Espen Hovlandsdal

Principal Engineer

San Francisco, CA

I'm a principal engineer with over 10 years of experience building highly scalable, robust frontend and backend architectures at companies both large and small. I have a passion for product development, and enjoy being part of the entire process - from initial design to final implementation.

Professional Experience


    Principal Engineer
    • Created the command-line tool, development server and command-line signup experience
    • Made microservices for handling users, projects, datasets, webhooks and deployments
    • Developed the building blocks for the headless content management system user interface
    • Created API gateway plugins for handling sessions, cross-origin security and caching
    • Built an on-the-fly image transformation service for resizing, cropping and other transformations with advanced caching strategies
    • Created libraries for rendering and manipulating the portable text format
  2. Bengler

    Full-stack developer
    • Developed the ground work and initial version of Sanity, a headless content management system using React and Node.js, focusing on a great developer experience.
    • For fun: Built an automatic foosball score keeping and player ranking system connected to a physical foosball table
  3. VaffelNinja

    Chief Technology Officer
    • Developed earliest catalog of open-source components for React (
    • Created the official website and app for Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen, one of the worlds biggest craft beer festivals.
  4. Verdens Gang

    Software Architect
    • Developed a social network where pet owners can share stories, pictures, videos and experiences. User-created groups and "herds" based on their pets species is a key feature.
    • Created a site to gather all the stories from Norwegians around the world, sharing how we experienced July 22nd 2011, when Norway lost 77 lives to terrorist attacks.
    • Built service to allow searching the tax returns of citizens, comparing the income and tax levels of municipalities, zip codes and similar.
  5. GoMobile

    • Built new forum software for one of the largest online communities in Norway, with over 50 million posts.
    • Helped build a subscription-based service that helps people lose weight (Vektklubb).
    • Developed VG Live, a real-time sports update service alongside live, streaming video from sports matches.


  1. NodeConf Oslo 2016


    Organized NodeConf Oslo 2016, a single-track, single-day, non-profit conference about Node.js. Flew in 10 speakers from all around the world, managed the website and social media presence and generally follow up where needed.

  2. NodeConf One-Shot Oslo 2015


    Organized a single-day, non-profit node.js conference in Oslo!

  3. TechShock


    Oslo-based meetup group for web and mobile developers. All talks are held in English, and there are always social events after each meetup for those interested in continuing the discussion over a beer or two.

  4. Imbo


    Contributed to different aspects of Imbo - an open-source, RESTful image transformation service


  • Programming languages

    Typescript, Javascript, Go, PHP, Lua, Java, Python, HTML, CSS
  • Server frameworks

    Express, Next.js, Restify, Hapi, Fastify, Silex, Zend Framework
  • Frontend frameworks

    React, Backbone, Angular, jQuery, D3
  • Tooling

    Sanity, Gatsby, Next.js, Eleventy
  • Databases

    PostgreSQL, MySQL, Redis, MongoDB, LevelDB
  • Ops

    Kubernetes, Docker, Varnish, Kong,


  • Norwegian

    Native speaker
  • English


Online profiles