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hello Im learning about Scrum, and noticed that there is a certified scrum master course

is this worth it?

or can I learn all of that from books and online, to implement in my work?


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Are there any concepts you've come across that you don't feel you understand? –  JeffO Aug 3 '11 at 1:01
hi not really, just was wondering of other benefits, for the course, or even for my cv. Thank you –  MaKo Aug 3 '11 at 1:16

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Not for nothing, but most certifications you will find in relation to technology are crap. You can just as well learn how it works yourself and save the fees. To add to this, unless the certification is from some well known and respected authority, no one will likely give it much credence.

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I'd say having access to an expert instructor would be beneficial. The certificate, not so much. –  JeffO Aug 3 '11 at 1:06

It would be better if this question is answered by somebody who attended the course and can make some real summary instead of pushing some "assumption" without real experience with the course.

I attended both Certified Scrum Master and Certified Product Owner.

What is wrong on these certifications:

  • Certification itself - it is quite worthless because it doesn't say anything about your understanding of Scrum or your experience with using it
  • Commerce - everybody want to take it just because it is certification

What is good on these certifications:

  • It is two day course with hands-on
  • The course is lead usually by somebody who has long term experience with agile and Scrum
  • You can choose the course with trainer you want to meet
  • Each trainer has his own experience with implementing Scrum or Lean and his own "flavor" - that is something you will not get from books.

Are trainers good enough? Yes they are. Among trainers you can meet people like:

  • Mike Cohn (well known author of books about agile and Scrum)
  • Jeff Sutherland (formulated Scrum with Ken Schwaber)

What about Ken Schwaber? Ken Schwaber was trainer at Scrumalliance as well before he left and started his own association scrum.org. They are rumors why that happened but I will not spread them (because I don't know if they are truthful). If you blame ScrumAlliance for "crappy" certifications be sure that certifications from Scrum.org are same or worse because some of them can be taken simply by doing online test.

For me those two courses were the best I have ever attended (many my colleagues shared this feeling) but also the most expensive. The real experience can be dependent on trainer - I had experience with two and my colleagues with another three and all were excellent.

Another good point for somebody can be meeting other people implementing agile and discuss their own problems and solutions. It can be also start of local agile oriented community.

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I attended Cohn training and he is great but i think as Compared to Ken, Cohn is more lenient in defining scrum - some would assert more pragmatic. and then there are some difference on place of 'release backlog' which Cohn doesn't like and 'release planning' which Ken consider not really required. and the divide of Forecast vs Commitment.. For anyone new to Scrum, my advice is to stick with Ken's description for a year at least.. and then see what Cohn and others have to say, –  Asim Ghaffar Aug 6 '11 at 9:39

Much of this stuff is better caught than taught but if this credential will help you at your job, why not?

[Follow up] Even PMI is getting into the Scrum game http://www.scrumalliance.org/blog/129-pmi-develops-agile-certification (which seems sort of like Sarah Palin promoting literacy, but there you are.)

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