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Author Archives: Adam DuVander

About Adam DuVander

Adam DuVander speaks fluent "developer" while serving as Developer Communications Director. He helps SendGrid connect to coders of all stripes. Previously Adam wrote for Wired, Webmonkey and edited ProgrammableWeb, the leading resource for APIs.

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Articles Posted by Adam


Elementary Arithmetic of Modern Development

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I know some developers love advanced mathematics. My computer science degree came with a math minor, but quite honestly I haven’t thought about any of it in awhile. I’m more of an elementary arithmetic kind of guy. If you like complex formulas, Nick has you covered with his A/B testing explained post. For this one, I’ll stick to the basics. In fact, I promise only three numbers in this post: 5, 2 and 80. The 5 stands for the number of APIs that SendGrid provides and the 2 is for our great webhooks. If you add those together, you’ll have

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Four Things to Do With Webhooks

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The web and mobile are both moving much more real-time, with push notifications and auto-updating interfaces. Yet, most APIs that tie together our technology are “pull” technology. You make a request and get back a result. Webhooks are one of the popular answers to providing data as-needed. At SendGrid we have two webhooks, one for events and another for incoming email. You can do some cool things with these webhooks. If you look around, you’ll find other companies that also use this technology to provide real-time access to events as they occur. But what do you do with those webhooks

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So You Want to Be a Developer Evangelist?

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Developer evangelists are a unique breed, a combination of developers, teachers, passionate communicators and frequent flyer mile collectors. SendGrid’s team is now over 10 people, who often share details of their craft on this blog. Below you’ll find a bit more about being a developer evangelist, from how you explain the job to others to putting together a demo. A Day at a Hackathon as a Developer Evangelist Developer evangelists do a lot of things, but going to hackathons is often a big part of the job. This puts you in front of new users of your product and at

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Introduction to Un-Programming

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APIs provide “hooks” for developers to create new applications on top of other services. Many of these same hooks have been converted into templates that give anyone access to functionality previously only available to programmers. With services like If This Then That and Zapier, anyone can automate their business or their lives with what I call “un-programming.” This post is a taste of a SXSW workshop I’ll be giving on Tuesday. Unlike with normal programming, where you could integrate with any API, un-programming requires a little more work to be completed for you. You need to have a template available within

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API Documentation: Always Living With It, Can’t Live Without It

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Have you ever heard the one about the API with the perfect documentation? Yeah, me neither, and I wouldn’t believe it if I did. API documentation–all technical documentation, really–is notoriously difficult to produce, but just as essential to a developer’s life. If you’re reading this, the chances are you already know this to be true. And I’d place a bet that you’ve looked at some pretty bad documentation in an effort to make anything work. This post shares four lessons to everyone who creates documentation. And, as one of these lessons shares, anyone who codes (and some who don’t) should

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Hackathon Tips for Developers and Evangelists

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SendGrid’s team of evangelists attends a lot of hackathons, in addition to other events. In turn, they’ve written a lot about hackathons, from both the perspective of a developer hacking and an evangelist working the event. Below, you’ll find some of the best tips they’ve shared recently. Remember the Community Hackathons mean a lot of things to different people. The important thing to remember is that a hackathon happens for the community that attends. Oftentimes it’s organized by that very community it supports. WHY a Hackathon Community is the first of many reasons for a hackathon. How I Organized Puerto

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Un-programming: Maybe Everybody Shouldn’t Learn to Code

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Follow the history of computer science, and it’s a series of solutions that make programming easier. The early days required punch cards and hours of compile time. The C language is not difficult when compared to assembly. Modern languages and computing in the cloud have further simplified the programmer’s life. Assuming this trend continues, programming in the future won’t look much like it does today. Maybe the “learn to code” movement is premature because the future has everybody un-programming. There are signs of this non-technical future today in the proliferation of APIs and the popularity of tools like Zapier and

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