After three amazing years working at SendGrid, the last two as a Developer Evangelist with the mighty Developer Relations team, it’s time to move on towards a new SendGrid chapter. Enter the Hacker in Residence.

The transition

As an Developer Evangelist, I was able to live out my passion for both helping people (developers and entrepreneurs in particular) and learning through experience. But alas, travel takes it toll, particularly on family. While the extensive travel afforded Developer Evangelists can be managed, personally, it’s time for a break from hopping from city to city and country to country. After all, I have a little hacker at home to teach 🙂

So what is a Hacker in Residence anyway?

My definition of a hacker is someone who is passionate about creatively using technology to solve problems. In my case, technology means some combination of software and hardware. “In Residence” is typically used in a college or university setting where professionals work, study and research within a specific academic discipline. At SendGrid, work = projects and research = rapid prototyping and execution based on study and feedback.

As Hacker in Residence, my primary high level goals are to:

  • help SendGrid live up to its slogan: “Email Delivery. Simplified.”
  • improve and inspire developer’s lives, both internally and externally.
  • exemplify the four H’s (humble, honest, hungry, happy + bonus h: health) us SendGrid’ers strive to live by.

I will work to achieve these goals by:

  • developing and enhancing software, with as much of the code available publicly as possible, to enhance developer productivity and foster innovation both internally and externally.
  • creating content that is designed to support SendGrid, our developer community and developers at large.
  • attending developer focused events to obtain and share knowledge internally and externally towards supporting the high level goals.
  • engaging in internal and external developer communites with a spirit of support and education.
  • creating internal bridges between our various teams towards the purpose of creating amazing SendGrid experiences for developers.

While my travels will be considerably scaled back, in the near future you can find me at PHP Argentina in October and at LA Tech Week in November. Otherwise, home base for me is our Anaheim office in Orange County and where I reside in Riverside, California.


This could very well be the most exciting job position I’ve ever had. I’ll be able to synthesize all of the experiences interfacing with our customers/partners and learning about cool new tech into projects that, I hope, will provide lasting value for many people.

All I need now is my tin foil cape.

If you have any hack ideas that you want executed, drop me an email. You can follow my exploits right here on this blog and on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Github. I look forward to serving you.

Elmer Thomas is SendGrid's Developer Experience Engineer. His mission is to help SendGrid live up to its slogan: "Email Delivery. Simplified" by improving the lives of developers, both internally and externally. Via all sorts of hackery, of course. Follow his exploits on Twitter and GitHub.