Setting a SMART Scrum Master Goal

Quick:  what does pretending you are in a café in France have to do with becoming a Scrum Master?

Answer:  Motivating Vision!

Setting a SMART goal is the first step to becoming a Certified Scrum Master.  S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

My initial goal was to:
S: Pass an internationally recognized Scrum Master exam.
M: You pass or fail.  Yoda: “Do or do not, there is no try”
A: Read a book, watch videos, memorize things, take a test.
R: Certificate must match demands of local job market
T: Sixty days of self study,  start to finish

MARKET RESEARCH: The directory shows current certificate holders for any geographic area.  NOTE:  if you don’t pay your semi-annual renewals you are dropped. Search-directory     In Boise where I live, there are 135 active certified Scrum Masters. In places I would like to work, like  London there are 4,751, and All of Alaska has 4.  So you can do this!

Now,  make a plan. (mine is below) Turn off your TV, YouTube, Facebook, & Twitter. Decide you don’t care what Trump or the NFL or anyone’s cat or kids do. You’re going to advance your career, and none of that stuff will do you a bit of good ten days from now.

By the way, I don’t get a dime from any of the below links.

– Download a free PDF copy of SBOK Scrum Book of Knowledge
– Subscribe to some good scrum/agile newsletters
– Join a local scrum/agile user group and attend some meetings
– Get a  account and set up a Kanban board
– Commit to 30-60 minutes reading / videos per day
– Watch a bunch of youtube videos explaining Scrum
– Search for sales and discounts on examinations
– Install a free Scrum Master app on your phone/tablet
– Get first free certificate: Scrum Fundamentals Certified Online

–  Order a dead tree version of SBOK (find on sale)
–  Buy a couple Scrum Master quiz apps and install on my phone

My “Big bucks” list
– sign up for an online exam via an internationally recognized organization (found one on sale under $400 with discount coupons — more details later)

– I commit to reading a chapter a day or watching Scrum/Agile videos every day. With one day off a week.
– I fill 3×5 cards with notes every day from books and videos.
– I run through a quiz each night on my tablet, puts me to sleep.
– I fantasize about my ideal digital nomad job.  I pour a copy of coffee or ice tea and sit on my patio.  I pretend I am working remotely from a café on the Champs-Elysees. I am living the dream, and learning this chapter becomes part of my dream job.

More later:

How to become a certified Scrum Master without spending a lot of money.

I admit it.  I wanted to become a scrum master. My career had flattened, and I wasn’t getting any younger.  I wanted top quality training and an internationally recognized Scrum Master certificate, for as little cash as possible.  Do you?  If so, this blog may be for you.

My background: I’ve been a programmer, tech support, test lead, and unemployed engineer.  I’ve worked in scrum teams for nearly ten years, but always as a team member. I enjoy test engineering, and have been a test lead several times in my career…

but… I needed a change.

Why change?  Well, if you search or any other salary site you will see that software testers and test leads do not bring in the same coin as Scrum Masters.  Plus they don’t receive the same level of respect from peers and management.  With Skype and IM shrinking the world, test positions have become a commodity item, easily outsourced to offshore providers.  No, if you want a well-paying career, software testing is not the place to park yourself.  Seriously, look at the numbers.

If becoming a Scrum Master on the cheap is also your goal, this blog may interest you.  Wherever you come from, debt-laden new grad, programmer, tester, marketing, or sales, if you can devote some time to daily studying and practice, and have some patience and a few shekels, you can become a Scrum Master.

How much will it cost?  Search the net for some prices on live Scrum training.  Whoa!  Prices are high! Some companies charge $1,500, $2,000 for a couple day’s training. I want to spend much less.  Why should I shell out megabucks for a live instructor when the whole world is moving to free or low-cost online classes everywhere?  Need Q&A?  There are user groups and chat sessions everywhere.  And besides, do you really think you can learn a whole new career in two days?  Nope.

So, my goals:  I want top quality training and an internationally recognized Scrum Master certificate for as little cash as possible. I am willing to work hard for several months to get it.  I don’t want to travel.  I want it local or online.

The Scrum Master Book of Knowledge (SBOK) is over 400 pages.  It’s free, but you’re going to have to read it.  What? Are you crazy? If that is what you said, then you should pay someone a couple grand to spoon feed you while a live teacher reads a powerpoint to you. That will work.   But… if you can read big books on your own; (Harry potter series has 4,224 pages)  if you can discipline yourself to watch a set of several dozen training videos; if you will install an app on your phone and take practice quizes, then you can become a scrum master on the cheap.

This blog will follow my journey.  I will show you where I find the best free stuff, the cheapest books, free videos, newsletters, discount coupons, and of course, the best deals on internationally accepted Scrum Master certifications.  I hope you will send me your tips and treasures too.
Till next time, happy scrumming.
Joel H Robinson