right? Let’s paint the clouds red, 160 characters at a time.

🤜 💥 🤛

Email Killed the Death.io Star

5 minute read Published:

Not so long ago, in an office so very close, an imperial trooper used the same p@$$w0rd on every single site.

The onus of easy peasy pwnage led to separate and proper passwords for important sites, led to plasticky back pats, led to proud promotions.

But an imperial trooper’s memory banks are only yea big and only hold yea many passwords.

Does This Compliment Sandwich Taste Funny to You?

4 minute read Published:

Chowing down on a compliment sandwich can leave you with a bad aftertaste. Let's discuss the flavor profile of this managerial delicacy, and the secret sauce that just might save it.

Eight words.

“Hey, can I see you in my office?”

Whatever important tasks hung spinning in the air around you darken to match your widening pupils, then plummet to the floor in a slow-motion Broadway disaster. Eight words and the serene, ever-smiling avatar of your boss.

Legacy Software: Raze and Pave or Stand Fast and Refactor

4 minute read Published:

Alternatively known as the "big-bang rewrite", the Big Rewrite, "burn and rebuild", or "raze and pave", the end result is the same — lots of work. *Can* you do it? Probably. But there's an even more important question: *Should* you?

Prologue: Merek vs the Old Library

The last tattered shred of hope clung limply to its flagpole and flew at half mast.

“Where did we go wrong?”, Merek grimaced. Hopes in Köd Kingdom had flown so high, higher than the green and black banners billowing proudly atop the castle spires. The day they’d broken ground— the popping corks and howling cheers still echoed mirthfully down his ear canals. Only the wind howled now.

Stuff Nobody Tells You About Teaching Online

24 minute read Published:

Five months and 200 hours later, I’m standing tall, arms-folded, my first-ever training course live on the video wall behind me. How’d I get here?

I won’t kid you; the road to course creation is riddled with potholes, roadblocks, and sketchy checkpoints. It was hard. But the solution to each obstacle taught me new skills and valuable life lessons. I think it’s time to document those lessons.

An old code-poke dishes on wrist care

10 minute read Modified:

The intriguing true story of one programmer's battle with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and the multipronged attack strategy which led him to a victorious recovery.

Night is falling as the old cowboy coder pauses his story to stoke the flickering campfire. You lean in slightly, eager to hear more.

A deliberate man, he takes a draw from his tin mug and then exhales contentedly, gazing into the fire. Deliberate? — Maybe he just values a good dramatic pause, you decide.

“Trouble was,” he continues, “click-clacking the day away was hard on the old wrists. Before long, I found myself square on the littered trail to neuropathy. A wise old country doc told me I had…” He pauses briefly, then pronounces each word like a hiker carefully negotiating rocky terrain, “carpal tunnel syndrome.”

You can’t help but gasp.

Run for better code

23 minute read Modified:

You’re a programmer, software craftsman, full-stack developer, software engineer. But regardless of the titles dangling from your Twitter bio, if you want to greatly improve the quality of your code and indeed the quality of your life, there’s one more title you should consider tacking on there: “Runner”…

The QUPER model: Finding "good enough"

5 minute read Published:

"Minimum Viable Product, ship it, incrementally add value! Yes, we know we shouldn't shoot for perfection - The "perfect is the enemy of the good." That said, nobody wants junk either. How do you know when a feature is "good enough"? That's where the QUPER model comes in.

Spanish for the Inner Gringo: New learning channel!

4 minute read Published:

Spanish for the Inner Gringo helps intermediate to fluent Spanish speakers correct the mistakes they didn't know they were making.

I recently launched a new learning channel, Spanish for the Inner Gringo! It aims to help you polish up (squeak) your Spanish accent and grammar so that you sound more like a native, and less like a Hawaiian-shirt-wearing, camera-laden tourist.

The videos are short (only two-minutes!) and I will be releasing one video every few weeks. The AV is sub-par, so you’re bound to get some laughs too. Subscribe to the channel and sign up for updates so you won’t miss a single video.

How I learned to get a grip by embracing "opposable opinions"

13 minute read Published:

The software engineer bristles with annoyance, then cringes in fear. The cause? They came face to face with an opposable opinion. What are these opposable opinions and is it possible to refactor our brain to respond better the next time we’re confronted with one of them? Read on, fair coder! Let’s start with this illustration: Have you ever seen a basketball player “palm” a basketball? It’s a coveted feat which greatly enhances a player’s control of the ball.

Hotel Vim 🎝 (As sung by a million strong chorus of software developers)

3 minute read Published:

Venerable old Vim has been with us since its creation by Bram Moolenaar in 1991. It’s light, it’s terse, it has a learning curve like the “Cliffs of Insanity”, and yet it’s still one of the most popular text editors in the world. Here was my take on Vim, as compared to an adult beverage: Vim. It’s like being gifted a 50-year-old bottle of scotch. Now if you could just figure out how to open it…