Is an Agile/Scrum certification necessary?

January 7, 2013

The process of being certified as an Scrum/Agile Master involves attending  two and three-day classroom sessions(respectively), at the end of which the certificate is awarded. The certification is not awarded based on any formal exam conducted to evaluate how proficiently you have grasped the concepts of scrum/ agile. You might admittedly be skeptical about how much about Agile or Scrum are you going to master in these two days? If not, is there a need to be certified at all? Will having a Agile/ Scrum master certification automatically further your career?

To put it simplistically, the answer to the above questions would be a NO.  You cannot become an Agile/ Scrum master in two days and being certified does not automatically propel you into having a successful career in managing software development. However, the answer is not such a simple “no”.

Concepts of Agile/ Scrum are vast and complex and cannot be mastered in a two-day classroom training session. The only way to truly master Agile/ Scrum is to internalize the concepts and practice them on a daily basis. It takes several months to years of such practice, depending on how well you have implemented the practices, to master Agile/ Scrum. The two days of classroom sessions, however, puts you on the right track and makes you more focused about using the tools and knowledge outlined in the domains. The principles of Agile/ Scrum are worded in a simple language, however, the essence of these methods lie in how the tools can be implemented effectively. Such insights are best provided by trainers who have firsthand experience in implementing them.

As Agile/ Scrum methodologies become more widely adopted in the software development industry, it is not uncommon for several job recruiters screen applications based on a criteria of agile/ scrum certification. It can act as a gateway to a career as an Agile/ Scrum master. It is important to remember that a certification does not act as a substitute for hands-on learning that is gained from implementing the knowledge in a work environment.


7 Responses to Is an Agile/Scrum certification necessary?

  1. Catherine Morgan
    January 8, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Good points.

  2. Iberia
    January 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    I totally agree that certification does not make you a master. Practice makes perfect. Its best to get immersed with all the principles and practices, And apply them to the projects that lends itself to scrum or agile. You then become an expert and your certification will mean everything.

    • John
      January 24, 2013 at 1:15 AM

      All certifications are useless but I got a great job after a 2 day scrum master training in 2011. The customer needed a certificate and me having one was a perfect match. I admit I am still learning but certificate gave me the job

      • February 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        I don’t think they would pay you more because of a Management cert. Being a detnal assistant doesn’t seem to correlate or relate in any way. Sorry. Your broader experience within the detnal field will most likely be the source of any increased salary.

  3. Ross Burningham
    January 23, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    I live in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. Is there an institute here that teaches this methodology and does’ certification?

    • January 29, 2013 at 6:43 AM

      Hi Ross,

      We do not know about any other provider in Edmonton for Scrum Classes. Though we are coming up soon with few SCRUM training classes in Edmonton. As of now we conduct classes in Calgary in Alberta. You can look for more dates and location here

      To know more, you can also write to us at

    • February 4, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      Good post!I’m just not sure if I agree with the cost of changing a system does not grow exponentially as is commonly thought . It might not increase exponentially, but as the project evolves (and the number of lines of code and dependencies grow), it gets harder and harder to make changes, and the cost DO rise big time.I totally agree with the fact that users SHOULD think about what they want and what is being presented to them, and keep track of the discussions. Otherwise they’ll be using change as an excuse to just try stuff out without thinking much about it and just see how it goes this will ultimately cause the project to fail.What types of documents are you thinking of? Something similar to the traditional requirements document of the old days? Or something more interactive like a Wiki, or an online project management tool?

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