As far back as I can remember I have been fascinated by computers. I received my first computer (386S) for my 8th birthday and have been writing code ever since; in fact, my first “Hello World” was in Turbo Pascal. Since that day I have been obsessed with the idea of using software to solve real-world problems. To me, coding is a never ending series of puzzles that I am passionate to solve. I’m a self-starter and have taught myself to write Apex to quickly become an expert Force.com developer.

My first professional job was as a Lead Integration Engineer at IBM working on their Websphere stack of products to develop proof of concepts for IBM customers. My proceeding roles extended my integration and cloud integration skills leading me to discover the power of The Cloud. My most recent position was as Lead Software Engineer (Employee #1) for BrightPlan, a financial wellness platform (www.brightplan.com). In this role I led dozens of projects building new features to position BrightPlan as one of the most comprehensive financial wellness platforms on the market. I currently work as Software Development Engineer II at Amazon focusing on High-Volume Hiring (HVH).

HVH builds features, enhancements, and enables synergy through integrations to benefit World Wide Operations/Fulfillment Centers and Customer Service. Due to the high volume of transactions, bulk processing through asynchronous execution is used extensively in HVH. The HVH team builds creative solutions via either AWS technologies (Lambda, DynamoDB, etc.), external technologies, or mixture of both to solve for the hiring challenges for Amazon.

In my spare time I continue to grow my coding skills. I recently become a Salesforce Certified System Architect and a Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I. I enjoy working on personal coding projects and participating in challenges on HackerRank. I also like attending meet-ups to advance my skills, learning new coding languages (Java, Apex) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Finding better ways to solve yesterday’s problems ignites the fire that keeps me motivated as a Lead Software Engineer.

Skills Mastered:
Salesforce (SFDC), Apex Programming, SOQL, SOSL, Visualforce Pages, Java, Spring, Spring Boot, JPA, Hibernate, Web Services, (RESTful, SOAP), Git, Jira, Jitterbit, AWS, Heroku

Cycling, Snowboarding and Golf

My focus of the blog is to share my experiences and problems that I had in developing solutions for customers and also some of my own projects.

Fork my project(s) or connect me on Social Media if you have questions.


  1. Bruce Lynch says:

    Hello Thys,

    I am writing to see if you might be interested in contributing articles for the Global WebSphere Community at http://www.WebSphereUserGroup.org.

    As you know, in collaboration with IBM, my company re-launched the Global WebSphere Community at IMPACT 2010 in Las Vegas. We are currently working with more than 15,000 WebSphere professionals trying to meet their information needs.

    I know that you have some insights into Websphere ESB, MQ, Message Broker and Datapower, which would have a major appeal to this community. I would suggest that your articles cover this area.

    Thank you for your consideration and I hope you are interested. If you would like to find out more, please contact me at the coordinates below.

    Kind regards,


    Bruce Lynch
    Vice President, IBM Support Products
    Wellesley Information Services
    20 Carematrix Drive
    Dedham, MA 02026 USA
    phone: 781-751-8670 email: bruce.lynch@wispubs.com

  2. Hi, nice to meet you !

  3. Phillip says:

    Hi Thys,

    I’m interested in getting your input on the Cast Iron product and how it compares to other competitor products. My main background in terms of middleware experience is working with webMethods product suite mainly around tradtional EAI/B2B area. I see Cast Iron as a product geared mainly towards SME/SMB businesses that has very little IT resources. What are some of the challenges if any that Cast Iron faces and do you think traditional EAI/B2B product would be replace by products such as Cast Iron?

  4. Thys Michels says:

    Hi Philip, thanks for the message to answer your question: Cast Iron is a cloud integration appliance and virtual appliance that integrates your on-premise applications (SAP, Oracle, DB2, etc) with your cloud applications (Salesforce, etc). It contains most of the adapters to integrate your cloud with your backend. So Cast Iron is mainly geared to customers that have applications running in the cloud and wants to integrate it with their current backend. Some of the challenges with Cast Iron is that all the adapters to cloud or back-end applications are not yet available, it is not high performance (Low TPS) and it is not as secure as other ESB’s (like Datapower XI50). So traditional EAI/B2B products will not be replace by Cast Iron but more using Datapower XB60 (B2B Appliance) with Websphere Message Broker or webMethods. Cast Iron is really gearing up to be a main player in Cloud integration. Let me know if you need more info.

  5. Phillip says:

    Thanks for the response. So basically, those that are interested in purchasing CI maily to connect their cloud apps with on-premise apps. I’m not familiar with appliances but is the product scalable and are there limitations in terms of volumn? I hear pros and cons on appliances product but curious to get your thoughts on it.

  6. Phillip says:

    Also, IBM has so many products but I assume CI purchase was to connect cloud apps and on-premise apps quickly by using TIPS? I assume Websphere or Datapower could probably connect cloud and on-premise as well.

  7. Thys Michels says:

    That is correct, read more about Cast Iron (http://www.castiron.com/). Yes the appliance can be clustered (Active/Active or Active/Passive) to provide scaling. In terms of volume the appliances are a bit slower that the Datapower XI50 as it runs and Cast Iron Virtual Machine inside, but again there is no limitations to volume as you can just add another appliance to the clusters to accommodation for any load.

    Appliances is the best thing after sliced bread. It is a drop-in and go solutions with dedicated hardware in the appliance (no need for server). Firmware/Software on these appliances are optimized to perform better. Scalability is a breeze by just adding another appliance to the cluster. Appliances are the way forward to a fast changing world where you don’t have any time to acquire resource, install and configure software and is looking for a faster ROI.

  8. Thys Michels says:

    That is correct TIPS is the same concept as patterns in WebSphere Message Broker or WebSphere Integration Developer. They are pre-built best practices flows that enables developers to deploy flows using a wizard. This wizard will configure all nodes of the integration flow.

    Websphere and Datapower can connect cloud applications with on-premise applications if the communication is SOAP over HTTP, SOAP over JMS or MQ. So any cloud application that can be exposed as a Web Service or can publish to a Queue we can use Websphere Message Broker or Websphere Datapower XS40/XI50/XB60/XM70.

  9. Phillip says:

    Thanks Thys.

  10. Phillip says:


    Aren’t appliances quite expensive? I assume patches are done by IBM?

  11. Thys says:

    Cost to company appliances are a cheaper option compared to software on a server. Dedicated hardware and runs firmware that can easily be upgraded. It is a drop in solution with minimal configurations and faster time to market.

    Yes IBM provides the fixpacks and firmware upgrade that is downloadable from:

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