Email Deliverability Meets Bangalore: Business of API Hackathon Event Recap


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Business-of-API-logoIt’s always exciting to be able to introduce SendGrid’s APIs to new audiences. A great part about being on the Dev Relations team is that we get to do that on a global scale. Earlier this month (February 8th-10th) we had the honor of hosting the inaugural Business of API Hackathon alongside Bessemer Venture Partners, LinkedIn, and Twilio in Bangalore India. The event was organized by Microsoft, Vangal, and Bessemer Venture Partners at the colorful Microsoft Accelerator space and was designed to challenge top developers to explore business applications on the SendGrid, Twilio, and LinkedIn platforms.

Biz-API-MattressI was joined by my fellow Dev Evangelist, Tim, as well as SendGrid’s CEO, Jim Franklin, and our VP of Sales, Denise. It was our first time visiting Bangalore for a hackathon, so we were all really looking forward to the event. I’m happy to say that we couldn’t have had a better first experience.

It was amazing to see how far people traveled to get to the hackathon–some spent over 14 hours on a bus just to be there. Everyone worked incredibly hard throughout the 2 day event–straight on through from Friday evening to Sunday evening. The hackers set up camp within the main hacking room, even sleeping on mattresses as not to take any time away from building their hacks. It was great to see how much everyone got into building applications with as much of the available APIs as possible.

Google Hangouts were also hosted leading up to the event, and I was able to participate in one about hacking with SendGrid. Check it out. These hangouts were meant to encourage the developers to think about how to utilize our various APIs before the event, so they would be ready to go once they arrived.

Martyn_with_developersThe hackathon also provided an opportunity for the Dev Relations teams from each company to mentor the participants and to answer any questions they had along the way. I was really impressed by how challenging the questions I was asked were–everything from debugging Rails apps to deeper questions about email encoding and headers. The opportunity to mentor these up and coming developers was an incredible experience.

The weekend is one we’ll never forget and couldn’t have happened without our partners and organizers. A special “thank you” goes out to Shashank from Bessemer Venture Partners for liaising with all of the companies and sorting out the advance webinars. And a big cheers to everyone who came down for the weekend, particularly those who travelled major distances to be there.

Check out the rest of our photos from the event on Facebook. If you were there and have more photos, we’d love to see them!

As great as this hackathon was, it’s time to hit the road again. You can catch me next at Mobile World Congress in Spain and London Web Summit Hackday before heading to Austin for SXSW. In the meantime, catch me on Twitter or check out future events on our Dev Relations Event Calendar.


Martyn Davies is a Developer Evangelist at SendGrid and a creative developer based in London. He has worked in technology for over 14 years with a background in both the music industry and technology. A serial hackathon organiser, mentor and startup advisor, you’ll find him presenting, demoing, hacking and chatting at hack days, conferences and meetups in the UK & Europe on a regular basis.

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