Trying to find a scrum master job with a lack of experience

Last post 05:04 pm March 2, 2020
by Mamona Shafiq
4 replies
02:29 am March 1, 2020

Hi Everyone,

Long story (kind of) short, I am currently a software developer, I've been in development for a little bit over a year. A little background on myself, I graduated with a B.A. in psychology. After I graduated from college I decided to take a year off before going to grad school. I didn't not want to waste time doing nothing, and I had taken an interest in learning about tech so I enrolled in an intense 14-week long Java bootcamp. During my team in the bootcamp I realized that coding was enjoyable but I really loved learning about agile and how a scrum master is the support system for their team (on top of many other things). I decided to work as a developer to get some experience and now am ready for the next chapter in my life. 


To prep for becoming a scrum master I have taken the PSM 1 course and obtained a certificate. I have assisted my scrum master with facilitating Retros, Daily Scrum, and a bit of Sprint Planning. I also plan all team outings and events. 


Most job postings I see are for Scrum masters require around 5-6 years of experience or something equal to that. With my particular experience and journey I would really appreciate any advice on how I can advance my career and become a scrum master. 

11:54 pm March 1, 2020

@Mamona Shafiq, I think you have a good start considering you are already a software developer. If you are already working in a Scrum Team, then I'd highly recommend you continue in your role gather more experience and in the process find opportunities where your Scrum Master can delegate some of their responsibilities to you. In such environments, making this fact transparent to your boss might also result in you getting an opportunity to become a Scrum Master for a new team. If you are not in an organization where Scrum is not yet adopted, start looking for opportunities where you can be part of a Scrum Team and find ways to get opportunities as a Scrum Master. Many times internal movements to such positions are easy.

If it helps in any way, I too found my opportunity as a Scrum Master by first starting as a Developer and eventually taking on the responsibilities of a Scrum Master.

12:38 am March 2, 2020

Kudos to you for taking the in-person class with a PST. In-person learning is very valuable.

A Scrum Master is a senior role so you may want to focus on acquiring five years worth of experience in your current role, or as a junior Project Manager/Coordinator before applying for Scrum Master roles. Continue to acquire other Scrum Master certifications from other Agile organizations. This will strengthen your profile.

09:16 am March 2, 2020

A Scrum Master is a senior role so you may want to focus on acquiring five years worth of experience in your current role, or as a junior Project Manager/Coordinator before applying for Scrum Master roles. 

Nowhere does either the Scrum Guide or the PSM course mention that the Scrum Master is a senior role. It may have it's benefits in some cases, but in others it may not. It depends on so many factors. People skills, understanding the Scrum framework and values, this list can go on for a bit. I may even advise you to NOT to start as a junior project manager or coordinator as they are pretty different in mindset (projects tend to follow a plan over responding to change. The latter being pretty useful in agile situations). 

The unfortunate part that you're dealing with is that due to the massa adoption of Scrum, mass "professional" Scrum Masters arise, too. So you're dealing with a highly competitive market and you gotta do something to make you stand out from the crowd. To me LinkedIn is one of those things that helps me get exposure and demonstrate knowledge/experience/provoke discussions/showcase courses that I do and so on (and new initiatives coming up, but more on that in a later stage). Go to free meetups (or if there are none, organize them). Use Meet like-minded people and build your network. If I can do anything to help you, please feel free to reach out.

04:35 pm March 2, 2020

Hi everyone, thank you so much for the advice I really appreciate it! I do have a bit of experience. I’ve assisted my SM by facilitating Sprint Retrospectives, Daily Stand up, and some Spring Planning. I’ve also done story point sessions and attend user story meetings frequently. Honestly I don’t enjoy development and being a scrum master better aligns with my goals and passion with working with others and assisting them. I think a psychology degree should tie in well with every thing because of the way a SM is supposed to be the support system for there team. I will keep working on my scrum skills till I find an opportunity. 



@SanderDur thanks for the advice! I appreciate it. I’m trying to get as much hands on scrum work I can get within my team. Unfortunately my company doesn’t hire scrum masters unless they have 7-8 years of experience which really sucks. Would you mind if I connect with you LinkedIn for some questions I have about your path to being a scrum master?