Author Archives: Adam DuVander

About Adam DuVander

Adam DuVander speaks fluent "developer" while serving as Developer Communications Director. He helps SendGrid connect to coders of all stripes. Previously Adam wrote for Wired, Webmonkey and edited ProgrammableWeb, the leading resource for APIs.

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Articles Posted by Adam


There’s No Such Thing as a “Long Tail Developer”

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Spend some time listening to companies with APIs and you may hear one refer to “long tail developers.” Usually it’s said in a derogatory and dismissive manner: “We aren’t going after long tail developers with our API.” So they’ll put their API documentation behind registration walls, or worse make you talk to sales before you can even find out what the API makes possible. In an effort to focus, companies shun the so-called long tail developer for fear that resources will be drained catering to their every whim. It’s common knowledge that you can’t be everything to everyone. But you

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Webhook vs API: What’s the Difference Between Them?

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As you become familiar with SendGrid’s services, or even those of many Internet companies, you’ll see the term “API” used a lot. Increasingly, you may also see someone mention a “webhook.” At SendGrid, we’ve consciously made a distinction between the two in our documentation and any time we write or speak about our seven services for simplifying email. Here’s how we break down the differences between webhooks and APIs. What is an API? API stands for Application Programming Interface, but what does that really mean? Rather than what it is, I find it easier to talk about what APIs enable.

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Send Email in Python on Nitrous.IO

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When we announced our partnership with Nitrous, we showed how to send email with Rails. The platform-as-a-service and web-based IDE also currently supports Python, Node.js, Go, and PHP. In this tutorial, I’ll show how to use a Python development box on Nitrous to send email using SendGrid. Get Started with Nitrous.IO / Python We’ll use this sample app to show how easy it is to send email. You’ll want to create a Nitrous account and follow these steps: From the Nitrous New Boxes Page, create a new box using Python/Django Launch the IDE and go to the workspace folder in

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Track Transactional Email in Real-time

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Historically, it was difficult to track transactional email. Developers were never sure if the email was delivered. There are various reasons email can be tripped up along the way. Email can bounce, ISPs can throttle you or you could be marked as spam. A lot of these problems can be avoided with a transactional email service, which will make sure your emails get delivered. But what about tracking these emails? Both marketing and transactional email can be extremely beneficial to a company, but flying blind to the data means missed opportunities. The type of data you can track includes notifications

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Elementary Arithmetic of Modern Development

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I know some developers love advanced mathematics. My computer science degree came with a math minor, but quite honestly I haven’t thought about any of it in awhile. I’m more of an elementary arithmetic kind of guy. If you like complex formulas, Nick has you covered with his A/B testing explained post. For this one, I’ll stick to the basics. In fact, I promise only three numbers in this post: 5, 2 and 80. The 5 stands for the number of APIs that SendGrid provides and the 2 is for our great webhooks. If you add those together, you’ll have

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Four Things to Do With Webhooks

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The web and mobile are both moving much more real-time, with push notifications and auto-updating interfaces. Yet, most APIs that tie together our technology are “pull” technology. You make a request and get back a result. Webhooks are one of the popular answers to providing data as-needed. At SendGrid we have two webhooks, one for events and another for incoming email. You can do some cool things with these webhooks. If you look around, you’ll find other companies that also use this technology to provide real-time access to events as they occur. But what do you do with those webhooks

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So You Want to Be a Developer Evangelist?

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Developer evangelists are a unique breed, a combination of developers, teachers, passionate communicators and frequent flyer mile collectors. SendGrid’s team is now over 10 people, who often share details of their craft on this blog. Below you’ll find a bit more about being a developer evangelist, from how you explain the job to others to putting together a demo. A Day at a Hackathon as a Developer Evangelist Developer evangelists do a lot of things, but going to hackathons is often a big part of the job. This puts you in front of new users of your product and at

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