Im interested in becoming a Scrum Master but I don't have any experience working in a true Scrum/Agile environment. I work in the tech industry managing clients and web production for an email platform company, so it's different than typical development. Would getting my Scrum Certification be enough to find a job? I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about this. Any advice would be great!
You can be a Scrum Master, but without any experience in Agile, you will not be effective. The training itself is two days, and does not cover most of the extreme cases you'll meet day to day.
If you would like to be a good Scrum Master, be part of a team that actually is agile, and learn form its Scrum Master. If you would like to land a good job, do the two-day long course and get the certificate.
Part of Scrum Master skill profile is playing the facilitator and coach role. While the technical aspects can be learnt through books, trainings, and videos, the above aspect will require some hands on.
My advice is to strongly understand the Scrum technical foundation by opting for the excellent certificate PSM 1. Use the popular book for PSM 'Scrum Narrative and PSM Exam Guide.' https://www.amazon.com/Scrum-Narrative-Exam-Guide-All-ebook/dp/B018JXYRNA
On the softer aspect, apply Scrum in whatever you do today (Scrum is not just for software dev alone. It is a framework to solve complex problems). This will provide some basic experience. With that you are reasonably set for next opportunity.
Would getting my Scrum Certification be enough to find a job?
Certification will certainly help.
When I'm looking to hire I look for:
- Practical, demonstrable and relevant experience
- Relevant education / certification
Since you have some non-scrum-master expertise you may try looking for a SM job in the industry you have experience in so you can use your experience as leverage (eg "Whilst I'm new to the Scrum Master role, I have my certification and a wealth of experience in this domain so I have all the tools I need to be a success").
Everyone starts somewhere.
Traditional Project Management and being a Agile coach playing a Scrum Master role are at two different ends. If you don't know any thing on Agile Practices first I would like to suggest you to take PMI-ACP and Scrum Alliance SCM certifications. May be you can join a company with agile culture and shadow how the scrum master takes the daily stand up meetings and learn the theories first. You need to think agile and adopt your self to the discipline to become an successful scrum master.
I work in the tech industry managing clients and web production for an email platform company, so it's different than typical development.
You're right, managing clients is not per se project management.
but I don't have any experience working in a true Scrum/Agile environment
That is rather your benefit. You are willing to learn, which is your first step. Second, you learn about Agile and focus on Scrum. But I recommend you another thing. Check if Agile will deliver the results you expect for your environment. Maybe it does, maybe not. Maybe it is alien to the environment, maybe not. Enjoy your journey.
Without Agile experience you will find it hard to get a Scrum Master role, even if you get the certification.
Try working in a Scrum environment first to see whether you like it. Scrum has a lot of rules. As a Scrum Master you will be expected to buy in heavily to the Scrum methodology. Be sure that you agree with the methodology before become a champion of it.
Bear in mind also that the Scrum Master is in theory a "temporary" role to enable teams to become self organising and motivating. So the perfect Scrum Master is someone who makes themselves redundant.
It is totally possible to be a Scrum Master without any experience.
What you will help you achieve this is:
- A willingness and hunger to learn, going way beyond the initial certification training
- Joining Agile communities - like meet-ups, conferences, talks, etc.
- Reading books, blogs, etc.
- An open-mind and the humility to realise you will make mistakes
Getting your first Scrum Master role can be challenging. A few things that can help:
- A common route in is to combine being a Scrum Master with something else. A lot of Scrum Masters take on the role part-time combined with being a developer, tester, BA or similar. This isn't the ideal environment to be a Scrum Master in, but it is a good opportunity to get started.
- Charities and non-profit organisations often have a much more open-mind about the experience levels needed to be a Scrum Master.
- Use your network - getting employed by somebody who knows you already and trusts you to deliver can really help