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Author Archives: Martyn Davies

About Martyn Davies

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.


Articles Posted by Martyn


Inside the Hackathon Organiser’s Backpack

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I’ve done my fair share of hackathon organising over the years. From small 30 person “specialist” hacks, to larger, 200+ affairs like Music Hack Day London. Over that time I’ve built up a checklist of items that I try to ensure I have with me on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and only covers the scrappier DIY end of the hackathon spectrum. There’s certainly going to be more insight from people who read this too, so I’d love to see contributions in the comments below.   The Hackathon Backpack

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Embedding Images in Your Emails. The Facts.

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It’s nice to spice up your transactional emails with a few images from time to time. Even if it’s just a logo, you’ll find it helps to add a touch of legitimacy to what you’re sending out. However, there’s no one way to do this. Do you link out to the image on a CDN? Do you embed it and reference it via a CID tag? Maybe as a linked image? Which one should you choose? In this post, we’ll look at the options available and address a few pros and cons of using them, as well as how you

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Send Email from Static Websites Using Parse

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I recently moved a bunch of PHP sites to Jekyll-generated static websites that are hosted from different buckets on Amazon S3. It was a great process, but I was faced with one problem that I didn’t think about in advance: how do I make the contact forms work without having any back end processing? DOH! I could do it in straight client side JavaScript but that would be all kinds of meh, and not really the developer experience, or user experience I was looking for. I needed something more powerful. We’re big fans of Parse here at SendGrid, but up

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Are You Event Ready? Ensure You Know with Loader.io

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Our Event Webhook is a great way to get a realtime view of what’s going on with the emails you’re sending from your application. However, a sudden spike in the amount of events coming back to your app could cause problems – especially if your webhook endpoint is on the same production server as the rest of your app. It would probably be good to know just how many events your app can handle before you see some degradation in performance, or maybe you split off your event notifications collection script on a totally different server. A quick and easy way

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Subuser Reports and Other @SendGrid Tweets Answered

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Each month we get lots of tweets to our main @SendGrid account from users, potential users, and people on the hunt for free schwag. Many of these tweets are answered directly by our team of Developer Evangelists but we thought that some of the answers to those questions might be of interest to more of you, so we’re going to try and highlight a few interesting ones each month and give those answers a more permanent home. Here’s a selection from the past few weeks and their answers: Question 1: Subusers @SendGrid question: can subusers have their own unsubscription and

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Test SendGrid Webhooks with ngrok

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SendGrid’s webhooks for inbound parse (receiving email) and events are great for hacking with, but they can be difficult to test in a productive manner because you have to keep deploying your code to the live server in order to get our webhooks to hit it, right? Wrong. In this post I’m going to show you how to work with ngrok to make local development with webhooks easier than ever. Install ngrok on Your Development Machine It’s always nice when there’s a good set of installers for things like this, you can download ngrok for OSX, Linux and Windows. It’s

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Oh, Cardless: My Business Card Email App

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Due to a recent printing fail, I’ve found myself without any business cards and I’m about to head out to How To Web in Bucharest for 3 days where I’m certain I’ll meet a few folks who ask for my details. Luckily, I work for a company that makes sending and receiving emails from an application easy, so I whipped up this quick app using SendGrid and Heroku to give me a quick autoresponder on my vanity email address that will send a digital version of my business card out to whomever emails that address. It’s quick to turn around

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