A quick guide to setting up a texting feature in your React app

In the final chapter of my Flatiron saga I have created an app called InstAlert. Essentially, InstAlert is a silent alarm masquerading as a social media app. When a user opens their profile on InstAlert, the presenting home page will appear to be Instagram, complete with a feed of pictures and a navigation bar with the profile pictures of their friends. However, when the user “likes” one of these posts, the subject of the photo will be sent a text message that contains the user’s current location along with a distress message.

The idea behind this (which will be further…


Ok, so why is a meme worth $595,000?

Last week as I listened to Jon Lovett’s podcast “Lovett or Leave It” (which, by the way, I highly recommend), I was introduced to a new concept. Lovett’s guest, almost laughing at himself, described how he had waited in a digital line for several hours hoping to purchase what I could only discern was some sort of digital basketball card. They were being sold by Topps, whom you might remember from your days as a kid (or adult, no judgement here) collecting actual, physical sports trading cards.

According to this man, he…


Let’s learn about tech drama and open-source.

If you are a coder like me, you are all too familiar with error messages. Who among us hasn’t experienced the minor annoyance of a syntax error, or the blinding rage of a broken line of code that destroys your entire project.

On what seemed to be a typical morning in March of 2017, programmers around the world all experienced the same error-born agony. Code around the globe was suddenly broken. And it could all be traced back to the same place.

A tiny, 11-line package called ‘left-pad’.

This is ‘left-pad’

That’s right. The contents of this little box disrupted…


Then after that you should use real data.

“Sincerity — if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
George Burns

If there is one thing we can all agree upon, it is that George Burns was clearly a sociopath. Let’s just address that elephant in the room before we kick off.

Luckily, that quote of his has no direct relevance to the subject matter in this post.

However, that quote was generated from a large collection of quotes under the #fake, #faker, and #fake-quotes categories on Google, and then chosen at random to fill the role of “quote at the top of the page”.

And that…


“You nervous? Don’t be. ” -Donny Wahlberg to me, one time.

My apartment is not very large.

It is not a shoebox — not like my first NYC apartment on 158th street that I shared with two girls, several mice, and a stray cat that used to climb in my window from the fire escape when it rained. But still, it is small. Petite, you might say, if you were kind of pretentious.

The point is, you don’t have much room when you don’t have many rooms, and therefore, the rooms you do have can take on multiple personalities. Currently…

Alex Marz

An Actor working through the Flatiron SE program

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