We Are Hiring

Author Archives: Nick Quinlan

About Nick Quinlan

Nick Quinlan is a SendGrid Developer Evangelist based out of San Francisco. He works to make developers lives easier by providing them with the help they need to grow their ideas. Give him a shout, @YayNickQ.

Nick Quinlan on Twitter

Articles Posted by Nick


The Magic of Email Headers

Posted on (0 Comments)

Email amazes me. It’s an open, decentralized, and evolving means of communication that allows you to message someone on the other end of the world–-and it’s been around for fourty years. One of the amazing things about email is the depth of the specification. Email has many intricate and little-known parts, many of which are hidden in message headers. Message headers are essential to any email communication–they describe the message, who sent it, and who it’s going to. To, From, Date, and Subject, are all headers most people are familiar with, then there’s the commonly discussed DKIM and SPF, however

READ MORE »

Don’t Tell Developers What To Build

Posted on (0 Comments)

Don’t tell developers what to build–simple advice that should be central to all hackathons. However, it’s all too frequently ignored by hackathon organizers. Hackathons are a time for developers to learn new technology, meet new people, and pick up new skills. As a rule, it’s better for open exploration to have an unstructured environment rather than a highly regulated one. However, organizers often make the mistake of thinking that rules and structure will create a better event that better conforms to their preferred outcome. A developer’s job is to solve problems and get around obstacles. When an organizer tells a

READ MORE »

Teach Coding Concepts With GitHub

Posted on (0 Comments)

Getting started with coding is hard. We’ve addressed it many times on the blog, including posts on building a conceptual framework and thinking about it from a program design standpoint. In my mind, one of the easiest ways to get going is to be sitting near someone who knows what they’re doing and can offer advice when you get really stuck. There are, naturally, problems with this method–the person helping can become a crutch and of course you need the person to be there with you. One interesting solution that I and others have been exploring is moving the process

READ MORE »

How to Judge a Hackathon

Posted on (0 Comments)

At the end of a hackathon, when hacking is done, and presentations have just finished, there’s a pause, and a giddy excitement fills the air. The judges leave to some private room and begin to talk about which hacks were the best and which deserve prizes. As an evangelist, I’ve taken part in many of these sessions, and sat in on many more. I’ve seen great judging sessions, and terrible ones. At the end of the day, everyone wants the right person to win, but selecting the winner can get tricky. However, if the judges are picked well and good

READ MORE »

A/B Testing Explained and Used in Transactional Email

Posted on (1 Comment)

A/B testing, also called split testing, is extremely useful to determine if a particular action is better than another. Today, A/B tests are run on many websites, by many services. However, it’s relatively simple to A/B test anything you want. In this post, I’ll discuss A/B testing, the statistics behind it, how to run your own A/B test, and how to do it with SendGrid’s General Statistics Endpoint. If you just want to compare A/B test results of SendGrid transactional emails, you can use this handy app I made. A/B Testing Explained A/B Testing seems simple at its surface. Simply

READ MORE »

Save All App Email to Amazon S3

Posted on (0 Comments)

Sending email is great, but sometimes you want a little more. Maybe you want to store every email you send your users. Or maybe you want to allow your users to share your emails on their social networks. Maybe, you simply want to allow users to see the email online, in case their email reader breaks it. Well, I made a simple app to do that, with Amazon S3. The app (available on Github) is relatively small and easy to implement. Follow the Quick Start Guide to get an instance of the app up and running. This will get you

READ MORE »

Use a Mongo REST Interface to Store SendGrid Event Data

Posted on (0 Comments)

Perhaps one of SendGrid’s most useful features (other than email sending, of course) is our Event Webhook. This webhook notifies you whenever an email is sent, opened, marked as spam, and clicked through, among a variety of other events. Notification is all well and good, but the real power comes in storing and analyzing the events. You can do this with third party services like Keen.io or store it yourself for slightly more power. Our event webhook POSTs JSON documents to any URL, this sounds like a job for… A Mongo REST Interface! Mongo has a number of community built

READ MORE »