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looking for guidance

Last post 05:10 am February 26, 2015 by K C
2 replies
09:19 pm February 21, 2015

I am returning to the sw/it sector after a 11-yr absence. Before that, I had over 12 yrs exp. in commercial sw and IT - roles in qa, prod management and program management. While agile was not officially a word then, our teams were using agile and lean principles as far back as the mid-90s (due to our geography in cambridge/boston area - the birthplace of both scrum and lean). For the past few months, I am diligently upgrading my knowledge with the focus being Scrum - and preparing for the PSM exam. In the meantime I have some questions which I am looking for some guidance/direction

(i) Scrummaster jobs in the boston area and other geographies are all looking for 3-5 yrs scrummaster experience. How do beginner scrummasters even get their foot in the door? Suggestions?

(ii) Many of the scrummaster jobs require indepth knowledge of the "latest, greatest hot" languages. While I understand the need for scrummasters to understand technologies from a high-level (enough to interface with developers and serve development teams), I do not get it why they need someone to be a programmer in the languages their development team is using.

I am coming upto speed in the latest technological changes, but learning several languages takes many many months (and years to master them). Has the focus in the industry changed to hiring scrummasters only if they have a development background? Maybe the world has dramatically changed in 10 yrs, but I'm quite sceptical -- would like to know others' thoughts.

(iii) Many companies also require both Scrum and Lean/Kanban experience. How does this hybrid work? Is it prevalent? Can someone point me to case-studies of these implementations?

04:03 am February 25, 2015

(i) Typically you start in a Scrum Team as Developer, or in a ScrumBut Team as whatever. For instance, I started as Business Analyst in a ScrumBut Team and grew into the role of the Scrum Master by living it. After that, I got the official role in the team and removed all roles which are not part of Scrum. That's how you can get the foot in the door.
(ii) I assume they are not looking for a Scrum Master, but for a developer who can do "a little bit of Scrum Master incidentally". They need support in understanding the Scrum Master role. A good Scrum Master could provide that support, but won't get hired with that job description.
(iii) Scrum is optimized for product development where you want to deliver value in short iterations. If you organize the work of an operations team, you might prefer Kanban because you don't see a real benefit in having iterations but you want to optimize the cycle time of single issues. If you have a DevOps team, you might choose a hybrid like Scrumban which is a very common approach.

05:10 am February 26, 2015

Thx Ludwig. I'm also finding that development teams (including microsoft - extent unknown) use Scrum as the overarching framework, but use Kanban within it to improve execution.

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