Hongli Lai

Hongli Lai

Senior developer.

For 15 years I've been helping companies around the world solve complex problems. I design & build systems, coach teams and advise C-levels. Apple, New York Times, Atos and 650 000+ parties globally enjoyed my contributions.

As a senior developer who's skilled in both frontend and backend, I have 20 years of experience in various programming languages including Java, Javascript, Ruby, Python, Rust, Go and C++. I’ve built business apps, distributed infrastructure systems, data analysis systems, operating system components, developer tools and more. I’ve optimized language runtimes to save 70% memory and a lot of money. I mentor fellow developers to help them grow.

As a DevOps engineer, I have up to 10 years of experience with Docker, Kubernetes, CI/CD and more. I bridge the gap between dev and ops by helping dev teams build and optimize pipelines, and by mentoring them on DevOps techniques and mindsets.

In 2008 I founded Phusion, where I developed the Passenger application server, which is or has been used by 650 000+ websites over the world. My software and consultancy services helped clients scale to and process millions of users per day.

As a company founder, I've gained broad experience with business and with leading teams. To help clients devise effective solutions, I can talk to users and stakeholders, and I can translate requirements to implementation. This experience is why people seek me out to join innovation projects, and is what allows me to advise C-levels.

Making people happy gives me joy. That’s why I spend extra miles on making my work user friendly, well-documented, rock-solid and a delight to use. Win-win relationships are the best!

As a veteran in open source I've been leading, maintaining and contributing to various projects for 20 years. Contributions include GNOME, Nginx, Ruby, Rails, the Linux desktop ecosystem, and various cloud infrastructure projects. I support the open source philosophy and the free sharing of expertise, because that’s what makes us all grow.

I've spoken at RailsConf, Google, O'Reilly OSCON and others. Perhaps we'll meet at a next meetup, conference or pull request? Welcome to my website, where I share my passion for software development and technology. I hope my experience will help you.

Some clients I've had the privilege to work with

Thank you for your business.

  • Apple
  • Twitter
  • Intercom
  • NPO
  • Basecamp
  • LinkedIn
  • New Relic
  • Cigna
  • State of Oregon
  • Achmea

My ethos & philosophy

It's all about people, not technology

I believe that technology should serve humans instead of the other way around. You will find that the software I develop have a strong focus on UX and simplicity: my goal is to make people's lives easier and to help them enjoy their work to the fullest.

Read about my philosophy in my article Coding is not enough.

Hongli Lai

Hi, nice to meet you

contact me, or find me on social media