Articles by 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.

How to Write a Speaking Proposal for a Tech Conference

Veteran audience at TechStars Bootcamp

It’s conference season. Developers looking to meet others and share their knowledge may be considering talk proposals. Speaking at a conference is great experience and makes for efficient networking, as well. A speaking slot tends to be good for your employer and your own brand alike. If you haven’t done much speaking, writing proposals can be intimidating. Consider the tips below and, most importantly, resolve to submit a proposal. It’s much harder to be selected if you haven’t declared your interest. Start with the audiences When crafting a proposal, you have at least two audiences: Conference attendee Conference organizer The first will attend your talk–or maybe even the conference–based on your accepted talk. The second is trying to fill a

Parse Webhook Guide: Make Email a Two Way Street

Best Practices
Parse Webhook Guide

When you think about email in your applications, chances are you first think of sending email. SendGrid has email deliverability covered. In addition to sending email through SendGrid, you can also receive it using the incoming Parse Webhook. Using this feature, you can make your applications interactive by inviting replies and reacting without the user necessarily even visiting your website or application. Today we’ve launched the Parse Webhook Guide to help you take advantage of incoming email through SendGrid. It helps you understand how to receive email from both a technical and operational standpoint. Plus, we show examples of how the Parse Webhook is currently being used by customers, as well as fun projects developed by our team of evangelists.

Tips to Embrace Your Developer Community

Dan, Second Place Winner at Spocode and the winner of the SendGrid Prize

Despite being a fairly young company, SendGrid has a long tradition of working directly with our community. Director of Developer Relations Tim Falls was among the first employees and had the title of “community guy” for much of his tenure. The developer evangelists have written many blog posts about community and they boil down to these three tips. It’s About the People A community is made of people. Perhaps that’s obvious. Even within a developer community, there are many types of people. To embrace this community, you have to care about the people and your relationship with them. You Don’t Have to Write Code to Be Part of the Developer Community Be you. Know your role. Provide value. Marketing to

Email Productivity Hacks Powered By SendGrid


We all spend a lot of our lives in our email clients. I know it’s the nervous system of my life. Everything flows through email, which makes it a good choice for improving your productivity. Below you’ll find a handful of apps and hacks that use email to help you remember people, finish projects, achieve goals and otherwise make yourself productive. Remember Names and Influence People “When you remember a person’s name you pay them a subtle compliment,” said Developer Evangelist Scott Motte. So he created an app that helps him remember names to pay more of these compliments. Scott sends himself a daily email quiz with a face and a name. Cleverly, the name is passed along as quoted

Proactively Remove Unengaged Email Addresses

Best Practices, Technical
Event Webhook Guide

Avoiding the spam folder is about more than the content of your email and responding to unsubscribes. While those are still important, a growing factor in whether your email gets to the inbox is how much the people you send to want to receive your email. In other words, if you remove the recipients who don’t want your email, those ones who do want it are more likely to see it. SendGrid provides click and open tracking. The Event Webhook sends along events when triggered by a recipient’s engagement–an open or a click. If you proactively remove those who haven’t engaged, you may save yourself a future spam report. Plus, it looks bad to email providers if recipients don’t even

The Nine Events of Email

Event Webhook Guide

As emails are sent and recipients interact with them, events are triggered within SendGrid. Customers on the Silver plan and above (as well as the free plan, which handles sending up to 200 emails per day) can enable the Event Webhook to receive notifications for the nine types of email events described below. Some are informational and can be used to create instant dashboards. Others you may want to save to query later. And there are some events you may want to react to immediately. Your project may not require listening for all nine, but each is useful in its own way. Processed This event fires when SendGrid receives an individual message and prepares it to be delivered. Think of

Let Someone Else Write 80% of Your App

Pareto principle for app development

When was the last time you walked through a room full of servers humming? For most developers, it’s been awhile, if ever. The complexity of running servers has been abstracted into Infrastructure-as-a-service and even Platform-as-a-service offerings. It’s going further, as developers are able to focus on the core features of their apps and not on the stuff that every app needs. Pareto-as-a-Service Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist who famously observed that “80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” Later named the Pareto principle, it can be applied to many natural phenomena, as well as human ventures. When developers create mobile and web apps, they have the opportunity to take advantage of the principle by building on

Event Webhook Guide: The Next Level of Email Sophistication

Best Practices
Event Webhook Guide

It takes more than opt-ins and good content to build a successful email program. You need to make sure every recipient wants to get your email, which means paying close attention to engagement levels. With email providers watching bounce, spam, open and click rates, you should be too. SendGrid’s Event Webhook helps our customers reach that next level of email sophistication by reacting to the nine email events. These events (processed, dropped, deferred, bounced, delivered, opened, clicked, reported spam, unsubscribed) and how you would use them are detailed in our Event Webhook Guide: The Next Level of Email Sophistication, which is available now. This guide provides an overview of what the Event Webhook makes possible, as well as how developers

Should Everybody Learn to Program?

Sphero programming

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg famously announced his intention to learn to code in 2012. It became a symbol of an entire movement where previously non-technical people take the plunge into programming’s logical waters. We have written before about building a conceptual framework and even what programming language to learn, but haven’t really talked about who should be learning to code. The Mayor is Out It’s been over a year and a half since Bloomberg made his declaration. It was a New Year’s resolution, so we should all give him a break for not launching his app yet. I reached out to the Mayor’s office to find out how it’s going. “It’s on his list,” said a representative. “Why?” asks

Weekend Hacking to Money, Miles and Merit

Events, Guest Post
AirPing screenshots

The following is a guest post from SendGrid engineer Kien Pham Our developer evangelists trot the globe attending many hackathons, among other events. Most engineers at SendGrid spend the majority of our time nearer to home, working on the products. In my spare time I’ve enjoyed attending those same events the evangelists know so well, but as a participant, sometimes with my SendGrid co-workers. We have a great culture at SendGrid and one of our values is Hungry. We encourage each other to go to tech talks, meet-ups and hackathons to learn about latest and greatest technology. After every hackathon, I always learn something new that I can try to implement at work on Monday. Also I form teams with

5 Best Practices for Using SendGrid With Google App Engine

Best Practices, Partnerships, Technical
Photo by Adam Goode

Now that SendGrid joined the Google Cloud Platform Partner Program, it’s extremely simple to integrate email into your Google App Engine apps. In addition to helping get your email delivered, we offer statistics and advanced APIs to send, receive and analyze email. Below you’ll learn five key lessons for using SendGrid with Google App Engine. 1. Get Started The first thing you need to know is that Google App Engine developers can send a lot of emails through SendGrid for free. Before you dive into any of the examples below, be sure to register your account to claim your free emails. 2. Use SendGrid Client Libraries There are two main ways to send email through SendGrid. You can change your

Three Tools for Making Sense of Event Data

Product, Technical
Photo by Adam Goode

One of the best things about APIs is they can inspire entire third party ecosystems. The SendGrid Event API can be used in a number of ways, from inferring engagement to dashboards. It’s multi-purpose because it’s simply a firehose of data on all the email you’re sending. The three tools below are just a few examples of what has been built for customers–and by customers–using the SendGrid Event API. Keen IO Through our partnership with Keen IO, you can easily send events to Keen IO, an API for custom analytics. ZenLytics A one-man startup, ZenLytics is built on providing more in-depth data about emails. Tempo DB Tempo DB specializes in time series data, a perfect match for the Event API.