Building software is increasingly mixing and matching a variety of services with a small bit of your own special sauce.
I recently shipped a new service, DearEmmy in just a couple of hours leveraging three phenomenal services.
Twilio provides infrastructure APIs for businesses to build scalable, reliable voice and text messaging apps.
Two things really stick out to me with Twilio.
- Phone/Voice/SMS is complicated to work with, yet their API is beyond simple. With just a couple lines of code and little XML you can send, receive, record, and transcribe voice.
- Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/etc all have staggering numbers and their own importance, but they will never replace direct (by phone) communication with those I care most about. Twilio is your life line to real communication.
Pusher is a hosted API for quickly, easily and securely adding scalable realtime functionality via WebSockets to web and mobile apps.
Put another way, Pusher almost instantly changes your website into an application. The content/data on your pages instantly avoids being stale.
Also, the fact it works so well across devices (including iOS) is simply amazing to me.
I have only recently started using Pusher, but it will quickly be part of everything I do from now on. I really don’t see myself shipping anything anytime soon without using pusher.
Heroku provides super simple cloud based hosting.
I started building DearEmmy late on a Wednesday night. My goal was to ship something useful by Sunday night and enter it into a Twilio developer contest.
Because of Heroku I spent exactly zero seconds planning how to ship this product. I knew I could have it live whenever I was ready in just a couple of minutes. This is an amazingly liberating feeling.
Those are my favorites. I highly recommend all of them, but I am sure you have your own favorites. Let me know on twitter.