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What is a Developer in Scrum?

The Accountabilities of a Developer

As described in the Scrum Guide, Developers are the people on the Scrum Team that are committed to creating any aspect of a usable Increment each Sprint.

What does a Developer do?

It is important to remember that a Developer is not necessarily a software developer. They can focus on any type of product work whether software or not and any aspect of helping to design, build, test or ship the product. The specific skills needed by the Developers are often broad and will vary based on the type of work they are doing. However, the Developers are always accountable for:

  • Creating a plan for the Sprint, the Sprint Backlog
  • Instilling quality by adhering to a Definition of Done
  • Adapting their plan each day toward the Sprint Goal
  • Holding each other accountable as professionals

Beyond these accountabilities, Developers may also have instances where they need to embrace such practices as facilitation, mentoring, teaching and coaching. For example:

  • The Daily Scrum is an event for the Developers of the Scrum Team and someone needs to facilitate that event.The team self manages to designate the facilitator.
  • There may be skills that a Developer has that others do not where they can teach, coach or mentor other team members how to do something. A great opportunity to leverage these skills often occurs by using a practice called Pair Programming where Developers work together to share their skills and learn from each other. 

It is important for Developers, and all Scrum Team Members to remember to embrace the Scrum Values. There may be instances, for example, where they need: Courage to bring up conflicts among the team to work to resolve them together; Openness to embrace each others ideas; Focus on the work they are doing and be careful not to be distracted; Commitment to the creation of a Done Increment; Respect for all of the members of the Scrum Team and their ideas as well. 

Training Opportunities for Developers

There are many ways to learn as a Developer, including suggested courses depending on your skills and requirements.