My Agile Initiation

I feel like I formally joined the Agile community last week.

As background, I had been operating on the peripheral for the past decade while serving in the IT staffing world.  While I was vicariously living and learning through the people who were in the Agile trenches, I never got closer than arm’s length to the action.

The more intimate exposure I’ve gained through working at Sketch with John Krewson over recent months has connected many dots for me.  Much of this exposure has been gained by being able to sit in on a few of the Agile Bootcamps that Sketch has facilitated.  While I already had a grasp on most of the vocabulary, there were many gaps that needed filling.  Just recently, I confided in John that he must have been frustrated and confused by our early conversations due to my misuse of terms and inaccurate references to roles.  As is often said, I knew just enough to be dangerous.

Through the Sketch bootcamps, working with our developers, and just generally observing at a much closer distance, I was primed and ready for my first Agile certification last week.  I, along with nine others, was fortunate enough to have Lowell Lindstrom travel into St. Louis to provide CSM training and certification at Sketchpad.  Lowell spent two days with us explaining the foundations of Scrum while also candidly answering our questions about the practice through his abundant personal experiences.  The names Lowell casually referenced having worked with were the “who’s who” of the Agile community… from Kent Beck to Uncle Bob Martin among many others I’m still learning to fully appreciate.

I not only walked away with my formal CSM certification but I also walked away with a more complete understanding of Scrum, its roles, and its practices.  Lowell provided invaluable context to every aspect of Scrum through his experiences and his guidance when it comes to gray areas that we all encounter daily.  In addition to the value Lowell provided, I found the diversity of the other students from an industry, role, and level of experience standpoint to be an unexpected (possibly unintended) benefit of training.  The discussions that were generated and experiences that were shared will likely prove to be more valuable than the three letters I can now I add to my resume.  Thank you, Lowell, and thank you to my classmates for the education and experience!

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