Everything you need to know about becoming a Scrum Master

If you’ve ever heard the term “Scrum Master,” you may have been left perplexed. Without context, the role sounds like someone hired to scrub the decks of a lobster fishing boat.

While this isn’t even loosely related to the job at hand, it might be a career worth pursuing. Especially if you are into technological solutions and organization.

This is everything you need to know about becoming a Scrum Master, here.

What is a scrum master?

First of all, what is “scrum?” Scrum is a development procedure used in software production that uses repetitious and incremental processes. The procedure was developed so that businesses could deliver value and easily accessible updates to the customer throughout the evolution of the given project. C-suite members usually identify big picture ideas, and then each moving part of the production process is listed, with characteristics that the client wants to obtain listed in order of priority.

Largely, a Scrum Master helps to guide production based on the scrum process the team has developed. In layman’s terms, they are a bit of a project manager.

What does a scrum master do?

A Scrum Master is often an expert on the scrum methodology and can coach others in the process. They are in charge of interactions between the process (be it just relegated by them or an entire team) and the organization in order to continually optimize performance.

They are often also involved in conversations with clients directly, as they know the inner workings of the process and can quickly identify where the team is in their efforts. Scrum Masters reward the use of the 12 principles based on the Agile Manifesto, which are as follows.

  • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  • Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
  • Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  • Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
  • Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  • The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
  • Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  • Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  • Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
  • The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  • At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

How do you become a scrum master?

No official degree is necessary to become a Scrum Master, however, many companies do look for an associate’s or bachelors degree to ensure you have core requirements under your belt. Often, Scrum Masters complete two-year degrees at tech schools, specializing in their area of interest. The first official step to pursuing this career is to learn the basics of Scrum, including the aforementioned manifesto and principles. The eLearning Series by ScrumAlliance is very helpful to start your journey.

You will need to pursue an official certification to be considered for a job like this, especially since it is usually pretty high security within a company. It will certainly give you a leg up, especially if you have less demonstrated practical experience, and is required by many companies. Scrum.orgScrumAlliance, and Scrum Inc. all offer competitive certifications that will open you up to a slew of opportunities.

Each of these certifications will require your presence in a course on the topic matter before sitting for the exam. The CSM from Scrum Alliance is well respected. The organization has more than 450,000 certified practitioners worldwide. Exam preparation involves a 16-hour course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) over the course of two days.

Once you pass the exam, you will be responsible for renewing your certification every two years. Often, the company you work for will help pay for continued education and licensure renewals.

What skills do you need to become a scrum master?

Agile communication skills are the focus of this job, as well as a heavy dose of empathy. Being able to understand a situation and why someone may have approached it in a certain way is paramount to conflict resolution, as well as to the way you communicate the project’s progress to upper management and any clients. Scrum Masters need the ability to look ahead based on the productivity of their team, in order to both forecast deliverables for client updates and to estimate and plan team goals and other iterations of the project responsibly.

Scrum Masters rely on leadership skills to teach and guide the team, explain any missteps, encourage good form, and even shield the team from outside distractions that may throw a wrench in productivity. They are responsible for enforcing rules throughout production, much like the foreman on an architectural project. After all, you are responsible for the success of an infrastructure that will serve many.

What is the average salary for a scrum master?

Certified Scrum Masters average a salary between $82,357 and $104,950 per year, so the money alone could be worth it if you’re considering pivoting career paths. In December 2018 ZipRecruiter reported salaries as high as $137,500.

What is the typical career path for a scrum master?

Because Scrum Masters are so new to the career landscape – the first Scrum project originated in 1993 and became a formal process in 1995 – there isn’t necessarily a dedicated career path for them. Many people go into a variety of jobs in information technology and, after learning Scrum with their team or observing it over time, gain an interest in the process and pursue higher roles at the company through their knowledge of it. Much like coding, specific people in the tech world are intrinsically attracted to this method of knowledge, upkeep, and communication.

SonderMindIntact Financial CorporationJanus Capital Group, Inc.JacobsSteampunkVineti, and Trimble are among some major companies looking for qualified scrum masters. Stay up-to-date with TheLadders.com for high-paying scrum master jobs and other thrilling positions in information technology.


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