Scaling Email with J.R. Jasperson


“As the scale continues to increase, certain effects of architecture become less and less efficient.”

When you spend money online, you expect a receipt to come in your email. When you register for a new web site, you need to verify your sign up in your email. These types of emails are called “transactional email” and sending these types of email at scale is a complex engineering task.

J.R. Jasperson is the chief architect at SendGrid, a transactional email platform. On this episode, we discuss how email works–from the basics to the massive scale that SendGrid operates on. We also talk about email spam and fraud in detail.


  • Why is transactional email important for software engineers?
  • What are the engineering problems associated with sending lots of emails?
  • Where can emails “fall through the cracks” so to speak?
  • What are the scaling issues you face and how have you dealt with them?
  • How is scaling an email service different from scaling a high-availability website like Netflix?
  • What did you learn from the previous “tech crashes” and how does it reflect on the current climate?
  • What is an engineering problem around email that you would never have encountered in another business?


Software Daily

Software Daily

Subscribe to Software Daily, a curated newsletter featuring the best and newest from the software engineering community.