Just wondering if there are any Scum Masters our there? I ask because in addition to learning code here on FCC, I am also a teacher. I recently came across the position of Scrum Master and thought a lot of my skills as a facilitator of learning would be readily transferable to the SM role. I’d welcome input from anybody on this notion of mine. Specifically, how likely is it to get a SM position without a deeper tech background, i.e. should I continue to work on my coding, which is still at a fundamental level, or is it feasible to leverage what I consider are my transferable skills and get my foot in the door now?
I worked in a scrum environment for a little while. We didn’t have a scrum master per se, but we had a senior and project manager managing the tasks. I’d be willing to guess you’d have to be pretty tech competent to become a scrum master. That being said it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot anyways.
Thanks for the response. That’s where I’m kind of ending up…it wouldn’t hurt to try…although part of me thinks it might hurt to try in that the time spent job hunting and trying to convince people that I have the requisite skills might be better used continuing to learn to code, which would get my foot in the tech industry door, and at that point I’d be better positioned to make the SM argument. Swings and roundabouts, I guess.
There was a good Codenewbie podcast with a scrum master a while back:
Sorry to be blunt here but you should have zero chance of getting a job as a scrum master because it’s not a job. It’s a role taken on by someone in a team to ensure the daily scrum stays on track. Ideally it should be a senior developer on the team: they need to be able to judge what is important, and need a level of respect that allows them to shut down unimportant avenues of conversation.
If a company elevates scrum master to actual discrete paid role that doesn’t need technical.knowledge, then that defeats the point of agile and is just a managerial/administrative job under a different name. If you can find a job which is literally for scrum master, then congrats, in theory you’ve found a very cushy bullshit job. However that would have to be balanced against the fact that the company would be shooting for Agile in the religious sense rather than agile in the practical, useful sense. It would mean, if it were for an actual scrum master, that you’d getting paid for making sure a group of devs talk about what they’re doing on the current project for 5 mins every morning and don’t get sidetracked.
My partner has worked as a scrum master and agile coach, and he doesn’t have much technical knowledge at all. He understand what technical people do, but he can’t code at all. A lot of places will want a technical person, but that is not necessarily the case. When he was a scrum master, my partner’s job was basically to remove all obstacles to programmers being able to do their job, and make sure they keep an eye on their goals. More or less. Now he works more as a coach with team leaders / upper management.
That said, be careful about learning only scrum. A lot of companies now treat scrum like it is a religion and follow every rule to the letter, regardless of whether it makes sense in their context. Scrum is old. There have been a lot of other agile approaches that have been developed since. It’s a good idea to research those too. Different teams might need different approaches, and it’s important to be flexible.
Thanks for the podcast @JacksonBates . Very informative and helpful!
I appreciate your candor @DanCouper . Your opinion definitely represents that of a large swath of the community. However, I’ve also seen a lot of the opinion expressed by @Marie000 . The discrepancy between the two certainly gives me pause for thought - it’s hard to argue that embarking on what I’m suggesting won’t ultimately end up with me banging my head against a wall and that the time spent wouldn’t be better spent working on my coding skills.Anyway, thanks for your input.
I just looked at the Wiki definition.
So this seems to be a sort of project manager without the people management responsibility.
In my last job we had someone doing this role (not sure what his exact job title was) but he managed the stand-up meetings for each team and used JIRA to allocate work and record project tasks.
He was regularly setting up meetings between stakeholders and all the tasks a manager might do without having to worry about the people management side.
As the organisation had many teams and many projects, it made sense to have this person in place.
Note. Although he had some history as a developer, he did not need to know the ins and outs of what we were doing. He was there to help the developers do their job.
I disagree with this answer. I have worked at 3 different companies. At the first company, the scrum master was just one of the developers on the team that volunteered to do it or was “volunteered” to do it. Later in the year the company hired a guy and trained 30+ developers on SCRUM and we all got our scrum certification.
At my second job, they actually had three people whose job title was scrum master. They were not developers and did not know how to code. They literally managed the daily standup, wrote stories and set stories for future sprints. They spent lots of time in meetings. they were the go between all the business units that were requesting development work be done and the development team.
At my third company, we have a PM that fills the role of scrum master.
Yes it is possible to get a full time job as a scrum master but not every company has a full time position for it.
Surely that’s just a PM though? By all means have a non-technical person in charge of standups. But the daily standup is the scrum master’s job, the rest of the tasks are not.
Imo a scrum master ideally needs to be close to the codebase to make it easy to filter out technical implemention issues from things that seem like them (but actually should discussed in scrum). Also it helps to have some level of seniority in skill re other developers, so as to be taken more seriously. But that’s it, really.
I am cynical re this issue (to have a job that is advertised as purely a scrum master) because it seems so contrary to the entire point of agile - comically so. It’s just layers of bureaucracy - you can dress it up like its “agile”, but it’s just bureaucracy, and box ticking for the finance dept.
I don’t like scrum when it’s reified in the way it is in the religious Agile-with-a-capital-A. It gets soul destroying to work under, and often becomes a competition for tickets that are nicely pointed and easy to complete. I do get scrum can work really well in some situations, but it’s context sensitive.
I am a Certified Scrum Master (through the ScrumAlliance) and would be happy to discuss or facilitate a discussion on Scrum and Agile practices. Please contact me if there’s any interest.
I’d be interested in that…or were you looking for a direct message to express interest?
You can PM me & we can connect offline. I’m also happy to answer in this form as well.
too bad I caN’T pronounce SCRUM properly without my american fellows making fun of me////
Becoming a Scrum Master doesn’t necessarily requires a technical background.
Is there any courses you would recommend in order to learn Scrum and earn a certification? I have been working as a project manager for the past 5 years and I am considering product ownership/management as a career change. Most job offers I come across ask for certifications and experience as a PO. I don’t have the experience as PO but having been managing projects I’m sure there are transferable skills.
I am also (slowly) learning to code to have some basic knowledge, but I don’t see myself working as a developer in the short/mid term.
I’m working for a Scrum tool maker and get to know Scrum by actually doing the project with the team. I think the best way to learn Scrum is to know the basics at first and then taking part in the sprints and you will know how it is.
A lot scrum masters I know started just programming, than after some time they got scrum master certificate and started this path of career. And it’s good way to do it, after you saw how it works in practice. Getting job as a scrum master without experience will be hard and you may miss that experience.