Houston, TX Speakers

Justin Self

Justin Self proudly declares himself a developer teammate. He is not a rock star. He is not a mad scientist. He’s not a midnight coder and he’s not the center of attention (well, sometimes he tries to be). Instead, he is dedicated to making teams better by being a better teammate and helping those around him grow. His love of creating better software is seconded only by his passion to help others make better software. He is a Believer and family man, originally from Tyler, TX and lives in Spring, TX with his wife and newborn son.

Steven Coleman

Manager, IT Analysis - Nationwide - Application Development Center

Steven Coleman is CSTE certified and has over ten years of experience within the quality assurance field. Steven works for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, where he has led several Tier 1 testing projects and has spent the last eight years honing his abilities within the test automation space. During that time, Steven was influential inestablishing Ruby as a test automation standard within the Enterprise. Steven is an Agile, Lean, and Automation enthusiast and enjoys sharing his experiences with the industry

Devlin Liles

Devlin Liles is a Vice President of Consulting at Improving Enterprises Houston and a passionate technologist. Devlin prides himself on staying a generalist, but his passion in development is data and its interactions. These passions gained him the recognition of Microsoft as an MVP for the past 5 years.

Since 2007 he has been presenting and teaching classes on software development practices and tools to audiences around the nation. He is a regular national presenter at user groups, conferences, and community events. He has been involved in many conferences and events (Dallas TechFest, Houston TechFest, Houston CodeCamp, Houston GiveCamp, AgileDotNet) as a coordinator; planner; or just a helping hand.

Devlin is the co-author of a couple of books about Entity Framework and the expert approach to it.

He is an avid soccer player and hobbyist gamer.

Robbie MacIver

Robbie Mac Iver grows teams and leaders to achieve improved business results for their organizations. Using Agile Principles and Practices to drive organizational improvement, Robbie helps product development groups find their own unique balance of Team, Product Management, Delivery and Agile Leadership practices to more effectively deliver high quality, fit-to-purpose business solutions in a predictable and reliable manner.

Allen Hurst

Allen Hurst is Vice President of Consulting for Improving Enterprises in Houston. He has a background in software development and has been leading agile teams for over 10 years. For Improving clients you’ll most often find him playing the role of Agile Coach. Since 2008 he’s been helping large and small organizations across a variety of industries adopt Agile Software Development. For Improving he helps ensure that delivery teams provide the best possible service and software for our clients while helping with business development. Allen has spoken about a variety of topics related to software development at conferences such as Agile 2012, AgileDotNext, Houston TechFest, and a variety of user groups.

Ryan Marsh

Ryan Marsh is a Principal Consultant at Improving Enterprises. He is a hands on Agile Coach for several enterprise software teams. In his career he has worked on software teams in all roles, including developer, QA, infrastructure, and product manager. He is a passionate Ruby supporter and loves mobile application development. Ryan lives in Houston where he enjoys organic vegetable gardening and playing with his 3 daughters.

Tim Rayburn

Tim Rayburn is a Vice President of Consulting with Improving Enterprises, a software and project management consulting company in Dallas, TX. He is a passionate advocate of apprenticeship and mentorship in corporate environments. Since 2007 he has been awarded the Microsoft MVP in recognition of his expertise and community leadership. He is also a conference organizer, an author, and can be found speaking across the nation on agile processes, software design, and career management. He lives in the North Dallas area with his amazing wife Kate and their loyal dog Gandalf.

Glynn Brewer

Computers have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Using them to solve business problems and streamline efficiencies that bring value to the business is both fun, challenging and very satisfying. I choose to major in Information Systems at the University of Houston so that I could turn my love of programming into a career. From there, I worked for AIG and Compaq (HP) before running a small software company for several years. After that and some consulting work, I went to work for an international services firm, moved to Los Angeles for a few years, and worked on several large projects. I learned many things while working there, among them a passion for Scrum and Agile software development.

Allison Pollard

Allison Pollard is a Principal Consultant with Improving Enterprises in Dallas; she is an agile coach working with 20 teams in a large enterprise and loves to create communities for those interested in developing their agile instincts. She mentors project managers to become great Scrum Masters and coaches managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results and an organizational community that provides sustainability for agile. Allison is also one of the organizers of the Dallas-Fort Worth Scrum user group that hosts monthly sessions with over 60 attendees and serves on the Dallas Agile Leadership Network board.

Ty Crockett

Ty Crockett is a Principal Consultant for Improving Enterprises. He is an Enterprise Agile Coach, Scrum Master, and Project Manager and has spent his professional career in the field of Information Technology. His strength is in getting newly formed groups to become cohesive, self managing, high performing teams. Ty has an intense interest in interpersonal interaction and personality dynamics.

Jack Long

Jack Long is a Senior Consultant for Improving Enterprises. He has been part of teams delivering quality enterprise and retail software for over 15 years. In a variety of roles Jack has learned that pushing out quality software isn't as simple as writing and executing test cases. With a focus on how code is developed, what business needs are met, and an emphasis on communication between developers and the business, has helped him be successful to getting software projects to done. ​

Long Mai

Long loves to improve, learn and mentor on agile values, software craftsmanship, and software architecture. His day to day is delivering software with the .NET web application stack. As a software consultant and contributor at Improving Enterprises, he is pragmatic and focuses on business value for improving his clients and going towards business agility.

Rich Flores

Richard Flores is a Senior Consultant with Improving Enterprises. He has enjoyed working in technology for the past 14 years across multiple disciplines including, Systems Analysis, Project Management and Software Development. Richard is a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer and is very passionate about software development. He specializes in creating applications for the web using best practices such as TDD, Pair Programming and CI/CD and loves exploring new technologies and platforms in his spare time. Richard is also a dedicated community member, where he shares his passions for development as a speaker and as user group leader for the Houston Dot Net User Group. Richard is equally passionate about his family and enjoys going out, listening to music, watching movies and taking trips. You can read about Richard’s experiences in software development at

Cherie Silas

I am a business professional who has been leading, coaching, training, and mentoring people for many years. I have a strong desire to help people arrive at the place they define as success in both personal and professional life. My goal is to invest the experience and talents I have gathered through years of learning, often times the hard way, into people whom I hope will become greater than I can ever dream to be.

I believe in servant leadership which is all about finding joy in setting your personal aspirations aside and giving people what they need to grow and experience success. Ultimately, watching people accomplish things that they never believed possible and seeing them become who they never believed they could be fulfills every need I have for success in my life.

Professional Certifications: Professional Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Product Owner, Certified Scrum Professional, Project Management Professional

Susan Fojtasek

Susan specializes in program/project management, process development, and business analysis at Improving Enterprises, where she serves as a Vice President of Consulting. Susan brings a unique perspective to her clients as both a Certified Scrum Master and a Project Management Professional. As the agile movement continues to grow, Susan takes a pragmatic approach to the application and usage of the various agile techniques. She is active in the local agile community in the Dallas chapter of the Agile Leadership Network (ALN).

Heather Rainey

Heather L. Rainey, MBA, PMP, PSM, is a consultant with Improving Enterprises. She has extensive career experience supporting manned spaceflight at NASA’s Johnson Space Center where she managed trajectory and simulation software used by the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. A confirmed Agilista, Heather has seen firsthand the benefits of Agile and is interested in helping others realize the results of a more highly motivated project team in addition to getting more business value. Heather resides in League City, Texas.

Ken Howard

Ken Howard is President of Improving Enterprises and has been involved in most aspects of software development, training and mentoring for over 31 years. Ken was a co-founder of Improving and has also been on the computer science faculty at SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. Ken’s specialty is helping companies increase productivity through efficient practices and pragmatic organizational dynamics, which was the topic of the Addison-Wesley book Individuals and Interactions: an Agile Guide that he co-authored.

Richard Mouser

Richard Mouser is a Consultant with Improving Enterprises. Richard has been working on software projects for over 30 years in numerous roles including developer, Dev Lead, QA lead, manager, Scrum Master, and Product Owner.

Richard has always been curious about what makes one team hum along productively, while another team of similar talent struggles. Following this interest has led him to explore diverse subjects such as neurobiology, evolutionary psychology, marketing, and everything about people.

When he’s not pursuing the human aspects of software development, Richard enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, snow skiing, and water sports.

David Belcher

David is a Consultant and Director of User Experience at Improving Enterprises. He has over 10 years of experience doing UX and most of that time has been working on Agile teams. UX is David’s passion and enjoys doing everything from user research, visual design and even gets into front-end development. When he is not working enjoys life and tries to live it the fullest by traveling and learning new things.