Last week was Certification week. The plan was to get my SCRUM Certified Product Owner, SCRUM Certified Professional and Agile Practitioner certificates all in one week. But two out of three ain't bad ;)
The week started off with the SCRUM Product Owner training, taught by none other than Julya van Berkel and James Coplien. If you ever have a chance to attend a course led by either of those two, do it! It will take you beyond the principles of SCRUM, right into the true basics. It will teach you the pattern, the surface reason for the pattern, the logic behind it, the psychology, the sociology, the philosophy behind the pattern and then leave you yearning for more knowledge. Suffice to say the course was, truly, awesome. SCRUM Certified Product Owner done.
When I then started my application for Certified SCRUM Professional I saw that I had made an oversight in my original estimates. To qualify you need to have at least one first level certificate and then have 60 hours of SCRUM education. The hours to get the first certificate can, however, not be part of those 60 hours which means I'm 12 hours short. A bit of a bummer but nothing more than administrative. I'm sure I'll make those 12 hours in 2014 and the certificate is mainly a stepup to do coaching work in the future.
Friday came and time for the Agile Practitioner exam. It's an oral exam based on a synopsis of a project you've run in the past. In my case I wrote the synopsis of the PostNL project I did in 2012. The written synopsis was judged to be barely sufficient to do the oral exam. The exam itself was tough but I definitely like this kind of exam. The examiners get a much better view of who I am, what I do, how I handle situations than any multiple choice exam could ever do. And I do so love to talk about my projects and the practice of Agile.... After an hour of talking, the result was Agile Practitioner certification.
All in all, I'm a happy camper. 2013 brought me 4 certificates I've been yearning for for a couple of years. And the certificates are only a symptom of a larger movement: We Agilistas are finally getting the recognition we think we deserve. Both within my company as well as in the market in general.
So thanks go out to:
Eddy Huisman for championing our practice both within our company and outside
Floor Hählen and Arjan Meijer for supporting our vision
Julya van Berkel for proving to our company that this is the way forward
James Coplien for showing me the hidden side of SCRUM and it's patterns