“Count My Reps” With SendGrid’s Parse Webhook


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The following is a guest post from Seth Ammons, software engineer, at SendGrid. As part of our Movember initiative and in support of SendGrid’s overall health and wellness, Seth has spearheaded a campaign to keep his co-workers active using our Parse Webhook. Seth explains below.

SendGrid has a focus on something called the “Four Hs” by which we abide: Honesty, Humility, Hunger, and Happiness. We look for talented people who exhibit these traits (check out our careers page, we’re hiring!). But there is also a fifth “H” that has developed: SendGrid promotes activity and keeping people healthy.

Two years ago, in an act to promote men’s health awareness during Movember, I threw together a quick website to help fellow SendGriddians keep track of a few exercises. It quickly became an annual tradition. Each office tracks the number of pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and sit-ups done during the “month of Movember.” I did not want to have a clumsy web interface where people must go and click through form fields to track how many reps they rip out. I wanted something that was simple, quick, and easily available. So I created something called “CountMyReps”…using SendGrid’s Parse Webhook!

Implementing SendGrid’s Parse Webhoook

SendGrid’s Parse Webhook gives developers a way to interact with incoming email and allows them to do some cool things with the messages (like identifying your favorite pro golfer through email attachments, remixing music, and choosing what bar to go to in a new city). In this case, SendGriddians simply send an email from their phone or computer to CountMyReps (the quick, thrown together website mentioned above). In the subject line, people put a comma-separated list of the reps they just did and press send. As far as they are concerned, they are done and can get back to making SendGrid tick.

So, how does this work and how did I get it set up? Check out our documentation! In a nutshell, there are three basic things that you have to do to get started:

  1. Update your MX record to point to SendGrid.
  2. Update your SendGrid account to use our Parse Webhook.
  3. Have an endpoint for your application or website where SendGrid can forward the details of the incoming email.

On my application’s side, I validate the data coming in from SendGrid and add the rep counts to the individual. We are a little over halfway done with Movember and the company has counted over 60k reps so far!

Check out more information on the Parse Webhook in these blog posts and help SendGrid donate to Movember by sharing our SendGrid ‘Stache here!

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