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“This could be us, but you’re alive”

When it comes to simple solutions to sprucing up an FAQ page, chatbots are one of my favorite solutions. Whether you run a small business and are a one-person customer support team, you find your customer support team fielding the same questions about your hours and location, or even if you’re wanting to share knowledge, chatbots are a fantastic way to delegate frequently asked questions. I’ve written about it before, but I’ll say it again: creating a chatbot to answer FAQs using Azure tools is not only easy to build, but even easier to integrate with tools like Twilio.


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This post was originally published on Dev.to by Kimberlee Johnson and was written collaboratively on Mean Girls day (October 3rd!). This post will walk you through how to use Azure functions and Twilio to send and receive text messages and calls, in this case a quote from a favorite character. We used Cady Heron, but you could pick any of your favorites.

Happy coding! -💕 Chloe

I’m not sure where I would fall on Janis Ian’s map of the North Shore High cafeteria, but it wouldn’t have been with the AP Computer Science kids.


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The following blog post will walk you through how to use Microsoft Azure Bot Services to create a simple chatbot using minimal programming, Twilio, and a Word Doc.

If you’re looking for a quick summary and overview on the Azure Bot Service, I recommend starting here with our documentation, or taking an hour or two to complete a step-by-step Learning Path, so you have some context on the various bot options available with Azure.

This post is part 1 of a series of posts on how to create various bots that can be built using Azure, with varying difficulty (this post being the easiest).


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April (@vogueandcode) + me at Rupaul’s DragCon 2019, posing with our giant cell phones.

Lately, I’ve been playing around with Azure Functions to automate different parts of my life. Just today, as I was building a demo using Functions for an upcoming work project, I looked up at the clock and discovered it was 4pm.

🙋‍♀️ The Good News: Time flies when you’re coding!

🤦‍♀️ The Bad News: I do not function as well without my ADHD medication and well… I forgot to take my ADHD medication.

Here’s the thing about us folks with ADHD- we have trouble with our working memory. If you’re unfamiliar working memory it is the part of our memory that is able to keep information long enough to remember what’s next, stay focused on a task, or use info in the short term (you can think of it like a cache). For example, when I’m telling a story I’ll often get excited, go on a tangent, my brain runs it’s garbage collector, and completely forget what I was originally talking about. Also, I often have to look at the weather/ask our Google home for it 2–3 times before I remember the temperature for the day. Let’s just say I’m not Dori from Finding Nemo-level forgetful but… I’ve been known to completely forget important things in the moment, especially tasks like taking my medication twice a day. …


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More accurate than a ouija board…

The following blog post will walk you through how to use the Microsoft Azure Face API to detect emotions from images. If you’re looking for a quick summary and overview on the Face API, I recommend starting here with our documentation, or taking 5 minutes to complete a Quickstart Tutorial, so you have some context on how to use the API and deploy a React App to GitHub pages. You can also view the GitHub repo here.

If you’d like to skip straight to the code, scroll down to the Let’s get to the code! ​section below.

🍄⭐️🏁 Or, if you want to skip ahead and see what your Mario Kart player says about you (based on my personal and very non-scientific analysis), go here: https://chloecodesthings.github.io/Mario-Kart-Astrology/


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The following blog post will walk you through how to use Azure Functions, Twilio, and a Flic Button to create an app to trigger calls/texts to your phone. If you’re looking for a quick summary and overview on Azure Functions, I recommend starting here with our documentation, or taking 4 minutes to read in more detail how to create your first Azure Function, so you have some context on how to use functions within Azure.

If you’d like to skip straight to the code, scroll down to the Let’s get to the code!​ section below.

Happy learning!

-Chloe

Hello everyone, my name is Chloe, and I’m an ambivert…


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“This is fine”

In July of 2017, I wrote an article on Medium that NewCo published entitled What It’s Like to Be a Woman at a Tech Conference. When it was first posted, it went viral, and the blank faced image of me giving a thumbs up in the middle of a crowded wine cave full of men (taken by a coworker at a tech conference in Napa) became a well-known symbol of women in tech. Over the last couple years, folks have recognized me at conferences I speak at and say things like “you’re the girl from that article!” all over the world (London, Vancouver, Italy, Atlanta, Kansas City — you get the point), and someone once shared with me that the thumbs-up image became a Slack emoji reaction for their engineering teams. I’ve been incredibly moved by men and women thanking me for the perspective and sharing my insight into what it’s like to function as a gender minority in the software engineering world. …


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Me n’ my Furb 💝
More of a visual learner? Don’t worry- there’s a video version! 🎬

The 1990s were a wild time for pop culture and trivia. As someone born in 1989 (please save the eyerolls elder-devs; we all have no choice in our release date on this Earth) the late 90s bring back overwhelming nostalgia of Nicktoons, Disney Channel Original movies, and very bizarre straight to VHS videos from the Olsen Twins. Of course, back in our day, we didn’t have Hulu & Netflix… we had cable TV. Which meant commercials. Which meant brainwashing us into needing the newest coolest toy being advertised to us between episodes of Rocko’s Modern Life. …


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Me keynoting in London Skills Matter’s MuCon.

I’ve written several posts, chatted on many a podcast, and have had consumed countless coffees where I’ve talked about my transition from theatre to engineering, so I’ve decided to put it all in one place in this post!

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely emailed/DMed me/been referred by a friend to pick my brain on how on earth a quirky girl who once played a Crayon in a children’s theatre production (Blue and Yellow- I am a very talented performer with a wide range 🖍) somehow ended up working as a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate at Microsoft. While I would love to answer every single message/intro/inquiry individually and take you up on that free coffee- unfortunately (but excitingly as well) a lot of people reach out to grab coffee and A) That’s a lot of caffeine, and B) I start feeling like a broken record talking about myself. …


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Me, not being pitchy.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “meet-up”? Personally, I think of s’mores, tie-dying, PowerPoint karaoke, and giant squirrel costumes. Of course, here at Sentry, we don’t think of our meet-ups as “meet-ups,” we think of them more as events that you happen to learn something at (while eating a fruit-roll up and perhaps a marshmallow or two…).

I recently spoke about Sentry Scouts, and our approach with community events on Microsoft’s Open Source Show. One of the tips I included in this episode (in addition to “no pizza” and “no warm beer”) was “no pitches.”

In my experience, pitches in talks or presentations at meet-ups can feel awkward and forced. I would immediately feel disconnected and disinterested in the content being presented when a presenter would abruptly go from talking through the code, design process, and engineering decisions to a sales-y demo of a product that felt oddly like an infomercial. Additionally, as a person who often gives presentations, I’ve always found myself looking for ways to make any company-related demos as relevant and useful as possible (vs. adding it in for the sake of promotion) and include other tools and integrations as well. In short, I didn’t want to sound like the Shamwow guy. …

About

Chloe Condon

Musical theatre actress turned developer evangelist.

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