About Johnny Mkhael


Though I've ventured into the world of management, startups and entrepreneurship, my heart remains the code, for I'm a geek at heart, weaving the future one algorithm at a time. - JM

The name of the blog Head in the clouds... represents my dreamy nature. To complete it with my pragmatic self, it would give: ... with feet on the ground.

A relentless learner, geek at heart, born software developer, currently managing an execution structure in the Software industry of around ~250 person (peaked at 450)

I aspire to leverage my tech background and acquired experiences to connect strategy with deliverables. "Making dreams happen". Map the business context, the vision and market trends to the immediate strategic objectives.

I use this blog to write my thoughts and learning process.

Contact Details

Feel free to contact me:

Roles and jobs

Johnny Mkhael a Business owner at Murex.

Previous jobs/roles:

  • VP of engineering at Influans
  • Platform/Software Domain Architect at Murex
  • Software engineer for many years

Curiosity motivates me

I like to understand how things work. I used to break things apart to understand them and often realize that it isn't easy to re-assemble them.

I started modifying code since I was ~7 years old. I wanted to win a game but couldn't; So I went and modified it's code...

Now I am at least 7 times that age and still have lots and lots to learn!

How it started

I coded using many languages starting with Basic (before it got Quick or Visual), ASP, ASM (the thing closer to microcontrollers), C, C++, Perl, Python, Visual Basic, C#, JavaScript, Java. I am an endless learner.

My big passions are DIY (where I built a home automation system from scratch in my place with a Swarm of Raspberry Pi running Docker and talking to Arduinos over nRF), DevOps, RE, Microservices, Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment (CI/CD) and Behavior and Test-Driven Development (BDD/TDD).

I like to deliver (continuously), but most of all to play with as many technologies and learn something new everyday! (Docker, Kubernetes, Proxmox, everything Reactive and Tensorflow taking a great deal of my time recently)

Currently trying to manage my time better in order to give my robot the gift of environment recognition with Tensorflow and teach my kids in the process and prepare them for the world of tomorrow

My career waypoints

Some of the skills, or way-points in my career path (from developer to architect), went through, Development in C/C++, C#, Java, and a bit of Python where I contributed to Access Repository for Business objects, Static data and Trades, Configuration Management toolset to aid in the migration programme.
I then moved to Release Engineering and methods for developers where I helped development teams reduce their time to market (this is where I really understood and played with things like Maven, Gradle, CMake, Jenkins, Sonar...).
I then played the role of a Product owner. I also was Scrum master/Agile coach in between.

I then went into the startup world as VP of Engineering, and managed a team of 50+ person across 3 countries.

How it's going

Building on all this, I currently am playing a Business owner role on a structure of around 250 person, and still coding whenever I have the chance.

Passions and Skills

Deep knowledge in managing big execution structures, with outsourcing aspects, multi-cultural, multi-countries.

Excel at connect strategy with deliverables. "Making dreams happen". Inspire and communicate the business context, the vision, market trends, and how they map to the immediate strategic objectives

Love connecting to people, being active, responsible and inspiring communicator.

Deep knowledge in SAFe framework, agile practices.

Deep knowledge in Software engineering practices and tech. SDLC.

Technical background

HPC, injection, Storage, Analytics, Application Services, Serverless

In-memory computing, Big Data, Fast Data, IoT and HPC solutions. Apache Ignite, Spark, Gemfire.
Cloud: AWS, FaaS, Docker, Docker Swarm, Kubernetes.

Data injection: Flume, Logstash, Beats family, x4S3
Indexation/Analytics: ElasticSearch, EMR, Redshift
Stream and log processing: Kafka
Data Formats: XML, CSV, AVRO, Protobuf, JSON, K/V

ALM, Deployment Management and Administration

  • "Write once, deploy anywhere" and "Datacenter on your machine" mantra
  • InfraKit, LinuxKit, Cloudwatch, cloudformation
  • RBAC, identity and access management

Application Services

  • SES, SNS, SQS, SWF, MQTT(Mosquitto), AMQP (Qpid)

Foundation Services/Compute

  • EC2, Container Services, AKS


  • S3/Minio
  • EBS/Glacier


Relational and NoSQL: MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, Oracle, MongoDB, CouchDB.


  • VPC, DirectConnect, ELB, Route53, Application and API Gateways


  • AWS Lambda and Azure Cloud Functions, Docker FaaS, Serverless (tool)


  • Mastery of Home Assistant and Jeedom
  • integrations and glue through IFTTT/node-red/n8n
  • contribution to mySensors
  • Integrations for Amazon Echo/Amazon IoT/Alexa/AVS
  • TensorFlow for image recognition on a Raspberry Pi
  • Wanted to detect a given cat for personal reasons