Every developer should write a personal automation API
A few years ago I fell in love with If This Then That (IFTTT). It’s a remarkable, free service that lets you build simple rules for hundreds of apps, web services, IOT devices, and more. It’s a great concept, and so amazing that I could not do it justice in this post. If you’re not familiar with IFTTT (or the new Microsoft-hosted competitor, Flow), drop what you are doing and go check them out right now. Seriously, I can wait.
IFTTT filled a gap in my digital life I hadn’t thought to fill before. But after using it for a while, I found myself itching for an even higher level of customization. I wanted to transform outputs, to chain rules together, and to add condition statements. Basically, I wanted IFTTT to be a free, hosted cron job executor with a nice UI, mobile apps, and hundreds of libraries I could use. I loved the simplicity of the rudimentary rules engined they offered, but I wanted more. I suspect many developers felt the same way.