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Dialing Into The Twilio API


Chris Castiglione
Co-Founder, One Month (YC-backed learning platform)

Rob Spectre
Evangelist, Twilio

Questions? Read our FAQs

About This Class

Twilio allows you to write code that interacts with mobile phones, SMS, and landlines. Companies like Ebay, Hulu, Airbnb, Groupme and many more use the Twilio API as a way to embed telephone communications directly into their product.

In this class, Rob Spectre, Director of Developer Evangelism, and Chris Castiglione, will show you how to develop an app that hooks into the Twilio API, walking you through how to build something every successful business needs: a customer support line to manage all those support calls you’ll be receiving.


  • Introduction 3:10
  • Twilio Examples 2:11
  • The Queue 1:18
  • Twilio Queue Demo 2:54
  • Prerequisites 1:57
  • Building the Queue 5:17
  • Twilio Concepts 1:13
  • Caller Back-end 5:35
  • Twilio Number Setup 4:32
  • Caller Demo 1:08
  • Refining the Queue 4:56
  • Twilio Agent Backend 8:08
  • What's Next? 5:22
  • Q: What about international calls? 0:50
  • Q: What are some other common features? 0:42
  • Finding Code Examples 1:32


  • Develop a system where your customers will be able to call your phone number and be placed in a waiting cue
  • Alert your employees that there are customers waiting on the line (in the order the calls were received)
  • Have some fun with the waiting experience. (Because it’s your startup, and while your customers are on hold they shouldn’t be forced to listen to easy-listening Muzak. Unless you want to be ironic, then sure, we get it)

Prereqs & Preparation

  • Terminal - Python comes preinstalled on the Mac OSX and can be accessed using Terminal (Utilities -> Terminal). You don't need to be a python programmer to follow along because we'll be providing the code. If you are on a Windows machine or you don't have access to Terminal you can use any shell and install Python:
  • Heroku - We wil be using Heroku to deploy our code. Sign up for a free account at:
  • Git - Locally install git. You won't need GitHub or a remote repository:
  • Twilio Account - Register for a free Twilio sandbox account prior to watching the livestream:

About the Instructor(s)


Chris Castiglione
One Month (YC-backed learning platform)

Christopher Castiglione is a developer with a specialty in UX strategy and Front-end. He has over ten years of experience developing digital products. In the past, he has designed applications for clients ranging from The Black Eyed Peas, Bacardi, and Toyota.

In 2012, Christopher spoke at over 70 events on programming and APIs. He's taught at Columbia University, The University of Amsterdam, SXSW, and has provided corporate training for clients ranging from Donors Choose to The New York Stock Exchange and American Express.

Chris is currently a member of the General Assembly teaching faculty. More information can be found here.

Rob Spectre

Rob Spectre is a punk rock technolologist having a barrel of monkeys on the Internet.

Doing just about anything for a good laugh, Rob is an ardent supporter of open source software and creative commons art, the startup scene in New York, and every professional sports club from Boston. In addition to Brookyn Hacker, Rob runs a number of exploits into Internet ridiculousness, including the heartwarming documentary service how i knew you were the one, the robotic telephonic joke machine Laugh-o-Tron, and the Nobel Prize-losing Chrome Extension Jeter Filter.

Living and working in Brooklyn, Rob loves laughing, writing and failing to act his age by staying out of the most pit.

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