Advancing Your Career To Scrum Master

Software Developers or Product Owners who thrive in an agile framework may wish to advance their careers to scrum master.  

“While It takes a bit of training, education and effort, nothing prepares future scrum masters more for a career change than their professional experiences.  Scrum masters are in high demand and there are ample job opportunities for certified and experienced professionals in the job market.” Says Toni Thomas, Account Executive at CSS-Tec. 

What Is A Scrum Master? 

Scrum is a framework for development teams that allows the group to self-organize and adapt quickly to change in alignment with agile principles.  A scrum master manages the process for how information is exchanged between individuals and teams. 

According to Scrum Guides, scrum masters are responsible for, “promoting and supporting scrum. Scrum masters do this by helping everyone understand scrum theory, practices rules and values.” A scrum master is not a position of authority, they are more facilitators than taskmasters. They may be responsible for: 

  • Eliminating roadblocks 
  • Creating an environment that facilitates team success 
  • Improving team communication and dynamics 
  • Acting as a gatekeeper for outside teams, allowing the scrum team to stay focused 
  • Creating the foundation for strong working relationships between the product owner and the team as well as other “outsiders” and the team.  

Scrum Certification Options  

Certification is critical if you want to enter the field, as certs show mastery of critical agile and scrum principles and practices. There are numerous certifications you can pursue, but there are a few that are worthwhile for people just entering the field: 

  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM): This is the most well-known and widely-accepted certification. It requires two days of intensive classroom training, followed by an online exam. The entire program costs between $1,000 and $1,500, depending on the company administering the program. 
  • Professional Scrum Master (PSM): This is another two-day course followed by an assessment. However, for those who have a mastery of the Scrum Guide, the course may not be necessary. The training course costs around $350 and the exam costs around $150.  
  • SAFe® Scrum Master: This two-day certification course focuses on the role of a scrum master working in a SAFe® enterprise environment. It focuses heavily on servant leadership and coaching skills. The certification costs between $995 – $1,295, and the exam must be taken within 30 days or there is an additional fee to sit for the test.  
  • Scrum Master Accredited Certification™:  This is one of the least expensive certifications, but it does not include classroom training. It is an online exam that costs $69 and has a success rate of 98%.  

Types of Scrum Master Interview Questions  

“Certifications aren’t the only preparations necessary to become a scrum master. You’ll still have to shine during your interview.” Says Sharon Tsao, CMO, Contemporary Staffing Solutions. 

Here are some common scrum master interview questions you should be ready for:  

  • Define agile in your own words. 
  • Are agile and scrum different? If so, how?  
  • In your opinion, are there times when waterfall development would be a better choice than scrum? 
  • What other types of agile frameworks have you worked in? 
  • How do you run a daily scrum meeting? 
  • Typically, how long are your sprints?  
  • When it is ok for someone to change a requirement? 
  • What types of metrics are important to you when measuring project progress?  
  • What do you do when conflict arises on your team?  

Some of these questions are designed to see how well you understand scrum, while others are designed to see how you operate as a scrum master. Always make sure to study the scrum guide before an interview and practice answering common interview questions with a trusted mentor or advisor.  

Are You Looking For Scrum Master Jobs?  

If you are a certified scrum master looking for exciting career opportunities, the recruiters at CSS are ready to help you achieve your goals. Browse our current job openings or reach out to our recruiters today.