Can a developer become Scrum Master after taking Professional Scrum Master certification?

I am a developer and lead with 9 years of experience. I am interested to shift my career to the Scrum Master role. We have a dedicated Scrum Master in our team and I understand Agile as its implemented in our team. However I do not have experience as Scrum Master.

  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not a project management related question. In addition, being a question asking for career opportunities, answers might be primary opinion based.
    – Tob
    Feb 12, 2016 at 12:43

3 Answers 3


Yes you can like anybody else. You look for a consultancy that does certification and get it. It is not cheap though, that's why companies send people to the course. It is a two day-long course, which is not much. If you want to be a good SM, start doing it and earn the experience. You can either shadow existing SMs, or convince your boss to let you be one.

  • 2
    CSM is a two day course, the question is about PSM. PSM is just an online test certification. It costs around 150 dollar. Feb 12, 2016 at 13:49

Of-course you can become a Scrum Master. You should try to become a Scrum Master after you completed the PSM certification. Becoming a good Scrum Master takes a lot of practice. Start as soon as you can, the sooner you start the better you will get. Ask to be the Scrum Master of your current team or maybe assist the current Scrum Master.

Personally I would not hire a person as a dedicated Scrum Master which only has the certificate, unless he/she is very ambitious. Experience would be a great added plus, working in a Scrum team could count. Better if you actually acted as a Scrum Master in a team. A lot of Scrum Master have a dual role as developer or tester, see if you can combine your current role to get experience.

I would suggest to also read some books before or after the certification

  • After doing Scrum for over a year, I can see the benefit with having a hands off Scrum master, whilst the developers are developing, they are managing stakeholders and making sure the developers have everything they need to do their work efficiently where this is communicated properly across the board.
    – bobo2000
    Apr 6, 2017 at 13:28

Speaking from experience both working under and being a Scrum Master developer... yes, yes they can.
While it is a bad idea for the Scrum Master to also be the Product Owner (since they have occasionally contradictory roles), the Scrum Master role aligns with the role of Developer fairly well. As per the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master's duties to the Development Team include:

  • Coaching the Development Team in self-organization and cross-functionality;
  • Helping the Development Team to create high-value products;
  • Removing impediments to the Development Team’s progress;
  • Facilitating Scrum events as requested or needed; and,
  • Coaching the Development Team in organizational environments in which Scrum is not yet fully adopted and understood.

None of those present any significant impediments to a Developer that would not be present for a dedicated Scrum Master (aside from a bit of split focus between Scrum Master duties and actual development work, which could somewhat hinder a single developer - you).

Technically speaking, you don't need a certification to become a Scrum Master - if you perform the duties of a Scrum Master, and are acknowledged as a Scrum Master by the team, then you are a Scrum Master. While a certification is helpful for learning the basics and proving to employers that you are competent, as with everything else, experience is the best teacher. If you want to get up to snuff as quickly as possible (aside from just diving in head-first), the best route is to learn directly from an experienced Scrum Master, though readings can prove invaluable as well - Niels van Reijmersdal provided several useful ones already.

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