New blog!

It has been quite some time since I’ve posted here, as I’ve put most of my energy the last couple years into MDM Deals. However, I have missed writing and while I don’t have time now to jump into the deeper analysis pieces that I really enjoy, I have decided to write more about the automation I’m doing to keep MDM Deals running. It’s some pretty interesting stuff, I think, that will interest many of you, but because it is “behind the scenes” of MDM Deals, I’ve decided to host it on a blog section of that site rather than host it here (though I may occasionally cross-post some articles). Introducing the all-new MDM Deals blog!

Don’t worry–while the writing is about MDM Deals, you can follow the blog without getting any deals coming to you. Hope you enjoy! Here’s an excerpt from my first post:

I figured I’d use an “if contain” action to see if the variable “contains” a character, but since I don’t know what characters might be in an app name, I’d have to create a huge number of nested “if condition” actions to cover all vowels (upper and lower case) plus numbers. Ick–not elegant and I can’t fathom how complex that would be to build.

The better answer is regex. I ran a “match text” action on the name variable, using regex to search for any alphanumeric character. Perfect. If the name variable had alphanumeric content, it would match; if it didn’t, it would mean the name variable was blank. Now I just needed to take the regex match and use it with an “if” action to give me an error if there was no match.

The way to do that wasn’t intuitive

This is what I love about Shortcuts and the automation it enables. I’m not a developer, I can’t write a script, and I can only barely hack my way around regex, but that doesn’t matter. Shortcuts democratized automation enables me not only to post deals to 15 different places on the internet, but it also enables me to prevent or fix user errors automatically.

I now don’t have to worry now about mistyping an app name or inserting extra spaces. A tiny bit of automation not only guarantees better quality posts for MDM Deals but also takes away yet one more thing I have to think about 8-10 times a day when I post deals. Faster posts, better deals, and less mental effort? I’ll take that any day.

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