Articles by Brandon West


Brandon West

As Director of Developer Relations for SendGrid, Brandon's focus is on empowering developers to build things, gathering feedback for new features and improvements, and fostering a cooperative developer community for anything that needs email integration.

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Lone Star Ruby Hackathon Recap

Brandon West Events
LSRC Hackathon

Last weekend after the Lone Star Ruby Conference in Austin, a group of developers gathered at Capital Factory for an overnight hackathon with a focus on communications. In addition to the awesome support and space donated by Capital Factory, the event was put on by Context.io, Twilio, SendGrid, and Searchify. The prizes were big ticket items, with first place taking home a MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and the runner-up getting a Thunderbolt Cinema Display. There were also prizes for the best use of Twilio and the best use of SendGrid. Read More ›


A Hackathon with a Civic Focus: Colorado Code for Communities

Brandon West Events
Code for Communities Logo

I see a lot of ideas at hackathons that are fun but not necessarily useful, or that are useful but not solving big problems. That’s not a judgment on building things solely for fun or as novelties; that’s a big part of the spirit of hacking, and it’s hard to tackle big problems in a couple days. But the focus was a little bit different at the Colorado Code for Communities hackathon last weekend at Uncubed in Denver, where a group of hackers, local representatives and local sponsors got together to “build and improve the latest apps that bring sustainability into the forefront of everyone’s lives.” The structure of the event was a little different as well. Everyone was asked Read More ›


Hacking for Stacks of Cash: API Hackday Portland recap

Brandon West Events
Stack of Cash

Stack of CashPortland is one of my favorite cities. There’s amazing beer, ridiculously good coffee, a variety of awesome restaurants and food carts, a great public transit system, and a bunch of friendly people. There’s also a solid tech scene that is growing with the help of incubators like PIE. It’s easy to see why companies and their employees might want to start in Portland or relocate there, and that makes it a great place for hackdays.

Read More ›


SendGrid’s API Workshop – Interactive API Documentation

Brandon West Best Practices, Product, Technical

We have updated this system and moved it, please check out our Code Workshop here.

Sometimes it’s easier to understand how something works by seeing it in action rather than by reading about it. To make it easier to explore what our API is capable of and let customers try out API calls without having to write code, we’ve created our API Workshop.

Ready to take it for a spin? Start by putting in your SendGrid credentials:

API Workshop Credentials

Read More ›


Use SendGrid SMTP with SocialEngine

Brandon West Partnerships, Product, Technical

SocialEngine is social network software that helps users build their own customized community websites. With over 8,000 websites utilizing their software, they are one of the most popular social networking web applications around. The following video shows how you can setup SocialEngine to send emails through the cloud-based SendGrid SMTP service. If you haven’t checked out SocialEngine and are thinking about adding social networking features to your website, give them a look. If you’re an existing SocialEngine customer, integrate with your SendGrid and start seeing the benefits of analytics, improved deliverability, and a flexible API for your email needs.


Wedgi.es – Simple Surveys That Use SendGrid

Brandon West Guest Post

Back in September, at the fantastic ReCommerce Hackday, I hung out with Jimmy Jacobson and Porter Haney, the guys behind Wedgi.es. Wedgi.es is a lightweight social application that lets you easily poll your friends via twitter. Porter told me he was addicted to the Wedgi.es email updates that they had implemented using SendGrid, so I asked Jimmy and Porter if they’d write about their application and experience for our blog. They obliged, so we are very pleased to present a guest blog post from Wedgi.es!

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Recap of ReCommerce hackday in Las Vegas, Nevada

Brandon West Events

How many hackdays have you been to that include ziplining across 800 feet above a downtown parade? That’s how we kicked things off in Las Vegas for Recommerce Day, a hack event with a focus on retail and sponsored by a lot of great companies and API providers, including Zappos, Mashery, Twilio, Etsy, and Klout. There were 19 incredible hacks presented and a lot of great prizes were given away. The winner for Most Fun and Weird went to Rotten Huevos from @harmophone, a web app that uses the Rotten Tomatoes API to check the movie you’re about to watch, and then orders extra underwear via Manpacks if the movie is scary and might cause you to soil yourself. The Best Mashup award Read More ›


Announcing Improved Heroku Integration

Brandon West Company, Partnerships, Product

We are pleased to announce some improvements for SendGrid users on Heroku. We’ve increased email credits across the board, refreshed our suite of plans, and have enabled some additional features. Heroku users can now manage their sub-users via our API, and all users on the Silver plan and above have access to dedicated IPs for their accounts. Heroku and SendGrid’s partnership started in 2009 while SendGrid was still in the TechStars program. Heroku and SendGrid have both grown from tiny startups sailing the untested seas of the cloud services market to proven market leaders. Before Sendgrid had a proper logo, we had a simple clipart image of an envelope with our name on it. Longtime users might notice that the old logo Read More ›


Bookmarklet for Exporting Email Activity to CSV

Brandon West Best Practices, Product, Technical

Brett Zink at yottaflow has created an awesome bookmarklet that allows you to export your email activity results to a CSV file. Use the search bar to filter the data however you want, and then click on your new Bookmarklet. The Bookmarklet opens in a new window with all the data reformatted into CSV. The first time you use it you’ll probably get stopped by your pop-up blocker. Just allow pop-ups from sendgrid.com and try again. This is a handy tool for getting your results into Excel. Our development team is working on adding an export to the Email Activity page but in the meantime this is fantastic. Thanks Brett!


Announcing Safe Harbor Compliance

Brandon West Company

We are happy to announce that we are certified as Safe Harbor compliant. The Safe Harbor program ensures compliance with the European Union Data Protection Directive, a directive that protects personal data by ensuring that it is only used with permission and for legitimate purposes. We look forward to working with clients in the EU! Please get in touch if you have any questions.