Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

Senior Mindset Book

Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companies

Senior Engineer Mindset cover
Learn more

    Can you automate love?

    Friend, what's the laziest thing you've ever done?

    The internet's best answer is this legendary officer who ordered a ship to change course to get the morning sun out of his eyes.

    But we're engineers, our lazy looks like this πŸ‘‡

    ion 2xpng348731

    You get tired of a task, start to automate, continue to automate, keep going, and wait what was the task again ...

    After 24 years of coding I've got lots of those stories πŸ˜…

    Like when I replaced a $6000/year editor with a $2/year gaggle of JavaScript. Great use of serverless.

    Or when I was broke and built a bot that emailed me from the future. "hey Swiz, if you keep going like this you'll be broke

    That was fun. Designed my own machine learning financial projection algorithm and everything!

    The Google interviewer said: "Don't mention interest in machine learning on your resume if you have no experience". πŸ˜‚


    Or that time I used AWS Lambda and Twilio to answer the door. Callbox calls a Twilio phone number, Twilio pings a Lambda, Lambda sends you a text, answer the text, door opens.

    No more phone calls from packages!

    Then I realized you can add the gate code to your address and delivery people let themselves in. Even easier πŸ˜‚

    But it was fun to build.

    Been meaning to automate feeding treats to Kiwi 🦜 and got stuck on "Oh right, I don't know robotics ...". Wouldn't that be cool though? Build a robot arm that listens to audio cues and feeds your bird treats so he goes back to his cage instead of destroying the cabinets.

    But I digress.

    Here is the coolest most laziest almost-finished automation I've ever attempted πŸ‘‡

    Automating love with serverless

    For Valentine's Day this year, I got a Lovebox for The Girl. A cute little IoT device that spins a 3D printed heart and shows photos from an app.

    She loved it.

    And she loved it even more when I said "I'm gonna build a bot to make sure you get a new photo of our relationship every day"

    Lovebox has no API and I spent the first 3 hours of this project reverse engineering their GraphQL API. Learned a lot!

    Like did you know encrypted https traffic is easily snooped on when you have physical access to the client? 🀯

    Finding this GraphQL mutation was the hard part:

    mutation sendPixNote(
      $base64: String
      $recipient: String
      $date: Date
      $options: JSON
      $contentType: [String]
    ) {
        base64: $base64
        recipient: $recipient
        date: $date
        options: $options
        contentType: $contentType
      ) {
        status {

    The rest was easy:

    1. Install graphql-request, a smol graphql client
    2. Init with a snooped JWT token
    3. await client.request(mutation)
    4. sls invoke -f sendNote

    And a Serverless AWS Lambda wakes up on your machine as if it was running in production. 30 seconds later, the Lovebox spins 😍

    Next step: S3 bucket with a pool of photos and a daily trigger.

    What do you think, will this work? hit reply


    PS: I'm doing a live serverless Q&A on Monday, you should join :)

    PPS: look what arrived in the mail! more on this next week

    Published on March 17th, 2021 in Serverless, Technical

    Did you enjoy this article?

    Continue reading about Can you automate love?

    Semantically similar articles hand-picked by GPT-4

    Senior Mindset Book

    Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companies

    Learn more

    Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.

    Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.

    Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help πŸ‘‰ swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.

    Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers πŸ‘‰ ServerlessHandbook.dev

    Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

    Want to get my best emails on JavaScript, React, Serverless, Fullstack Web, or Indie Hacking? Check out swizec.com/collections

    Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog

    Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❀️

    Created by Swizec with ❀️