Author Archives: Elmer Thomas

About Elmer Thomas

Elmer Thomas is SendGrid's Hacker in Residence. His mission is to help SendGrid live up to its slogan: "Email Delivery. Simplified" by improving the lives of developers, both internally and externally. Via all sorts of hackery, of course. Follow his exploits on Twitter and GitHub.

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Articles Posted by Elmer


OneNote and SendGrid’s Event Webhook

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SendGrid will let you know, in near real-time, when emails fail to reach your customers. But what do you do after you have that information? Do you have a plan? With this simple app, you can automatically create follow-up actions in Microsoft OneNote, right as email failures occur. In this blog post, I show you how to use Flask (A Python Microframework), hosted on Microsoft Azure, to capture messages regarding email failures sent from the SendGrid Event Webhook. We then create OneNote pages, that contain follow-up actions, based on the particular email failure. Prerequisites This code was developed using Microsoft

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Visit SendGrid at DataWeek + API World 2014 Conference & Expo

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Next week, on September 16th, 9am at DataWeek + API World 2014 in San Francisco, I’ll be presenting a talk, titled “Quantify Thyself, then Go Forth and Conquer with a Personal Life API.” A couple months ago, I wrote a blog about creating a personal API to analyze data from your personal life to make real-time decisions or perform long-term planning. The post covered what data to quantify, how to automagically gather that data, and the tools for creating a Personal Life API. My goal with this presentation is for the audience to walk away with the knowledge and tools to build

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Tracking Email Using Microsoft Azure and the SendGrid Event Webhook (Part 2)

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Welcome back to the second part of my series about building a Windows Phone 8.1 app to track email powered by Microsoft Azure and SendGrid’s Event Webhook. If you haven’t read part one in this series, please do so before continuing. Recap In part one, we implemented the SendGrid Event Webhook listener using C# ASP.NET hosted on Microsoft Azure. In this post (part two), we will create a Windows Phone 8.1 app that displays email tracking data via the SendGrid Web API. In part three of this series, we will send push notifications from our SendGrid Event Webhook listener when

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Tracking Email Using Microsoft Azure and the SendGrid Event Webhook (Part 1)

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At the end of this three-part blog post, you will have created a Windows Phone app that can receive push notifications when certain email events happen (e.g. email opened or link clicked), in near real-time. In this first post, we’ll implement the SendGrid Event Webhook listener. Specifically, a C# ASP.NET application on Azure. Part two will cover creating a Windows Phone 8.1 app that displays email tracking data via the SendGrid Web API. In part three, we’ll send push notifications from our SendGrid Event Webhook listener when certain events, such as a bounce, occur. Prerequisites/Assumptions This code (source) was developed

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Quantify Thyself: Creating a Personal Life API

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I recently had the great privilege to speak at self.conference 2014 in Detroit. I used this opportunity to share the idea of creating a Personal Life API with Detroit’s amazing developer community. Following is the summary of that talk. Be sure to check out all the other interesting talks at Github. We all know that data is easy to collect, but difficult to collate and decipher. With the Personal Life API, we will simplify that process and liberate your personal data. In this post, we will learn what data to quantify, how to automagically gather that data, and then we

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Develop Native Android Apps on Your Chromebook

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If you were fortunate enough to receive a Chromebook Pixel at last year’s Google I/O (or picked one up on the after-market), your glee was likely replaced by frustration as you tried to use it as a dev machine. Enter Crouton, a solution that allows you to run Ubuntu Linux within your Google Chrome environment, no reboot necessary. When I wrote a blog post about sending email within a native Android application, I decided to give Crouton a spin and find out if it was possible to do Android native development on a Chromebook Pixel. I came across a few

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Create and Use Life Automation Bots

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If you’re expecting to build a Terminator, this is probably the wrong post. But you may remember from my earlier bot automation post that bots are clever pieces of software or hardware that automate one or more tasks. Hopefully your mind is stimulated with a list of tasks for your Bot Army, so let’s look at platforms, APIs, and other tools to help you create your own customized Bots from scratch. Apps There are a ton of ready made apps dedicated to the overall umbrella topic of Productivity. Here, I’ll point you towards a few that I have found to

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