About Us

For the past two decades the Exceptional Difference team has proven that software development does not have to be a painful process full of unknowns.

Meet the TeamHear From Participants

As Pioneers In the Field of Software Quality We’ve Proven There Is a Better Way

Our unique approach cuts to the core of the problems in a way that traditional training and consulting cannot. In doing so, we help organizations achieve results they never even thought were possible.

Meet the People Behind Exceptional Difference

Julia Mullaney, Principal


With a commitment to changing the world of software engineering, Julia Mullaney, a co-founder of Exceptional Difference, is an award-winning engineer, instructor, leader, and consultant who has worked with software companies in many industries across the globe.

While at IBM, Mullaney was instrumental in process improvement efforts and had a major role in defining and implementing defect prevention. At the Software Engineering Institute (SEI,) Mullaney was a key contributor to the Personal Software Process (PSP) and Team Software Process (TSP) through the development of training, certification, licensing, and applied research at leading software organizations. She is a Certified Smart Grid Maturity Model (SGMM) Navigator, PSP Developer and TSP Coach, and served as Chairperson of the IEEE/ SEI Watts Humphrey Software Process Achievement award from 2018 to 2020.

Alan Willett, Principal


Expert consultant, speaker, and award-winning author of Leading the Unleadable: How to Manage Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People, and Lead With Speed, Alan Willett is co-founder of Exceptional Difference. Alan works with clients around the world, including the UK, Turkey, South Africa, China, India, Canada, and Mexico, and of course, throughout the United States.

For more than two decades Alan Willett has consulted to HP, Oracle, Microsoft, NASA, General Motors, Intuit, NAVAIR, Orbital ATK, OnStar, Cornell University, Rutgers University, Technological de Monterrey, Acxiom, and many more. Alan’s passionate work has focused on leadership, with laser focus on the unique challenges of leading in the elevated pressure environments of high-technology developments.

Our Participants Tell the Story Best...

Emilia Vanderwerf, Senior Engineer

Emilia's work has ranged from robotics to Windows kernel drivers and addressing critical issues like human trafficking. She joined the Exceptional Engineer program looking for a better way to maintain a her work-life balance. Through the program, Emilia learned she could have a great work-life balance, while meeting deadlines AND improving quality at the same time.

Dylan Greiner, Tech Lead

Not only did Tech Lead Dylan Greiner enjoy significant improvements in his team’s operations and software quality, but he learned and implemented valuable systems that he could apply to his own personal growth. He says the Impact on his job was immediate and substantial.

Seemin Suleri, VP of Engineering

As Seemin moved up from team lead to the head of her department, she desired better control over the “overwhelm” she experienced. In working with Exceptional Difference, her entire team was able to put effective systems and processes in place for delivering their projects while improving their overall performance. One unexpected benefit was the coaching around soft skills for the management team.