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SendGrid Fires Developer Evangelist After Public Outcry, DDOS Attacks

March 21, 2013

By Cynthia Herbert :: 1:13 PM

Adria Richards fired.E-mail delivery company SendGrid today announced that it has fired its developer evangelist, Adria Richards, after a flap involving her and two developers from another company erupted over the past several days.

Richards, who was attending a Python language conference, PyCon, had objected to the jokes being traded by two male developers seated immediately behind her. They involved words like “dongles,” “forking,” and other innuendo, and were, according to most reports, fairly childish in nature. Richards took a picture of the developers, Tweeted it out with a complaint, which led to the two developers being asked to leave the conference. One of the developers was later fired from his job at mobile game developer Play Haven for his actions.

The firing of the Play Haven employee set the developer world (mostly young and male) off in a firestorm yesterday on Y Combinator’s Hacker News, Reddit, and Twitter. The reaction about Richards’ Tweet and the Play Haven employee’s subsequent firing resonated with this community, and many quickly sought to have Richards terminated from SendGrid as well.

Today, SendGrid has been fighting off a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on its website and email servers. In addition, public threats have been made against the company and against Richards across many social media outlets.

About an hour ago, SendGrid posted the following message on its Facebook page:

“Effective immediately, SendGrid has terminated the employment of Adria Richards. While we generally are sensitive and confidential with respect to employee matters, the situation has taken on a public nature. We have taken action that we believe is in the overall best interests of SendGrid, its employees, and our customers. As we continue to process the vast amount of information, we will post something more comprehensive.”