Friends in tech: Brian Li

Website Content Manager

Brian Li




Sales and Marketing

Time in this Industry

3-4 Years

Origin Story

I started using WordPress back in high school, and built up a bunch of related skills over the years – some coding, server maintenance, SSH, customizing plugins, etc. After college, I actually worked in the entertainment industry for a while. I spent a few years in New York working on a few Broadway shows and then moved to Las Vegas to work on a show there. At some point, I got burnt out and decided to take a long break. I ended up traveling around the world for a year or so and ended up in Japan. Long story short, I got married and then my wife got pregnant. At that point, I still didn’t have a full-time job because I was still technically on my “long break”. Since we were going to be parents, I decided to start looking for a “real job” instead of relying on freelance gigs. I ended up finding Kinsta and decided to apply for the support engineer role because I had experience with managing WordPress sites and servers. After two years in support, I transitioned to the marketing team, and I’ve been there ever since.

How has COVID had an effect?

I think COVID has had some sort of impact on every industry. For my industry (WordPress hosting), I think COVID resulted in a lot of people moving their businesses online, which resulted in a positive trend in terms of revenue. To be honest, it was a little surreal to see positive revenue charts while so many people were struggling financially due to the pandemic. Besides that, I don’t think there was much impact for me personally.

A Typical Day

I usually wake up around 6 AM and ride my bike for an hour or so. Around 7:30 AM, my wife and kid wake up and we have breakfast. After breakfast, I work until 12 PM and we have lunch. I usually stop working around 4 PM and spend the rest of the day hanging out, playing, etc. After dinner, I help my kid shower and get ready for bed. After that, I try to spend an hour or two on some side projects, but sometimes I just pass out from exhaustion.

Current Workspace

I have an Autonomous AI standing desk that I don’t use in “standing mode” as much as I should. My computing setup for work includes a 16″ MacBook Pro with a 27″ external display. I usually do “active work” on the big screen, and have Slack open on the MacBook Pro during work hours. I also have an M1 Mac mini that I use for running bots and cron jobs for various things. I’m looking forward to ditching the 16″ MacBook Pro for an M1 model whenever that comes out. Since I do some audio/video stuff as well, I also have a microphone setup. Currently, I’m using the ElectroVoice RE-20 going into a Universal Audio Arrow interface. The Arrow is great because it supports real-time DSP processing so I can add effects to my voice without adding any latency. It’s very useful for getting good sound on live streams too.

Daily Software

Brave (Google Docs), Sublime Text, Nova, VS Code, CleanShot, Slack, iTerm