You need Scrum certification even if you already know Scrum

5/2/19 by Dzanan Gvozden

There’s a pretty well-known image of a conversation between a CTO and a CFO about investing in developing the knowledge of their people, circling the internet and it goes something like this:

CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave?”

CEO to CFO: “What happens if we don’t and they stay?”

I felt like this example could be a great introduction into the topic of Scrum certification and, at the end of the day, why it matters.

I worked as a Scrum Master for well over a year before getting my certification. If I was to write this article back then, it would probably go along the lines of “…certification is a waste of time, get experience instead”. And boy would I be wrong!

Here are a few reasons why the present day me thinks certification is an important step for anyone working with Scrum:

1. It lands jobs

This is a straight forward fact! Getting a Scrum certification will land you exponentially more job offers. I am speaking from experience. As a young professional, I used, and still do, LinkedIn as a medium to promote my skills, knowledge and achievements. My boasts, usually ended in some likes, a friendly comment here and there and an occasional private message saying well done or good job. I was hardly getting any job offers or head hunter profile visits.

Then I got certified.

On average I get more than 40 profile views a week, several different job offers a month, and constant messages from the community of fellow Scrum masters on different topics. I went from a secluded self-proclaimed Scrum master to a certified professional relevant on the job market.

Admittedly, I sometimes regret it, when I have to answer several messages with the same:

“Thank you for your offer, however I am more than happy where I am right now.”, but that feeling of regret quickly gets shadow by the fact that someone out there would like to have me join their team.

2. It supports your knowledge

You know that feeling when you go to a car mechanic and on his front door there’s a sign saying: ‘Certified BMW mechanic’, or you have to have your phone fixed and you come by an Apple authorized service provider. Even though there are hundreds of other mechanics and probably as many phone servicers, knowing that your car or phone are in the hands of someone who was globally recognized for their skills just feels safe. Same logic applies to Scrum certification. It speaks for you before you even say anything. The fact that you have proven your knowledge is up to standards of an internationally recognized institution instils confidence in your title and your work.

Scrum certification is just like that new suit you wear on job interviews. The main difference is that it speaks much louder than clothing.

3. It makes you learn

Scrum is easy to understand, but difficult to master. It might sound like a cliché, but it is the truth. I’ve worked with two teams on an enterprise level project and got to experience pretty much everything Scrum has to offer. I worked hard on understanding it, implementing it, teaching my teams on how to use it, living and breathing Scrum. Not going to lie, I felt like I knew everything there is to know. Later would I find that I was on top of, what my friend would call, a mount stupid. It was a peak point in which I thought all the knowledge of this world was poured in me. Of course, I was terribly wrong…and naive.

Preparing for my scrum certification and the exam itself made me realise just how much I didn’t know. Now, don’t get me wrong and most certainly don’t get intimidated, Scrum certification isn’t hard. It is…tricky!

As I said, Scrum is easy to understand, but difficult to master. What I learned from my certification experience is that every answer is right and at the same time all of them are wrong, and also one of them is correct…or maybe two. I had to think and read every word carefully, because Scrum is much more than Scrum guide and certification in itself is a learning experience rewarded by recognition.

4.  It seals the deals

Starting a new project with a potential new client is always a challenging period. It is difficult to prove your worth with majority of your previous work being under different sorts of NDAs, and a client that knows what he wants, but often time can’t differentiate a decent developer from a washed-out plumber. This is where your certifications come in real handy. Most clients or investors don’t really go in blind into a new endeavour. They will at least read on what’s hot in the industry, and chances are SCRUM will be a hot word in their research. Having a certified Scrum master might, very likely, seal the deal, and if there’s even a remote chance of that happening, investing in people is the smartest investment you can make.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I can’t really find a single reason why you wouldn’t want to pursue Scrum certification. It is a testament to your knowledge, skill and experience. It is reasonably cheap to get. It is an international standard and widely recognized and accepted. It opens many doors and opportunities and boosts your confidence. On top of that everyone else is doing it, and you probably don’t want to be left behind.

Remember Nokia? One missed opportunity to go Android instead of Symbian has wiped them off the market. In order to stay competitive, you must stay relevant and getting certified and gaining knowledge is the only sure path to relevance.

I hope I helped you with my story and opened the doors for you to get your certification. Scrum Assembly offers great certification programs which are only a few clicks away. These programs are carefully crafted to provide you with the required knowledge to successfully implement Scrum in your team, collaborate with your customers and get certified and internationally recognized as Scrum practitioner.

I’ll end this article with a quote by Jeff Sutherland, the founder of Scrum:

“Embrace the unknown! That’s where learning lies! If you’re too afraid to learn, you will never get any better. This is the key to being successful at Scrum: embrace change.”


Dzanan is a delivery manager and a certified professional scrum master, with more than two years of experience, managing processes and delivery on multiple teams in Atlantbh, working on enterprise level projects.
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