For the next step in my career, I was interested in a technical program manager (TPM) position. However, I lacked experience with Agile, a key requirement for most TPM roles. While I had a solid understanding of Agile principles, I was by no means an expert. What I needed was to find a way to get credentialed and gain meaningful experience.
I started by taking The Job Hacker’s Agile Scrum training course this past March. After completing the course, I did some additional study on my own and became a Professional Scrum Master (PSM). With the credential in hand, the next step was to get hands-on experience in Agile. Through Job Hackers, I got connected to the Silicon Valley Project Management Organization (SVPM). SVPM was actively looking for new Scrum members for their website sponsored by the UC of Santa Cruz.
13 years ago, a group of project managers created and managed the first SVPM blogging site to serve as an online center to share their ideas and write about their experiences. Nowadays, the SVPM org is a renewed group of project and program management volunteers whose main objective is for the SVPM site to become the voice and platform of the project and program management community. In recent months, the main goal of the organization has been to refresh and adapt their website. This has included adding functionality, polishing content, and improving the site’s branding and design.
When I joined the SVPM Scrum team in May, one of the first things I valued was the ability to rotate through different Scrum roles. It was a unique opportunity to get exposure to roles aligned to my strengths and also to experiment with others that were new to me. For example, I was initially keen on the Scrum Master role but I ended up on the development team for my first sprint. I felt like a fish out water. But by the time we reached the second sprint, my perspective had gradually shifted. I started feeling more in control and eventually decided to stay on the development team for subsequent sprints.
From my experience on the development team, gaining exposure to WordPress (WP), the site’s content management system, has been a major benefit. Furthermore, during sprints I have come across challenges that I learned to solve through trial and error or teamwork. Aside from WP, the Scrum team also used Slack, Zoom, and Trello tools. Experience with these communication and project management tools will no doubt serve me well in the future.
I would highly recommend joining this Scrum team to anyone looking to gain experience in Agile and wants a challenge. If this is you, we’d love to hear from you! Submit a volunteer application form, and a member of our Scrum team will reach out to you. Thank you!