How we built a terminal interface for our conference using React

How we built a terminal interface for our conference using React

In this blog post we'll talk about both some of the design decisions that went into building this as well as the underlying technology. We'll have some code snippets but the entire project is also on GitHub.

For this year's SIGNAL conference we decided we wanted to enable developers to build awesome things with Twilio while watching the conference. As a result we ended up building SIGNAL Developer Mode as an extension of the Twilio CLI.

In this blog post we'll talk about both some of the design decisions that went into building this as well as the underlying technology. We'll have some code snippets but the entire project is also on GitHub.

Why a CLI Experience?

When virtual conferences started ramping up this year and we attended some ourselves, we realized a few things were different than attending a conference in person.

One of the things we noticed that was different was the urge of wanting to learn more and build with the things that were mentioned in keynote sessions and throughout the conference.

When you are at a physical conference you try to keep track in your head of all the things you want to try, or maybe you take notes. But with conferences being virtual, you have everything right in front of you (or at least in reach). Your browser, your code editor and your terminal.

We wanted to allow every attendee at SIGNAL to be able to build and explore Twilio products as they are seeing them. We already have a Twilio CLI that provides a plugin model that we could leverage to build our experience on top of.

By building on top of the Twilio CLI we were able to provide a couple of functionalities such as configuring variables in the sample apps to set account credentials.

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