Houston, TX Speakers

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.

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.

Ray Freeman

For more than 20 years, D. Ray Freeman has climbed the rungs of the IT ladder from hands-on software implementations to enterprise Agile transformation. He is the co-owner and Behavioral Dynamics trainer for Agile Consultant Guide, LLC as well as the lead Agile Coach at Southwest Airlines in Dallas, TX. A native Texan and consummate Agilist, Ray is the author of “Agile Changed My Life – How to Manage the Chaos of Life and Career with Agility”.

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.

Pradeepa Narayanaswamy

As an Agile Coach and Trainer Pradeepa Narayanaswamy is a self-proclaimed “Agile Passionista” who strongly believes in the agile principles used in transforming organizations to build superior quality products. In her current role, Pradeepa works as a Trainer, Agile coach and mentor to several software development teams and help them succeed with building high quality products. She works with several leadership teams in their transformation journey using Agile principles. She is passionate about and specializes herself in Agile Testing. She is also a speaker in various national and international conferences.

Peter Seale

Peter Seale is a veteran software developer from Improving in Houston. He enjoys teaching, volunteering at community events, and being a curmudgeon. Peter maintains a strong twitter presence at @pseale ( ).

Curtis Schlak

With the purchase of his family’s first computer, a Timex-Sinclair 1000, young Curtis Schlak at the age of 10 discovered that he enjoyed computer programming as an avocation. It wasn’t until after a five-year enlistment in the US Army that he changed programming to his vocation. Adhering to the “lead by example” motto of military life, Curtis threw himself into gaining as much experience, knowledge, and wisdom about his craft. Over the past 20 years, he has led teams ranging in size from intimate to egregious. He has participated in and led product development, consultations, and agile adoptions. He has first-hand experiences in implementing Extreme Programming, Scrum, the Unified Process, adaptations of the Toyota Production System, and Feature-Driven Development.

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.

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.

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.

Brian Donaldson

Brian Donaldson is Chief Technical Director at Improving. He has 25 years’ experience as a senior executive growing successful IT businesses and leading complex development initiatives. Brian is a recognized expert in project estimation and planning, and spearheaded the creation of Improving’s project estimation toolset and methodology. He has worked with many industry leaders including Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and the Agile Alliance. Brian holds a B.Sc. degree in digital system design and a Master’s degree in computer and electrical engineering.

Jake Stevenson

As a Principal Consultant at Improving Enterprises, Jake works hard to understand his client's business needs and help the team to deliver working software quickly and reliably. When he's not shuttling his boys from one after-school activity to another, he enjoys tinkering with technology such as Arduinos and Raspberry Pis, even building his own home sprinkler system running off node.js.