Career Insight

What Is a Scrum Master (And How Do I Become One)?

Scrum Master explaining code on whiteboard to team

Running a software development project in today’s hybrid, global work environment requires leadership skills and a project management approach that is built for the task. One of the most popular and effective ways to build world-class software is with agile project management, run by a professional scrum master through a series of short development cycles called sprints.

But what does it take to run scrum methodology effectively? To start, it requires highly collaborative agile teams of software developers and efficient processing of tasks. It also asks a lot of the scrum master, who ultimately bears responsibility for bringing the project in on time and on budget.

A scrum master’s certificate is a valuable qualification to have. The work is challenging and varied as any leadership role; one minute you’re a coach, the next you’re a problem solver, and then a facilitator. And you’re always a cheerleader for your team.

Does this sound like a role you think you’d excel at and enjoy? If so, then you’re well-positioned to turn your dreams of a new career into reality with Kenzie Academy from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).

Five Questions You Probably Have About Scrum Masters

Scrum Master Questions

  • What is a scrum master?

    According to its originators in the Scrum Alliance, a scrum is “a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.”¹ The scrum master knows the process inside out and can lead the development team through the scrum process, which usually involves a series of sprints that result in the continuous improvement of a product or service.

    The scrum master role is suitable for a natural leader, the kind of person who will put up their hand and say, “I know how to get this team from A to Z.”

    They may not always know the answers to a development problem, but the scrum master knows how to use agile methodologies to get the team from where they are (stuck, frustrated, unsuccessful) to where they need to be (creative, agile, productive).

  • How does someone advance to the scrum master position?

    To be a successful scrum master, there are certain skills required.

    First, you need to be able to follow and use the Agile project manager methodology, which is at the heart of scrum methodology. Using the method is how you’ll organize, run, and evaluate the success of your project, so it’s a basic requirement of becoming a professional scrum master.²

    Secondly, you need to understand software development. It’s not totally necessary to be a developer yourself, but you do need to be able to speak the language and understand the concepts that the engineers are working on.

    Lastly, you need a good business brain to be able to evaluate which ideas are in the best interests of the company, which are affordable, and which should be discarded.

  • What skills does a scrum master need?

    There are a wide variety of attributes that go into making a good scrum master. Some you’re born with, like an even temperament and an unflappable attitude, and others you can learn.

    Most scrum masters are very good communicators and are at ease in the company of product owners, developers, and clients. They’re usually self-motivated, strategic thinkers who enjoy breaking down problems and solving them systematically.

    Scrum masters need to have good judgment, so they can be diplomatic when they need to be, and be straight talkers when it’s required. Overall, high emotional intelligence (EQ) and an understanding of how to get the best out of a team are skills that will help a professional scrum master succeed.

  • What is the job outlook for a scrum master?

    The role of a scrum master is very much in demand right now. In the United States alone, Zip Recruiter lists over 24,000 job openings for scrum masters, as of August 2022.³

  • Am I ready to seek a career as a scrum master?

    A good scrum master is organized, passionate, and keeps a clear head when things get tough. They should have built up some experience on projects big and small that have failed and succeeded. Naturally, a well-rounded understanding of software development is a huge advantage for potential scrum masters.

    The programs at Kenzie Academy from SNHU offer a wide range of certificates that lay a perfect foundation for life as a scrum master. Whether it’s cybersecurity, full-stack web development, software engineering, or UX design, the path you choose is up to you. Each of these programs serves as an entry point into the industry.

Reaping the Benefits

Agile project management is a game-changer for software teams who need to iterate and improve their products and services on a regular basis. This can be very rewarding for a scrum master, who can make sure that the process is always yielding results along the way. Effective sprint planning means that clients will see minor improvements adding up day after day, and the engineers are seeing the fruits of their labor. It’s then you know you’ve got a good scrum master running the show.

Make Your Way to a Tech Career

Being a scrum master is a challenging, rewarding gateway to a very exciting career in technology. If you would like to know more about this highly sought-after role where an abundance of opportunities exists, then Kenzie Academy from SNHU is the place for you. Through a bootcamp-style approach and a project-driven curriculum, we’ll make sure you have what you need to embark on a brand-new, promising career. Apply today and take the first step toward the rewarding tech career you deserve.


Resources:

¹ ScrumAlliance, “Scrum Theory and Values” on the internet (Viewed on Dec. 5, 2022)

² Association for Project Management, “What is Agile Project Management?” on the internet (Viewed on Dec. 5, 2022)

³ Zip Recruiter, “Scrum Master Jobs” on the internet (Viewed on Dec. 5, 2022)

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