About me

Portrait of Olivier Lacan
Yep, that's me. ⤴

I’ve been creating websites for over 22 years and I’ve evolved into a more backend focused software developer during the last 12 years. Despite my unescapable Frenchness (Paris-born & raised), my favorite languages are English and Ruby.

I spend most of my time building and maintaining large and small web applications.


I’ve built and maintained Code School between 2012 and 2018. Code School was acquired by Pluralsight in 2015 and I led a large migration of Code School customers to Pluralsight in 2018.

I’ve written and developed several interactive Code School courses. Recently, I authored a high-level Ruby on Rails course for Pluralsight.

I’ve worked on bringing interactive hands-on content at Pluralsight with Projects: a task-focused way to learn how to bridge the gap between theoretical technology knowledge and practical usage.

At Pluralsight, I worked as a tech lead on a team which developed a new multi-content-type infrastructure in conjunction with our Authorization and Product Catalog teams to migrate our system from only being able to handle one content type (video courses) to multiple content types (labs, projects, guides, etc).


In 2020, I volunteered with the COVID Tracking Project to gather data about the COVID-19 outbreak in Florida and developed tools to help track the outbreak in Florida and other U.S. states but also to gather news reports early on in the pandemic.

I co-wrote a small white paper on Florida data issues with Rebecca Glassman and talked about my experience as a programmer in RubyConf talk called Tracking COVID-19 with Ruby.

In the process I worked with many local Florida journalists to try and help them understand the counter-intuitive complexities of

Open Source

I’ve created the Shields metadata badges that you can now find in open source repositories all over to succinctly display whether tests are passing or failing, if dependencies are out of date, or if code is well-documented or not.

I wrote Keep a Changelog to give fellow software developers clearer guidelines on how to provide human-friendly release notes for their software.

Public Speaking

I’ve spoken at multiple conferences around the world on topics like Science-driven Development, contributing to open source, Ruby on Rails, and information security. You can find my published talks here.

I also used to co-host the Ruby5 podcast and other podcasts.

Get in touch

If you’d like to email me securely you can use my PGP Key (see GPGTools) but email and twitter are fine for most cases.