Articles by Swift

Swift is a developer evangelist at SendGrid who is based out of NYC. He is one of the founders of Hacker League and tweets as @SwiftAlphaOne. Follow him there and check him out at

Follow mike

What Little League Baseball Taught Me About Programming


I had a formative experience playing Little League baseball that taught me lessons about life that I’ve used as a programmer and entrepreneur. Little League is a suburban American tradition where little kids get together on Saturdays and play baseball. Parents come to watch them play and cheer for their kids’ teams. I played in my town’s Little League from the first day I was eligible until the last day I was eligible, but it wasn’t because I was great at baseball. I was actually horrible at baseball. I could barely catch the ball, I definitely couldn’t throw it, and sometimes while swinging the bat, I would accidentally let go and it would hit people. Overall, it was a really

“How to Send Email with Arduino” at NY Tech Meetup

Swift speaks at NY Tech Meetup

Last week I had the distinct honor of being able to demo as the “Hack of the Month” at the New York Tech Meetup (NYTM). I didn’t know I was going to be demoing before I showed up and I got insanely lucky that I happened to have all the supplies I needed with me, but I managed to pull together a pretty good demo of some of the hardware hacks that I’ve been working on for the past few months. The video of the event is split into bookmarks, with my Arduino and laptop hack presentation just past halfway. Credit: SnootLab Arduino is a little open source micro controller that makes it super simple to interact with different hardware

Hate hurricanes? Like hardware hacks? Beat the weather with awesome Arduino projects!

Hardware Hacks

Photo by Barry Yanowitz

Hurricane Sandy managed to bring New York to a grinding halt last week when she took out our power and public transportation.  I was lucky enough to live in an area that was mostly unaffected, but sadly a lot of New York and New Jersey residents weren’t as fortunate.  While I was waiting out the weather, the gears in my head started turning and I was trying to think out ways I could use my new found love for Arduino to help people survive extreme weather (like hurricanes). Read More ›

Student Hackers Rock UPenn Campus


Nearly 350 students packed into the Quad at the University of Pennsylvania in Phildelphia two weekends ago to participate in the largest student run hackathon in the country, PennApps. The hackathon brought together over 90 exclusively student teams from all across the US.  Teams worked hard for 48 hours with a few twists and turns along the way, including a massive pirates vs. ninjas nerf gun fight at 2AM (which I tragically missed!). Despite that disappointment, PennApps massive scale brought out some great talent and resulted in some amazing hacks! Read More ›

Hackers Redefine Work at Box Hackathon


Early Saturday morning nearly 200 attendees crowded into the cafeteria at the Box offices in Palo Alto, California for the first ever Box hackathon.  Hackers were challenged to form teams and hack together apps that redefined the way that we do work.  A short 24 hours later there were 40 hacks that accomplished exactly that. Read More ›

Using SendGrid with PHP: Part 1 (Codeigniter)

Events, Partnerships, Product, Technical

With the PHP edition of the Battle of the Braces coming up this weekend, I thought that now would be a good time to demonstrate how easy it is to integrate SendGrid with PHP.   Specifically, I’ll be diving into three of my personal favorite frameworks – Codeigniter, FuelPHP, and Flourish.  In order to keep things manageable, I’ll be dividing the posts into a three part series.  This post takes a look at the CodeIgniter framework.  By the time you’re done reading this blog post, you’ll be able to set up an application and be sending email in no time!
Read More ›

Calling all DOers! Join us at the International Startup Festival

Company, Events

On July 11th, cars, buses, trains, planes and any other form of transportation you could imagine will converge on Montreal.  They’ll be carrying the best and brightest from startups around the world and unleashing them into the streets for the three day International Startup Festival.  Want to be a part of all the awesomeness? Well, now is your chance!  In a combined effort, SendGridTwilio, and Windows Azure will be sponsoring the DOer Express, a bus that will carry 46 founders of early stage startups from New York City to the festival and back!

Read More ›

Hacking the Midwest


When I heard that SendGrid was one of the API sponsors for Hack the Midwest on June 2nd and 3rd in Kansas City, I jumped at the chance to represent us there.  Although I was actually born in Kansas City, it had been nearly ten years since I’d been back, and I was super excited to see what the tech and startup scene had to offer.

Nearly 100 local hackers showed up to demo their skills at the competition.  Teams came in all shapes and sizes –  some from local startups, others comprised of groups of local tech enthusiasts.  There was even a father-son pair that ended up taking home some awesome prizes! Read More ›