Articles by Eddie Zaneski

Eddie is a NYC based Developer Evangelist at SendGrid.

Joining the PHP Parade


I can’t say I was excited to learn PHP, but after the previous maintainer of our library went on to become the new Commissioner of Major League Hacking, it fell on my plate. Growing up (read while in school), PHP was not viewed as the hip and hot language to be writing, but quite the opposite. My first instinct was to pick an open issue and learn enough to work my way through it. I wound up choosing this issue (shout-out to Ian Littman for helping me out!). In short, our library was not throwing any errors when an API call failed, instead leaving it up to the developer to check the response themselves. Our other libraries raise an exception Read More ›

Why HackRU Is My Favorite Hackathon


My all-time favorite hackathon took place this past weekend at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Now, I’m definitely biased this being my alma mater and all (plus having helped plan and run it for a year and a half :P) so please keep that in mind with what follows. Here are a few things that I think HackRU continues to do well. Scale naturally At no point has HackRU “tried to get bigger.” Bigger does not always mean better when it comes to hackathons. As attendance grows, it becomes much harder to provide an exceptional experience. The very first HackRU took place in the Spring of 2011 and had a whopping 50 hackers in attendance. This past HackRU had 800 Read More ›

The Magic Behind Basic HTTP Authentication


  It’s very easy to take things for granted as a developer. We almost always try and use libraries for every and anything to not reinvent the wheel. As I continue to grow, I find myself with a desire to dig deeper and understand the “black boxes” I’ve come to know. Recently, a beginner friend came to me needing a very simple authentication system. I told him about basic HTTP authentication to which he replied, “Sounds cool! How does it work?” I realized I had no idea and pulled up the spec. This one’s for you, Zack! When a request is made to a basic HTTP auth protected endpoint, the server first looks for a specific header: Authorization: Basic dXNlcjpwYXNz Read More ›

The SendGrid Ruby Gem and My Mama!


A sample of the things I love are, Ruby, webhooks, and my mama! In this post, I’m putting all of them together! Let’s start with how excited SendGrid is to announce the release of the official SendGrid Ruby Gem, sendgrid-ruby! The library includes the smtpapi-ruby library created by our friend Wataru Sato of SendGrid Japan. As always, any sort of feedback is welcomed and encouraged. What better way to introduce a new library than with a hack!? My mother, like most moms I imagine, was very sad and hesitant to see her baby boy move out and start life on his own. Because I’m always traveling across the country, my mom is constantly checking up on me via text to Read More ›

Tips and Tricks for a Beginner Developer Evangelist (Part 2)


In my previous post, I talked to a few colleagues about the tips and tricks they would give me as a beginning Developer Evangelist. The first tips were from evangelists outside of SendGrid, while this set is from my fellow SendGrid team members. Whether it’s about attitude, tech, travel, or life in general, I gathered some great input that you can check out below: Tim Falls – Director of Developer Relations at SendGrid Always be charging and have internet. Phone is your best friend. Always have data when international. Enjoy yourself and look up! Brandon West – Manager of Developer Relations at SendGrid The best advice usually comes with a book or blog post recommendation. Twitter follows or emails are Read More ›

Tips and Tricks for a Beginner Developer Evangelist (Part 1)

Best Practices, Community, Technical

My onboarding as a Developer Evangelist at SendGrid was brief because I had been with the company for a year before I joined full-time. I started as an intern on the Ops team and when the summer ended, worked part-time remotely while finishing up my computer science degree at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The first thing I did when I started full-time was schedule 1-to-1 chats with everyone on my new team, Developer Relations, along with a few friends I’ve made in similar roles, without letting them know what we’d be talking about. At the start of the chat, I asked everyone the same question, “What are your best tips and tricks, ins and outs, dos and don’ts about Read More ›

Chef: A View from the Infrastructure Kitchen


Chef is something we use quite a bit here at SendGrid. If you’re not too familiar with it, Chef is an open source tool written in Ruby and created by Opscode that allows you to manage your infrastructure as code. Infrastructure as code? What does that mean? Well in this case infrastructure refers to servers (Chef calls these nodes), and code of course is the set of instructions developers write for computers to execute. Chef lets you design what your servers should look like in code, and then goes and builds them out for you. We use it for tasks such as deploying applications and updating our databases. “Wow that sounds cool,” you say. Not only is it cool, but Read More ›