Author Archives: Robin Johnson

About Robin Johnson

SendGrid Devangelist. London based polyglot hacker, mainly playing with Golang and Ruby. Musical Hacker, Hardware hacker, Hackathon lover, API abuser and NoSQL user.

Robin Johnson on Twitter

Articles Posted by Robin


Intro to Golang

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An Introduction to the Go Programming Language (And Why I Love It) If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll no doubt know that I’m a huge fan of Go. You may have read my endless stream of Tweets ogling its brilliance, complaining about its few pitfalls, and bathing in the sweet, sweet light that is the over-indulgent default package set. But why? Why am I constantly marveling over this language, and frequently choosing it above others? I hope to clear that point up in this blog, introduce you to Golang, its wonders, its pitfalls, and introduce you to how SendGrid is

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What is NoSQL? Four Things, Actually

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I’m almost certain the majority of you will have heard the term “NoSQL.” I’m sure many of you know exactly what it means, and some of you already use it in production! But for those who are unfamiliar–what is NoSQL? This is an overview of the many different options across four types of NoSQL databases. NoSQL is a Database? Yes, it is! But you knew that already, right? In the Database world, we have almost always been accustomed to a type of database known as a relational database. These include the very common MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite and MSSQL. In the

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Build a Scheduled News Reader with Golang, Reddit and SendGrid

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I have too many good things to say about Go. I absolutely love the language. I could write a full article just on how much I love it and why. Instead, I’ll use Go to help you learn more about Go. Very meta. Luckily, I am not the only person on our Developer Relations team that loves Go. Yamil is a keen Gopher, and has already written a basic Golang wrapper for the SendGrid API. But especially since the engineering team is adopting Go, we need more examples. As the title states, we will be building a Scheduled News Reader

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How to Survive as a Developer Evangelist

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If you’re here, you already know (roughly) what a developer evangelist is. You know that we’re Globetrotters, Hackers, Hustlers, Teachers, Mentors and Frequent-Flyer Mile Collectors. You have an idea of what a developer evangelist does. If you’re interested in becoming a developer evangelist, good on you. It’s the best job in the world; it truly is. HOWEVER, as you’re sure to find out, it is exhausting. In this post, I’m hoping to help minimise that exhaustion, and help you to avoid the dreaded burn-out. I’m recently back from Paris. I was there for Music Hackday (one of my favourite events),

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Selfies With Buscemeyes Using Inbound Email

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My favourite part of SendGrid is the Parse Webhook for incoming email. The webhook posts new emails right to your server. Since it includes attachments, I often show that off at hackathons. I usually share a classic use case: the expense application that needs to get images of receipts. That’s perfect for the Parse Webhook. But then I also like to have a little fun. That’s when I show the audience “Selfies with Buscemeyes.” Getting Steve Buscemeyed The idea behind this hack came from a rather funny Tumblr blog of women Photoshopped to have the eyes of actor Steve Buscemi.

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How I Learned to Appreciate JavaScript By Smacking Justin Bieber

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It may come as a surprise, but until a few days ago, I completely hated JavaScript. Yes, JavaScript is increasingly important to most developers, but that didn’t mean I had to like it. Through the process of writing my first-ever JavaScript game–and coming in second place at MIDEM Hack 2014–I have at least come to appreciate the language.     Below, I’ll talk about my first ever HTML5 Canvas and Javascript game, which includes using LeapMotion in-browser to hit falling Justin Bieber heads. I’ll also cover the awesome MIDEM Hack where I created this game. A Weekend in Cannes The

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Two Hacking Santas Present: Rails & The Inbound Parse Webhook

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“Merry Haxmas!”–The first excited words I shouted on Wednesday morning as I remembered the day’s plans. I am a big kid. I love Christmas. I also love hacking. So why not combine the two? The aim of the day was for Alex Reed (our latest SendGrid European Ambassador) and me to dress up like Santa, and live-stream ourselves creating “The 12 Hacks of Christmas.” Admittedly, we only managed 2 out of the 12 hacks, but we had a lot of fun, came up with some great ideas, and had over 300 viewers tune in to watch us. This was so much fun,

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