SendGrid’s Developer Relations team travels the globe attending hack days, conferences, startup weekends, summits, and more—all in the name of making developers’ lives easier, especially when it comes to email. Our 6 community team members (Tim, Swift, Elmer, Brandon, Martyn, and Adria) covered some serious ground in 2012. They attended/organized/ sponsored/hacked/presented at 260+ events in 21 countries. They made some serious moves last year and have plans to travel even more in 2013.

To give you a better idea of what makes our Dev Relations team tick, they’ve highlighted some of their favorite events from 2012 and outlined where you’ll find them in 2013.

So, if you see them on Twitter or run into them on the road this year, don’t be a stranger. Check out their Event Calendar to see when they’re headed your way and leave us a comment below to let us know where else you want to see SendGrid this year. We’re listening…


TIM | @ TimFalls | Boulder

Favorite SendGrid hack of 2012
There were way too many to pick just one, but I’ll highlight one of the most recent: Keep in Touch: An automated mad libs email generator to keep in touch so you don’t have to. Mike Szwedo’s pitch really sold it and went something like this: “We all want to keep in touch with our mothers, but sometimes we just don’t have time to write an email. This app helps.” …and he went on to demo the app, with an auto-generated email to his mother, which was, of course, quite entertaining in its message. Extra credit: Mike built this by himself in a matter of ~6 hours.

Best event attended in 2012
Brooklyn Beta—2012 was my second year at Brooklyn Beta, and it was just as amazing as 2011. The people make Brooklyn Beta one of the best events of the year—including the attendees, speakers, sponsors, and organizers. Standout speakers:

Other highlights:

  • Puppy Party—Just what it sounds like—the local attendees brought their dogs to the conference one evening, and we just hung out! It was sponsored by SendGrid customer,
  • A lesson on the sport of Air Guitar and the Air Guitar World Championships from air guitarist Rob Weychert, aka Windhammer.
  • Screen print your own t-shirts—a fun activity supported by Etsy.
  • Homemade poptarts! YUM.

Where you’ll find me in 2013

  • I’ll be representing SG at GOAP India.
  • LessConf 2013
      • SendGrid is sponsoring, though I’m not sure if I’ll attend personally. This will be our 3rd year in a row sponsoring LessConf. It’s always been an amazing conference, and this year looks to be better than ever before—they’ve moved the conference from Atlanta, GA, to Panama City Beach, FL, to be held on the beach, and this is an all-inclusive conference ticket.

That just covers the first half of 2013. Sure there will be much more to be excited about, such as Brooklyn Beta 2013!


SWIFT | @SwiftAlphaOne | NYC

I attended the first ever Hack’n Jill, which was the most gender-distributed event I’ve seen to date—with an even 50/50 split between men and women. At API Days in Paris, I gave a presentation about hackathons and evangelism, which was very well received and sparked some great conversations. I made lots of good connections with awesome people, and there was lots of love for SendGrid. HackNY yet again proved to be a top-notch event, and the hackers chose to build a bunch of SendGrid hacks, even though we didn’t demo or sponsor. And the SendGrid powered ice cream truck was a huge hit!

Where you’ll find me in 2013

Here’s what’s shaping up for now through June:


ELMER | @thinkingserious | ANAHEIM

Favorite SendGrid hack of 2012
Social Jukebox, which I wrote about in this post about Hollywood Hack Day—it’s a hack that allows you to have people email in a song they would like to hear, then that song appears on a playlist, which can then be voted on via email or text message. Songs with the highest votes get played.

Best event attended in 2012
SXSW—It was an amazing experience to meet so many customers and partners in one week (Twilio, Mashery, Spotify, Foursquare, SoftLayer, and Rackspace to name a few). We hosted our first SendGrid party, which was awesome, and met our future evangelists Adria and Swift. We had SendGriders from various departments attend as well, so we had the opportunity to strengthen intra-company bonds as well.

Where you’ll find me in 2013


BRANDON | @BrandonMWest | Denver

Favorite SendGrid hack of 2012
OrangeSend from the Lone Star Ruby Hackathon in Austin. It’s a service that allows you to forward an email to a given address, you then receive a link to that content that you can easily share with your social network or friends. It was simple, clever, and built by an amateur using technology he hadn’t used before.

Best event attended in 2012
Hard to pick…the entire Geeks on a Plane Eastern Europe trip was great, with the GOAP Zagreb conference in Croatia being a highlight; tons of great companies, great turnout, awesome hosts, with a 1100HP electric car parked out front (Rimac Concept One).


MARTYN| @martynrdavies | UK

Favorite SendGrid hack of 2012
Kings of Dance, from the Kings of Code Hack Battle in Amsterdam in December. I’m a big fan of hacks that use hardware to liven up the experience and the demo. This battling dance game not only made great use of the SendGrid APIs, but pretty much every other API available that weekend too. They deservedly went home with a slew of swag.

Best event attended in 2012
After joining the Dev Relations team in September I had an amazing few months of events to choose from…but I would say that Startup Weekend in Manchester was the standout. Everything about it was a first for all involved—running the event, the venue, the teams. It was extremely exciting to see the cultural shift that a city like Manchester has taken since I last spent any real time there. It was a brilliant event where a ton of great ideas were built, many of which have now become actively used products…using SendGrid of course.

Where you’ll find me in 2013
I’m really excited to be heading to Bangalore, India for the Business of APIs Hackathon in February. It’ll be my first time over there and I can’t fathom what my expectations should be which makes it very new and exciting. SXSW in March is another first and I’m always excited about events that bring the whole team together.


ADRIA | @adriarichards | San Francisco

Favorite SendGrid hack of 2012
I would say the best hack was built by my fellow evangelist, Brandon. His hack allows you to send an attachment with a list of people who signed up for an event or product and then it back fills their information using the FullContact API. It reduces the amount of redundant data entry and helps identify influencers.

Best event attended in 2012

  • TwilioCon was one of the best startup tech conferences because of the organization, venue, layout, and variety of ethnic food. Plus, it included a great hackathon.
  • Big Omaha was a very well run idea conference and the number of artifacts they create (tweets, articles, photos, video interviews, live stream) in order to promote the event is extremely valuable, and ensure that the event sells out each year.
  • Microsoft Build was the best enterprise big tech conferences and had the best food. They successfully launched Windows 8 and Azure to the development community and created a great amount of buzz.

Where you’ll find me in 2013

  • I’m attending TED.  Been dreaming of attending for years!
  • SWSW, 4th time speaking and attending.
  • I’d like to attend RailsConf this year for the first time.


Jillian Wohlfarth
As SendGrid's Director of Content, Jillian is responsible for ensuring that SendGrid provides valuable thought leadership content through the blog, whitepapers, webcasts, and more. When not writing and editing, you can find Jillian frequenting Denver restaurants in search of the best queso.