Author Archives: Nick Quinlan

About 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.

Nick Quinlan on Twitter

Articles Posted by Nick


Repeat Yourself, Then Say It Again

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This comes from a talk I’m giving today at DevBeat (and a webinar I gave last month), it explores a key point of the talk in more depth. Don’t Repeat Yourself. It’s a rule you learn nearly the instant you start programming. As a coder, you feel dirty whenever you find repetitive code. You want to instantly refactor and make it right. K&R, perhaps the seminal work of programming literature, apologizes for repetition on its first page. Maybe, however, this is the best example that when communicating, repetition is the best thing to do. In fact, outside the world of

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An Atypical Hackathon That Did It Right

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This weekend I attended a hackathon in Spokane, WA. In many ways it was the best hackathon I’ve attended this year, but compared to the typical hackathon of late it was all wrong. We were served pizza, sandwiches, and Costco muffins, rather than burritos, sliders, and artisan breakfast sandwiches. No beer was served. We couldn’t eat or drink in the room we were coding in. The organizer didn’t make a big deal of how much the participants could win, prizes were treated as afterthoughts. It was nothing like some of the hackathons I’ve attended recently. In fact, the participants were

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Yahoo Header Counteracts Email Address Recycling

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Yahoo Mail has started recycling email addresses. This led to a host of security and privacy concerns. As senders of transactional email, this was particularly scary to us, as we know our customers send privileged email every day, messages they wouldn’t want getting into the wrong hands. Luckily, Yahoo has given a way to counteract these concerns. In a recent proposal filed with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Yahoo put forth the idea of using an email header: Require-Recipient-Valid-Since. By using the RRVS header, you tell the email service provider (i.e. Yahoo), the last date you knew the address

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How I Explained Hackathons to My Parents

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As a developer evangelist, I end up attending a lot of hackathons. I have a ton of fun at these events, helping attendees get their apps working and writing code of my own. My parents were very excited to learn about SendGrid and what Developer Evangelism is, but telling my parents, that “I love going to hackathons” elicited a more alarmed response. You what?! I love going to Hackathons. They’re one of the most fun parts of my job! Getting to hack on things with other developers is rewarding and I always get to learn something new. But, honey, hacking

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Fingerprinting Email Infrastructure Companies

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Since you’re reading the SendGrid blog, it probably won’t surprise you many companies turn to email infrastructure services to send their email, rather than building your own. As an employee of one of these infrastructure companies, I’m always interested in finding out what company is behind the email getting sent. To do this I wrote a Chrome Plugin that attempts to determine what company sent the email. In writing the plugin, I learned a lot about how to determine what company sent an email, a process I wanted to share. Most email infrastructure companies identify themselves in email headers, many

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How I Explained Developer Evangelism to My Parents

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SendGrid makes it really easy for programmers to make applications that send email. In fact, we’ve made it so easy that we send over eight billion emails a month! Developer evangelism is a rapidly growing and emerging trend amongst tech companies. I regularly meet people in startup land, who have not heard the term. Needless to say, introducing it to my parents after telling them about SendGrid was a process. Wait, so what’s this SendGrid company having you do anyway? Well, It’s basically a dream job. I’m going to go around spreading the good word as an evangelist! Nick, religion

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Extract and Analyze SendGrid Event Data With Keen.IO

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Keen.IO allows companies to collect and extract data by using formats and mechanisms that make sense for their business. This means you can throw pretty much any data at Keen and request it back in any way. That’s awesome in-and-of itself, however Keen has a special integration with SendGrid’s Event Webhook that makes it super awesome. Although SendGrid offers several advanced statistics through our website, and our API, sometimes you want more flexibility or deeper analysis; Keen.IO gives this to you. Keen’s documentation explains how to integrate SendGrid with Keen. Once you’ve integrated, you’ll want to get your data out.

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