I hate checking my voicemail. I hate the nagging voicemail icon on my phone that won’t be dismissed unless I actually check my voicemail. I hate how listening to a voicemail, capturing relevant information from it, and calling someone back breaks up the normal flow of how I communicate with people all day long: asynchronously, via written communication like email or text.
These days, when I want to talk to someone, we plan a time to talk and that’s fine. But some people still call and leave me a black-box-of-a-voicemail that I have to wade into.
I needed some way to cut voicemail out of my life…so I hooked up a Twilio app to handle it for me.
This week at work, we ran into a slight hiccup with one of our larger third-party data syncs. Without going into too much detail, to fix the issue, we had to carefully reproduce data in various states and test fixes that would transform that data back to the correct state – or for the purpose of this post, I spent a lot of time this week setting things up and waiting for them to run.
Outside of work I’ve been continuing to play with Twilio and this morning, with hours of data prep still in front of me, I stumbled across this article on Sending a Twilio SMS from the Shell.
The other day, I had the pleasure of talking to someone who builds mobile apps with people in developing countries so that community health workers can deliver medical information and collect data.
As were talking about the technical challenges and logistical challenges (provisioning hundreds of mobile phones and numbers in one go in a country where you have no presence, e.g.), I have a pretty clear mental model of a basic CRUD app distilled down to Android…and then he said something that changed how I thought about the entire problem:
Some of their programs are limited to SMS-only communication. No smartphones, no apps, just text.