GitHub Push to Tweet

Yesterday I attended the Swift Cloud Workshop 2 in Austin, TX. The one-day conference was focused on discussing how Swift can be used outside of the Apple ecosystem. Belinda Vennam, one of the keynote speakers, discussed how Swift code can be run on Bluemix in a “serverless” fashion. So, I had to try it myself. This short blog post discusses how to use IBM’s Cloud Functions to post a tweet in response to a GitHub push event.


There are three high-level steps required to automate a tweet after a GitHub push:

  1. TRIGGER: I commit/push to a GitHub repository
  2. ACTION: Serverless function extracts commit message from the push
  3. ACTION: Serverless function posts message to twitter

The trigger and actions mentioned above can be created using the Bluemix CLI or web interface.

Create the Trigger

With the web interface, I created the initial GitHub trigger; this required creating a GitHub access token, clicking through their trigger-creation wizard, and tweaking some settings.

Write the First Action

Next, I wrote my first serverless function (called an action) in Swift. Here’s the code:

// Cloud function accepts and returns a dictionary
func main(args: [String:Any]) -> [String:Any] {

    // Extract commit message (commits[0] --> message)
    guard let commits = args["commits"] as? [[String:Any]],
        let message = commits[0]["message"] as? String else {
        return [
            "success": false,
            "message": "could not find message in \(args)"

    // Send message to next action
    return [
        "success": true,
        "message": "updated \(message)"

main is the entry point, and it accepts a dictionary of values called args. In this case, args contains values associated with a GitHub push like the commit message. Assuming the commit message exists, it is extracted and a dictionary is returned with a modified message; the dictionary acts as input to the section action.

Write the Second Action

The second action was more difficult to create. I wasn’t able to locate a Swift package for posting to Twitter, but I did find a repository with a working Node/Javascript example — This repo contained more functionality than I needed, so with a few small adjustments, I created my own main function:

const Twitter = require('twitter');
const request = require('request');

function main(args) {

	return new Promise( (resolve, reject) => {

		let client = new Twitter(require('./config.js'));		

		if (args.success == true) {'statuses/update', {status: args.message}, function(err, tweet, response) {
	            if(err) reject(err);
		} else {
			reject("Function to parse message from commit failed.")

exports.main = main;

This code is available on GitHub at Because it requires dependencies, I couldn’t create it in the Bluemix web interface. Instead, I had to bundle the code and its dependencies in a zip file, and post it to Bluemix using their CLI. This roughly translates to…

# navigate to repo
~ $ cd openwhisk-to-twitter

# install dependencies
~/openwhisk-to-twitter $ npm install

# archive code and dependencies
~/openwhisk-to-twitter $ zip -r -X "" *

# create new serverless function (action)
~/openwhisk-to-twitter $ bx wsk action create post-to-twitter --kind nodejs:6

Note: Bluemix has their own example of “packaging an action”. Here’s the link.

Final Steps

Once both actions were created, I wired them together as a sequence. Then, I set the GitHub trigger to invoke the sequence. That’s it :)!