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.

Elmer Thomas on TwitterElmer Thomas on Google+

Articles Posted by Elmer


Create the Ultimate Interactive Presentation: Reveal.js, Leap Motion, Google Glass and SendGrid

Posted on (1 Comment)

When a developer demos their software, especially at a hackathon, it’s best to “do it live.” For longer form presentations, a slide deck is generally the tool of choice, either using Keynote or Power Point. Having attended hundreds, if not thousands, of technical talks and hackathon presentations in the past few years, I can tell you definitively, even a small dash of interactivity goes a long way towards keeping the audience engaged. Of course, a slick presentation is not necessary, but it doesn’t hurt either, especially if it does not cost a great deal of time to create. In this

READ MORE »

Quickly Prototype APIs with Apiary

Posted on (2 Comments)

I love the idea of API Driven Development (ADD). It provides great flexibility and by default makes your app developer friendly from the beginning. The challenge is that it’s hard to demo an API without an application tied to it. The goal of this post is to help you get past the API design and creation phase as quickly as possible, so you can focus on creating killer apps and encourage others to build upon your exposed data. This tutorial should be especially useful for hackathons and prototypes. With the APIary.io platform we’ll create documentation that your whole team can

READ MORE »

Google Glass Tutorial Sends Email Visually

Posted on (2 Comments)

I have been spending a lot of quality time with Google Glass and Android lately. I’ve already shared a few of those experiences, like sending trackable email on Google Glass using its Mirror API and my Android email tutorial. Most recently I have been working on a native “Glassware” app, which I’d like to share here. Using the Google Glass GDK I’ll show you how to: Create native Glassware (Glassware is the name Google has given to apps running on Glass) Activate and interact with your Glassware by voice Use menus to edit your Glassware’s data Manipulate Cards in an

READ MORE »

Send Email From Android Applications

Posted on (1 Comment)

I have been playing with Google Glass lately, which got me working more with Android. Since I recently built my first native Android app, I thought I’d share how to send email and retrieve statistics using the SendGrid Java library. Since this is my first attempt, please send a pull request or open an issue if I did something unholy. You may find the complete source code at Github. If you are not interested in native Android development, check out our tutorial based on the AppMobi platform. If you are new to Android native development, I suggest you start with

READ MORE »

Collect Inbound Email Using Python and Flask

Posted on (1 Comment)

Our Inbound Parse Webhook allows your app to receive an email formatted as a JSON object for easy processing. Any script will do for creating the webhook endpoint, but in this tutorial I’ll share a simple Python microframework called Flask. Set Up and Configure your SendGrid Account The Incoming Parse Webhook is available through our free, Silver and higher plans. If you don’t have a SendGrid account, go ahead and sign up here. After completing your SendGrid account setup, we will need to create an email address to be used for receiving emails. This is achieved by setting your MX

READ MORE »

Send and Track Email with Google Glass

Posted on (4 Comments)

Currently, sending an email with Google Glass is trivial, you just say “OK Glass, send a message to [Name]” and dictate your message. Done. If you want a similar experience for your Glassware’s users and also the ability to track those emails (opens, clicks, bounces, etc.), SendGrid is your solution. This post provides the information needed to send and track emails via Glass using the Google Mirror API and SendGrid’s Python library. The methods outlined here should be similar for integrating with other Glassware supported languages. You can find our complete list of official libraries at our documentation. To get

READ MORE »

Will We Have Email Conversations With Our Devices?

Posted on (1 Comment)

Most of us communicate daily with other humans via email, but what about devices? What happens when your devices begin to have intelligent conversations with you via email? Would it be easier to simply reply to an email vs login to a web interface or launch an app to command your devices? In this post we’ll explore what’s currently possible and stimulate some thought towards the next generation of intelligent hardware communications. Back in January at PennApps, the Mrs. Coffee team explored conversations with a coffee maker via email and SMS with their coffee hack. Many of us have a

READ MORE »