Meet some of the BSL team

BSL is a Dutch company with a British director. So when you visit the BSL team, you’ll hear both Dutch and English, and sometimes Brutch. In a world of “databases, technical design, JSON, assets, responsive web design and web services”, Brutch can be extremely useful!

The BSL team, which includes developers, online marketers and support staff, shares many years experience of software development projects. Working with banks, publishers, and small to medium businesses, designing and creating software. Working on many platforms (Unix, Windows, MacOS and Linux) and delivering innovative web applications. And in addition, we can help optimize the online success of your company or service. Our combined experience, curiosity and talent has resulted in many successful developments. And these successes have led to long-term partnerships with some of the biggest names in industry.

Although we’re (fortunately) all very different, we all share one characteristic – the ability to enjoy the “Bright Side of Life!”

So why not get in touch and come along for a chat.Tell us about your ideas for your next project over a coffee. But for the curious, take a look at our portfolio and find out what makes us unique!

Martyn Simpson Building customised web applications

“Nemo hic adest illius nominis”

I’ve been told to “keep it short”. No stories about my time spent in a nunnery (learning Dutch!), or my many years flying round the world creating software and astronomical bar bills. Short and sweet is the motto…

Martyn Simpson – Director

The Bright Side changes continuously, but I’m still the sole director. I can usually be found behind a computer, either in our offices in de Corridor, or at my home office in Breukelen. Unfortunately I have too few chances to write software myself, but my love for software development remains. I spend as much time as possible working together with our engineers and designers, just to keep pace with the rapid changes. BSL/the Bright Side of Life is the perfect platform for applying new technology.


Leisure time

Life beyond BSL includes keeping in touch with my very independent offspring (Geoffrey, Emily). My wife Michele works alongside us here in the Corridor 3 days a week. It also means endless (alternative) music, radio drama and an ever-expanding collection of films. Yes, I still buy the damn things – streaming just doesn’t satisfy the collector in me.  I have never lost my love for new and alternative music, and so you can often find me at the Paradiso, the Tivoli or Melkweg – although I’m a little older than the average visitor!

My spare time is often consumed by house maintenance – which helps me relax. During the winter I have given up falling out of Christmas trees, or breaking limbs skating. Instead I slowly work my way through my collection of Islay malts. Or visit parts of the world I’ve not yet seen – and watch cricket in distant (hot) lands. My life in England is a distant memory now, but I still occasionally visit Leicester – my birthplace. Nowadays I enjoy being a tourist in London, and in the many beautiful parts of the British landscape.


Web content is an essential part of my life both here at BSL, and at home. This brings me endless music (Spotify and Tidal), Films/TV, and online shopping. As an ex-pat Brit, I use the BBC for much of my entertainment. Online BBC radio 4 is one of my favourites – along with BBC online cricket commentaries. I’m one of the many Archers addicts worldwide – a radio soap that is now more than 60 years old! The BBC worldwide iPlayer brings some of the best of the BBC to my iPad, and my browser. This is an almost endless source of new drama and comedy. It also provides access to ageless material from the past. Programs like Blackadder and Fawlty Towers. All in all: too much stuff, and not enough time to enjoy it all!

Time to go, the word count meter is glowing red. As James T. Kirk would say:

Me transmitte sursum, caledoni.

Michele Simpson
Financial administrator

If you have any queries related to BSL’s financial administration, Michele Simpson can be found three days a week at BSL – working on invoicing, payment of bills and salaries, and looking after our maintenance contracts.

Michele Simpson – Financial administrator

As you may guess from my surname, I’ve been involved with BSL since its very earliest beginnings, when the company was first registered at our house in Breukelen in 1990. After the ‘Bright Side’ became a B.V and moved to its first ‘proper’ office in Maarssen a year later, I remained closely involved with all aspects of BSL’s administration, eventually becoming a paid employee in 2004 at the insistence of the Dutch tax authorities.


In my current role, I also help out in the secretariaat if the Office Manager or Office Assistant are away, and provide extra backup during busy periods.

So, if you hear a strange English accent on the phone when you ring our offices, it’s undoubtedly me! And of course, I also do any Dutch-English translations that may be needed, and work on English-language blog items for the BSL and DilemmaMatch websites.

Spare time

When not working at BSL, I also carry out translation and editing work from BSL’s original office at our home address. As our two children have now ‘flown the nest’, any remaining hours in the week might be spent watching a film, enjoying a meal (home-cooked or otherwise!), or simply relaxing with a good book.

And when Martyn’s busy work schedule permits, I also enjoy visiting as many corners of the Netherlands as possible with him – or anywhere else in the world as well!

I’ve even been known to indulge Martyn by accompanying him to cricket matches throughout the world, but for obvious reasons I prefer the Caribbean to a cold September in Nottingham!

Eric Wijnands
Software Architect

System Architect / Information Analyst

I’d already discovered my interest in computers from a young age, and it was an easy choice for me to pursue a career in this field. I first followed a study in Information Science at the Hogeschool van Utrecht, before putting my accumulated skills into practice at a number of companies. I then joined BSL as a software engineer in 1995, where my current position is System Architect / Information Analyst.

Different disciplines

At  BSL, I soon began to focus on the functional and technical design aspects of application and system development, working closely with our clients to meet their specific requirements. I also became increasingly involved in preparing offers, particularly where design aspects play an important role. I immersed myself too in developing systems using Oracle DBMS as the primary platform. In other words, I’ve been involved across the whole spectrum of system development during my years at BSL!

Spare time

And when I’m not sitting behind my computer keyboard, I can often be found sitting at a piano keyboard. I’m a keen jazz pianist in my free time, performing in different groups and bands. I like to explore the great outdoors as well, and particularly enjoy active sports such as running, cycling and sailing.

Peter Verbaan
Java/Sr. Software engineer

Java / Senior software engineer

My name is Peter, and I work at BSL as a Java / Senior software engineer. Among my various activities at BSL are devising technical and functional designs, translating these designs into working code, and testing the code and offering customer support.


I studied Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Utrecht. I then went on to carry out research into complexity theory (searching for efficient algorithms used in the solution of problems) for the university’s Department of Information and Computing Sciences. On the basis of this study, I was awarded my Ph.D. on 1 February 2006.

Spare time

 I am also involved with computers in my spare time.

Jurjen Schröder - Junior Java Developer | Jurjen Schröder - Junior Java Ontwikkelaar
Java Developer

Java Developer

I joined the BSL team in mid April as Junior Java Developer. I’ve had a formal Java training, but now I need experience. Initially I’ll be helping with the development of new functionality in existing BSL products like SRS and Pulse. Mainly working in Java, but I’ll be using HTML and JavaScript too.


I have a Masters in Social Psychology. An unusual combination for a software developer! The reason I choose Psychology was because I’m interested in how people behave. But once I’d got my Masters and began job hunting, I realised that I couldn’t honestly see myself working as a psychologist. Which of course meant I had to decide on an alternative career that I would enjoy. From a young age, I’ve had a passion for software. It’s great to create software, or modify code to make software perform as you want. Also I enjoy seeing the results almost immediately, which gives me a sense of satisfaction. So with all this in mind, I changed direction to follow a Java developer course. I plan to learn other languages in the future as well.

Spare time

Even when I’m not working, I’m busy with computers and software. I enjoy reading articles about programming, but plenty of other subjects as well! In other words, I like to learn new things. That’s why I’m currently spending time finding out about do-it-yourself in the house, and gardening. And although I guess it almost goes without saying that I often play computer games, old-fashioned board games are just as enjoyable. And the occasional film or TV series. And last but not least, I have a couple of pets. My cat Mozzy and my axolotis. An axolotis is a Mexican water salamander that can grow its own body parts (including brains!). And… they always look really happy 🙂

Roderick Gadellaa
Front-end developer

Front-end developer

In 2016, I joined BSL as a Front-end Developer. As my work in this role overlaps that of designer and developer, I have the opportunity to learn from the knowledge and expertise of colleagues involved in software development as well as design, whilst learning the in-and-outs of BSL. When a computer first appeared in my childhood home in 1993, I soon discovered that as well as using it to play video games, it could be used for making things too – it wasn’t long before I began creating web sites, music and pictures outside of school hours!


In 2006, I decided to study BAT Design for Virtual Theater and Games (now known as Interactive Performance Design), faculty Theater at the HKU University of the Arts, Utrecht. During my course, I was able to build up wide-ranging experience of interaction in its broadest sense, from stories and animations through to games and interactive art installation. This was also the time when the popularity of mobile platforms was growing fast, giving me plenty of opportunity to be involved from the very beginning. After graduating in 2011, I started work as a free-lancer, working on a variety of projects where the focus was on web- and mobile technology.

Spare time

As for what I enjoy in my free time… it’ll come as no surprise that I still like to spend it making things. Artwork, small web- and mobile development projects, or sketches for example. And I’ve now swapped making music to making my own radio programme. I’ve recently even been able send out my own test broadcasts via Internet, but the next challenge will of course be to find listeners who want to listen to it…

Marc Roeloffzen
Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer

My name is Marc, and I’ve been part of the BSL team since 2002. In my role as graphic designer, I mainly work on web design projects, but combine this with other tasks such as graphic design and brochures too.

What I enjoy about working at the Bright Side of Life is the chance to work on a variety of different and interesting projects. Most of my time is spent on web design projects for our customers, working with WordPress and Drupal. But I also work with Photoshop, making presentations, animations and doing video editing. And some days, I also help with system administration.


After I finished higher education, I worked in a variety of interim jobs. I quickly realised that I wanted a career where I could make use of my interests: namely computers, internet and photography. And of course, preferably a combination of all three!

Working in IT

A move to the IT world quickly followed. After working at several IT companies, both large and small, I came across BSL and the rest is history. I have been working at the Bright Side since 2002, and I look forward to many more years here. This is because at BSL, I am given every opportunity to develop further and learn new skills. For instance, I’ve completed a variety of courses, including TMAP testing and WordPress.

Although BSL is located in Breukelen near Utrecht, I still live in Apeldoorn as this is where my family and friends are. Unfortunately this means daily traffic jams, but I’ve learnt many different routes over the years to avoid them. And working at BSL makes it worthwhile!


Junior developer and web designer

If you have any questions about your website or web design, then Patrick van Bennekom is ready to help you 5 days a week at BSL. Patrick helps to create websites and apps for our customers, including the design of logos and house styles to deliver a professional end product.

Patrick van Bennekom – frontend development and web design

Junior, because I joined the Bright Side of Life in April 2022. I’d graduated from the Grafisch Lyceum in Utrecht the previous year, but with a diploma in Interactive Design and Web Design in my pocket, I was still uncertain about the type of career I wanted to follow. So to help discover the kind of work I was really interested in, I first registered as a freelancer at the Chamber of Commerce. I worked for a landscaping company for a while, as well as a car garage, and also started taking on my own web design projects.

Web design and web development

The main part of my studies had been involved with designing and building websites. I came to realise that it gives me a great feeling when a customer is enthusiastic about my website designs. What’s more, I enjoy learning about any new trends and features related to the web environment. So after a year I knew where my true interest lies – I decided to look for a permanent job in web design and web development. And via I came across the Bright Side of Life.

Bright Side of Life

I was immediately enthusiastic during my job interviews with Roderick Gadellaa and Martyn Simpson. And after a visit to Bright Side of Life office I knew straight away that I wanted to work here. The atmosphere in the company gives me the feeling that everyone is treated as an equal, that everyone is listened to – even juniors! There is plenty of room for personal development too – colleagues are encouraged to share their expertise with one another, and to keep abreast of the latest technological developments.

Free time

When I’m not at BSL, I enjoy working on websites in my spare time too. My other hobbies include Formula 1, watching movies, gaming, sports and most importantly, spending time with my girlfriend and friends.

Diana Hazenberg
Office Assistant

Office assistant

Hi, my name is Diana. On 1 January 2007 my year couldn’t have started better: that day I began my new job as office assistant at Bright Side of Life. And I’m still just as enthusiastic now as I was on that first day: BSL is a fun place to work, with unique, professional colleagues who are all driven to help our customers the best way they can.


Right after I finished my training as European Executive Secretary / Management Assistant I worked for several years as a financial administrative assistant at Albron Catering. But when I discovered BSL, I knew this was the company I had always been looking for.

Spare time

Outside of work, my passion are my two sons Quinten and Damian. None of us at home can sit still, so we often go out to various places; either just the four of us, or in the company of friends. I also have several hobbies such as Showdance and Zumba, but enjoy shopping or going out for a nice meal too.

When we’re having some peace and quiet together, I often take long walks with the family, or I can be found behind my phone (read: Facebook games). But I can entertain myself just as well with an exciting film or book.

Join the BSL team!

We’re always on the look out for talent. From interns to starters and creative all-rounders, to graduates with years of development experience.

So do you enjoy the Bright Side of Life? Do you want to join our team? If you are a software designer, developer, web-developer or online-marketeer – we’d like to meet you.

Come and join the team

Contact BSL