As Scrum’s popularity continues to grow, the number of job opportunities in Scrum environments is increasing dramatically, just look at the job requirement at Indeed dot com, a popular job trend collection tool. But because it’s a relatively new management paradigm, many software professionals and project managers have questions about how to pursue it as a career. There are a number of ways you can build your resume to attract employers whose teams use agile and or Scrum. Clearly, demonstrable experience is king, so here are a few suggestions for how to get it and, if you can’t, how to communicate that you understand which principles matter most.
One of the easiest ways to educate yourself about Scrum and impress resume reviewers is to take a two-day Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course. In addition to assigning participants to their Scrum Alliance approved Certified ScrumMaster status, these courses teach the basics. Although these courses last only two days, they focus on practical vocabulary, principles and practices that stick better than just reading a book. There are plenty of companies offering this training, and a full list of trainers and their upcoming course schedule can be found on the Scrum Alliance website.
Of course, even more convincing than obtaining a CSM designation is the practical experience in an agile or Scrum team. If a person works in a team as a ScrumMaster, Product Owner, Analyst, Developer, Tester, or other project management or software development professional for a full year after completing a CSM course, he or she is eligible to become a Certified Scrum Practitioner to ask (CSP) designation. This title is subject to review and approval by the Scrum Alliance Approval Committee. This is clearly a more valuable indication because it links the training of the CSM course with one year of practical experience.
If you cannot gain experience working in a team, it is best to demonstrate that you have used the best practices for agile development and that you have skills that are well matched to the values. For example, if an individual has applied a pair of programmed, test-driven development, has practiced continuous integration, or has radically reworked code, they will have experience using techniques that are essential to the techniques discussed in the Agile Manifesto. Likewise, individuals with collaboration and facilitation skills (i.e. skills that emphasize team goals versus individual performance) are well positioned for a successful career in the agile software development industry.
Each of these experiences would help prepare an individual for a career in agility. Developing an understanding of the Scrum vocabulary, understanding the principles and processes of the paradigm, and demonstrating the ability to be a team player will all contribute to success as a professional in this industry.