Chander Dhall

Chander DhallChander Dhall, CEO of Cazton, is an awarded Microsoft MVP, Google Developer Expert and world-renowned technology leader in architecting and implementing solutions. He's not only rescued software development teams, but also implemented successful projects under tight deadlines and difficult business constraints. His company has a proven track record of not just saving the client millions of dollars, but also providing an expedited delivery time. Chander's team of experts are internationally-acclaimed speakers in top technical conferences in the world.

Claudio Lassala

Claudio LassalaClaudio is a Principal Consultant at Improving Houston. He has been developing software for 25+ years (FoxPro, .NET, Ruby on Rails). When not building software, consulting with clients, doing presentations, delivering training, or hanging out with his family, he can probably be found working on his music or riding his motorcycle. Check out his blog at

Dan Sline

Dan SlinePrincipal Consultant at Improving

Daniel Scheufler

Daniel ScheuflerSenior Consultant at Improving

David Lewis

David LewisDavid Lewis is a software engineer with Improving Enterprises with over 15 years of experience.

Devlin Liles

Devlin LilesDevlin Liles is the president of Improving Houston and a passionate technologist. He prides himself on staying a generalist, but his passion is leveraging technology to solve the problems facing business. Devlin has an entrepreneurial mindset and has been a key contributor to growth and success of the Houston office being one of the founding employees in 2011. Since 2007, he has been presenting and teaching classes on software development practices and tools to audiences around the world including user groups, conferences, and community events. Devlin has held the prestigious Microsoft MVP Award for the past 6 years which is only awarded to 3,000 technologists' annually. He is the co-author, along with his good friend Tim Rayburn of Entity Framework 4.1 Experts Cookbook. When he is not in front of a crowd or behind a computer Devlin is an avid soccer player and hobbyist gamer.

Dhaval Panchal

Dhaval PanchalExperienced Executive and Agile Coach. He is ScrumAlliance Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC), Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). Dhaval Panchal is actively involved in local Houston Agile community. A sought after Agile coach, Dhaval has led large scale Agile transformations for companies in Oil & Gas, Banking, Insurance, Gaming, and Medical business domains. He has more than 17 years of Agile implementation, coaching, and transformation experience.

Drew Shefman

Drew ShefmanDrew Shefman has been professionally developing interactive experiences since 1996. He is a software craftsman, professor, mentor, and scrum master. He has served as technical lead or architect on projects that have included virtual simulation training for the cell phone industry, performance testing engines for the airline industry, off-shore rig training and visualization for the oil industry, engineering technical learning for the military, enterprise mission-critical high-volume order managing for the grocery industry, as well as dozens of other marketing, communication, and training interactive experiences. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Houston since 2008 and a national presenter. Relative to this topic, his house flooded on Memorial Day 2015 with 28" and again on Tax Day 2016 with 13".

Harold Pulcher

Harold PulcherHarold Pulcher is a Microsoft MVP, co-ambassador for, developer, network engineer, magician, woodworker, and part time grease monkey. He has over 25 years of experience working in Information Technology. During that time he has done everything from running network cable, setting up various companies infrastructure from the absolute bare metal, and building line of business software for many of those companies. As passionate as he is about technology, you might happen to see him checking his air reserve while at a depth of 60 feet, cooking up a mean “free-range” fruit cake, doing pre-show table magic at the improv, or making a nice piece of wood into a lot of sawdust so my wife will have potting bench for her plants.

J Sawyer

J SawyerJ is a Senior Architect for Hitachi Consulting based in Houston, TX and absolutely loves to write code and build cool, innovative solutions to hard problems. J has been involved with the Houston .NET User's Group (HDNUG), one of the oldest and largest .NET-focused user groups in the US and you can join him at HDNUG on the second Thursday of every month. He also loves to ride his Kawasaki Concours 14. But he won't code and ride at the same time. That would be bad.

James Del Monte

James Del MonteJames in 1981 founded JDA Professional Services, a recruiting firm specializing in the IT industry. He is a Certified Employee Retention Specialist and Certified Personnel Consultant. He's a past member of the board of TAS (Texas Assoc. Staffing), is past president of TAPC (Texas Assoc. Personnel Consultants) and TechServe Alliance. James speaks regularly at local colleges, trade groups, and job ministries, and is quoted as a subject matter expert for the staffing industry. As part of his commitment to the community he serves on several advisory boards of local educational institutions, and provides scholarships for MIS students. James also received in 2010 IIBA's distinguished speaker award.

James E Burcham

James E BurchamMy father is an electrical engineer, and I can remember sitting in his lap while he wrote software. I think I knew my way around a command prompt before I could really spell. My first computer games were typed into a Commodore 64 straight out of COMPUTE!'S Gazette back in the early 1980's. I still have the Commodore.

Jason Awbrey

Jason AwbreyJason Awbrey is a Microsoft MVP, speaker, author, trainer and consultant. He runs PostDotNet Consulting, specializing in Xamarin development.

Jason Ephraim

Jason EphraimIn his role as Campus Director at the top-rated coding bootcamp DigitalCrafts in Houston, Jason Ephraim has helped students learn the skills necessary to begin new careers as Web Developers and Software Engineers.

Jeff Etter

Jeff EtterJeff started his career as an Electrical Designer in the Architectural Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. With the advent of CAD technologies he soon discovered an interest in computer related technologies. Desktop applications started with VB3 and MS Access, web technologies began with Classic ASP. Currently a typical application may consist of C#, ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web API, Angular, React and other various JavaScript libraries.

Mark Reynolds

Mark ReynoldsMark has been developing operations-centric solutions, Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics, and Surveillance Systems. Mark’s experience includes addressing challenges in Operations Technology, Information Technology, and Knowledge Engineering. Recently he has been a contributing leader in public forums as an Applied System Engineer and Machine Learning Architect. Mark is a contributing author for energy industry and computer science magazines, and speaker at industry conferences. In his spare time, he is Professor of Computer Science at Lone Star College.

Maurice Kenny

Maurice KennyMaurice Kenny from the beginning has always been one step in front of others which has been a direct contributor to his success as a speakers that talks about emerging technologies. From working as a IT leader for large fortune 500 companies like Hewlett Packard Enterprise to presenting on stage on topics such as Big Data he has always steps out of his comfort zone in order to become successful. On downtime he also enjoys philanthropy activities such when he was a Board Director for AIDSfreeAFRICA where they developed laboratories so pharmaceutical drugs could be manufactured for local residents.

Michael L Perry

Michael L PerryMichael travels through space clinging to the carbon hull of a spherical ship made of molten iron. He commands an army of microorganisms which decompose the molecules that he captures to provide chemical energy for his cells. His mission is to increase entropy throughout the universe. In his spare time, Michael records Pluralsight courses on CQRS, XAML Patterns, Cryptography, and Provable Code. Formerly a Microsoft MVP for seven years. He maintains the spoon-bending Assisticant, Correspondence, and Jinaga open-source libraries. He shared videos about distributed systems at And he helps his clients at Improving benefit from the power of software mathematics. Software is math. Every class is a theorem. The compiler is the proof. And unit tests check our work.

Michelle E. Ngome

Michelle E. NgomeMichelle Ngome is a Connection Enthusiast and founder of Line 25 Consulting. Michelle speaks on connecting with people through content and conversations. A two-time author of Success Undefined and Network, Navigate & Nurture. She hosts The Networking With Michelle Show, the go to podcast for African American Millennials discussing life strategies with a bit of entrepreneurial advice.

Mike Bishop

Mike BishopMike Bishop is a Principal Software Consultant for Improving who has been working as a software craftsman since the Moon was approximately 130 centimeters closer to the Earth than it is now. He is a husband, a father, an amateur musician, a photographer, an astronomer and a language nerd.

Nhan Nguyen

Nhan NguyenSenior Consultant

Otto Dobretsberger

Otto DobretsbergerOtto is a senior software developer at EPS Software. He has a B.S. degree in Biomedical Informatics from UMIT in Austria, and received a M.S. and a PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Houston. He emphasizes in WPF, C#.NET, and C++, but is proficient in several other languages as well. His experience ranges from working on projects in the fields of biomedical image processing, genetics, analytical software for the oil/gas industry, to game development for Xbox 360. Since 2013, Otto is also teaching programming classes at the University of Houston.

Phil Wheat

Phil WheatPhilip Wheat is an industry veteran who has been active in the computer industry for over 20 years. With experience stretching back to the beginnings of the PC era, he has remained active on the leading edges of technology focusing on embedded systems, knowledge management, and sensor technologies. He is one of the few who has worked with SharePoint since the original beta, built his own microprocessor, and who has had robotics projects featured in the press and TV shows around the world.

Qarina Mannaf

Qarina MannafQarina is a Senior Business Analyst, Project Manager, and Professional Scrum Master at Improving, an Agile Software Consulting Company, based in Houston, Texas. She is heavily involved setting up good Agile and Scrum practices for many of our clients. She is also actively engaged in client assessments and understanding ways we can incorporate Agile and Scrum practices into their software and product development needs. She leads cross-functional teams and help companies reach their project and product goals and deadlines. She is also a fantasy fanatic, and loves hiking and spending time outdoors. So much, that she went on a 40-mile hike in New Zealand to trek through Mordor, and hike the top of Mount Doom in 100 KM/H gale force winds. When she is not daydreaming about being a Hobbit, she enjoys running, board-games, and reading novels.

Rafael de la Cruz

Rafael de la CruzRafael de la Cruz in an Information Technology professional with over 25 years of experience in the IT field, the last 14 Years deeply working in SharePoint and related technologies as a developer and Architect. His passion is to share what he knows with others.

Robert Stewart

Robert StewartRobert Stewart has been working for Texas Dow Employees Credit Union (TDECU) for the past 4 years. He is currently the acting Manager of their BI practice. His past experience is varied including manufacturing, oil and gas, loan servicing, process automation. He started the journey with SQL Server when Microsoft and Sybase split it out as a different product. Remember OS2? Well that is what the first version ran on as an operating system. Robert is a regular speaker at Techfest Houston and SQL Saturday in Houston. He is also the co-leader of a user group call Database and GUI Design (DBGUIDESIGN.COM). He was introduced to data warehousing by an ex-employee of Kimball’s company, Red Brick.

Robyn Fuentes

Robyn FuentesRobyn Fuentes is a passionate user experience and front end developer, that is driven by the impact in other's lives. She is the trust initiative lead at Improving, and has been actively involved in changing and growing trust as a culture. She prides herself in leading development teams to deliver great software that makes a positive impact on the users day to day life. In the last several years, she has shared that experience with her teams, community, and the industry through talks at conferences, user groups, and client presentations. Robyn is a dedicated and passionate technologist. Her passions extend beyond the technical, and include soccer, CrossFit, volleyball, and mentoring others.

Shawn Weisfeld

Shawn WeisfeldShawn is passionate about building awesome applications and websites with .NET technologies and Azure. He is currently a Cloud Solution Architect for Microsoft based in Austin TX and founder of Read his full bio at

Srini Penchikala

Srini PenchikalaSrini Penchikala currently works as Senior IT Architect in Austin, Texas. He is also the Lead Editor for Data Science community at InfoQ ( Srini has over 22 years of experience in software architecture, design and development. He has recently published a book on Big Data Processing with Apache Spark ( He is also the co-author of "Spring Roo in Action" book ( from Manning Publications. Srini has presented at conferences like Big Data Conference, Enterprise Data World, JavaOne, SEI Architecture Technology Conference (SATURN), IT Architect Conference (ITARC), No Fluff Just Stuff, NoSQL Now! and Project World Conference. He also published several articles on software architecture, security and risk management, and NoSQL databases on websites like InfoQ, The ServerSide, OReilly Network (ONJava), DevX Java, and JavaWorld.

Steven Tidwell

Steven TidwellSteven is currently the Technical Lead for Client custom projects. He has been writing SQL Code starting in SQL 7. Over the years he has put on many hats, DBA, Developer, Web Developer, C#, VB.NET, Cold Fusion and Java. But at the end of the day, he prefers to write SQL. He has spoken at SQL Saturday's in Houston on the topic of Dynamic SQL.

Todd Little

Todd LittleFor over 10 years Todd has been a frequent presenter at Agile and Software conferences around the globe. Todd is a co-author of the book “Stand Back and Deliver.” He has been an active member of the agile community serving major roles with both the Agile Alliance and the Agile Leadership Network.

Vel James

Vel JamesHaving been a programmer, engineer, designer, artist and educator for over twenty years, Vel is currently the creative director and lead developer for a community-based Art/STEM organization, FireSparx, Inc and higher education lecturer for a Houston-based university. Vel is passionate about evangelizing STEM and Art education.