Articles by Nick Quinlan

Nick Quinlan is a SendGrid Developer Evangelist based out of San Francisco. He works to make developers lives easier by providing them with the help they need to grow their ideas. Give him a shout, @YayNickQ.

Send Emails That Don’t Bite With Barke


People are different. They read their email at different times and in different ways. But it’s not easy to track and react to different users’ habits. That’s the idea behind Embarke, a partner of ours that optimizes the delivery time of each email you send. Embarke mimics our Web API and then consumes data provided by our Event Webhook to … Read more ›

The SendGrid Internal Hackathon!!

SendGrid Internal Hackathon Small

If this were a normal hackathon, I’d start this post by telling you the thirty hackers still at the event at 2:00am sat heads down, faces lit by the glow of their screens, frantically coding and debugging in a rush to finish their hacks. But this wasn’t a normal hackathon, this was the SendGrid Internal Hackathon, and instead hackers jumped … Read more ›

What’s a Webhook?


A webhook is an API concept that’s growing in popularity. As more and more of what we do on the web can be described by events, webhooks are becoming even more applicable. They’re incredibly useful and a resource-light way to implement event reactions. So, what exactly is a webhook? A webhook (also called a web callback or HTTP push API) is … Read more ›

The Importance of Projects

light bulb

Time and time again, people ask me the best way to get into programming, or the best way to learn a new language, or the best way to understand a framework, and time and time again, my answer is to start a project. Over the years, I’ve worked on countless projects, ranging from stupid ideas that got featured on tech … Read more ›

Schedule Email with SendGrid and


There are tons of reasons to schedule an email: maybe you want to send an email daily or weekly, or perhaps, you just want to send an email in the morning rather than the evening. Luckily, with and SendGrid this is easy. is a cloud platform that gives developers tools to solve many common problems. One of these … Read more ›

The Magic of Email Headers

Magic hat

Email amazes me. It’s an open, decentralized, and evolving means of communication that allows you to message someone on the other end of the world–-and it’s been around for fourty years. One of the amazing things about email is the depth of the specification. Email has many intricate and little-known parts, many of which are hidden in message headers. Message … Read more ›

Don’t Tell Developers What To Build


Don’t tell developers what to build–simple advice that should be central to all hackathons. However, it’s all too frequently ignored by hackathon organizers. Hackathons are a time for developers to learn new technology, meet new people, and pick up new skills. As a rule, it’s better for open exploration to have an unstructured environment rather than a highly regulated one. … Read more ›

Teach Coding Concepts With GitHub


Getting started with coding is hard. We’ve addressed it many times on the blog, including posts on building a conceptual framework and thinking about it from a program design standpoint. In my mind, one of the easiest ways to get going is to be sitting near someone who knows what they’re doing and can offer advice when you get really … Read more ›

How to Judge a Hackathon

Hackathon in the dictionary

At the end of a hackathon, when hacking is done, and presentations have just finished, there’s a pause, and a giddy excitement fills the air. The judges leave to some private room and begin to talk about which hacks were the best and which deserve prizes. As an evangelist, I’ve taken part in many of these sessions, and sat in … Read more ›

A/B Testing Explained and Used in Transactional Email


A/B testing, also called split testing, is extremely useful to determine if a particular action is better than another. Today, A/B tests are run on many websites, by many services. However, it’s relatively simple to A/B test anything you want. In this post, I’ll discuss A/B testing, the statistics behind it, how to run your own A/B test, and how … Read more ›

Save All App Email to Amazon S3


Sending email is great, but sometimes you want a little more. Maybe you want to store every email you send your users. Or maybe you want to allow your users to share your emails on their social networks. Maybe, you simply want to allow users to see the email online, in case their email reader breaks it. Well, I made … Read more ›