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1 Jason_L commented Permalink

For the record I am a CSM and CSP and I'll have to agree with some of what you wrote. I know other CSM's who still talk about gates and QA phases which is definitly not Agile. Of couse back in the day I knew MCSE's who didn't understand basic file sharing so what does that tell you?<div>&nbsp;</div> I took my CSM because I wanted to learn about Scrum and Agile in general and couldn't really find any other options, I didn't really care too much about the designation. The "Agile" organization I was in couldn't answer a lot of the common sence questions about what it meant to be Agile so I needed a way to learn on my own. I took the CSM course so I could feel confident I was getting a quality, albeit short, education.<div>&nbsp;</div> I think the upcoming CSM test is a step in the right direction but I would also like to see some type of apprentice program or something that allows a newly trained CSM to get proper on the job training so they can apply the theory. I think the Scrum Alliance made a mistake by calling it "certified scrummaster" from the get go. As you said, employers get the wrong impression of what it really means and anybody can simply bullshit their way into a Scrum Master job and how is the employer going to know any different if they don't know what it means.<div>&nbsp;</div> I don't agree that all CST's are training people to make a quick buck however. It's an unfair statement to paint everyone with the same brush just because there are some out there that have no ethics. The CST's I know have integrity and simply want to spread knowledge of Agile, and of course to make money, but I don't beleive it's done out of any malice whatsoever in most cases.<div>&nbsp;</div> Having said all this, there are many CSM's out there taking the class for the right reasons but education without experience is useless IMO.

2 ScottAmbler commented Permalink

Jason, thanks for taking the time to comment. <div>&nbsp;</div> Some thoughts about what you said:<br /> 1. The CSM test is potentially a step in the right direction, but it's a step that should have been taken at the very beginning. It's also a fairly straightforward and minimal step to take, and one has to wonder why it wasn't taken right away. Assuming of course that the goal was to have a reputable certification in the first place.<br /> 2. We need to judge the various CSTs by their actual actions, not by their excuses. There are three categories to consider. First, the CSTs that always ran certification courses. Second, the CSTs who actively offered both certification and non-certification versions of their courses (there was a few CSTs doing both), or who said that it was up to the student to decide whether they wanted the certification. Third, the CSTs who only ran non-certification versions of the course (e.g. take the course but don't get certified). I don't know of any CSTs who fall into the third category, but would be interested to find out about any. The first group, IMHO, were looking for a quick buck and very likely made it. The second group, IMHO, were trying to ease their consciences by putting the ethical burden on their potential students, knowing full well that most people wouldn't pass it up. The third group, if anyone is actually in that group, acted ethically although clearly would have paid an economic price doing so.<br /> 3. The CSTs out there could choose to give agile training not under the umbrella of the Scrum certification effort. Some eventually choose to do so, but I'm not seeing any sort of stampede towards a more ethical marketing strategy for their services. Actions speak louder than words where I come from.<br /> 4. Education without experience is a good starting point. Better than no education and no experience. ;-)<div>&nbsp;</div> - Scott

3 Jason_L commented Permalink

Thanks for the reply. It'll be interesting to see what test they can come up with. So much of what being Agile really means varies widely by many factors. Multiple choice tests are BS IMO and scenario based questions leave far too much room for interpretation.<div>&nbsp;</div> I would be rather disappointed if the test is paper-based myself. That would seem to go against the whole spirit of collaboration and communication. I'm hoping they come up with something out of the box that makes a candidate have to prove they can demonstrate real knowledge. I'd actually like them to make the exam retroactive for anybody who has the cert, I'm confident I know my stuff.

4 Simon_Girvan commented Permalink

If certification is to mean anything, it must be objectively worth something; and be hard to get. If we want to genuinely be more professional, then we could learn something from some of the Chartered organisations.<div>&nbsp;</div> I am a chartered engineer and to get that I had to prove a combination of education, skill, experience and autonomy. Not easy to achieve in 2 days. The British Computer Society has just reinvented itself as 'The Chartered Institute for IT' and has changed the criteria for becoming a Chartered IT Professional. (see http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=nav.10972). They have some interesting idea.<div>&nbsp;</div> I think there could be some mileage in that kind of approach for Agile. You should at least have done it a few times, preferably on different types of projects; some independent assessment is important (though logistically difficult) and reassessment periodically is necessary if it is to become significant for recruitment/reward (this is not the case with Chartered Engineer in the UK at present).

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