New to the world of agile? It can be a daunting prospect to change your profession, especially if, like me, you hadn’t heard of agile before now.
Where to start? How do I get into the world of agile?
Those were the questions I asked myself, worried about and researched relentlessly. Now that I’m part of the agile world, I’ve learned that the agile community is incredibly supportive; it’s nothing like what you might imagine your stereotypical, every man for himself corporate world might be. It’s full of community spirit and people raising each other up, wanting others to do well. As a team, if we’re not all achieving, none of us are.
But how do you start?
Well, in short, whatever way that works for you!
How did I start? In all honesty, I started my journey unconventionally. My curiosity was piqued when my partner talked about his job, working in a scrum team. The more I heard, the more I wanted to know. The more I saw, the more I wanted to work in the industry. I began by researching on the internet for literature, looked for videos, signed up to my local agile community and their meetups and sought recommended books. I was fully invested and wondered how I might get into the agile world. I decided to register for a certified ScrumMaster course (I did say it was unconventional). It afforded me a credible way of proving my level of knowledge and understanding but also provided crucial connections to start networking. It was a journey that worked for me and I couldn’t be happier where it has taken me so far.
The course really expanded my knowledge and cemented my understanding, but if you choose to use this route into agile, I highly recommend doing some research first.
You can easily find a wealth of knowledge online.
- Research agile groups
- Discover events, videos or meetups
- Subscribe to podcasts
- Virtual libraries advertise free trials and low-cost subscriptions, giving you access to many different eBooks and audiobooks
- The Agile Business Consortium’s website has an abundance of resources – books, white papers, blogs and open events, to name a few
One piece of advice that has helped get my foot in the door, something I’ve heard over and over from every agilist, I’ve asked. Network, network and network. LinkedIn, local meetups, and community forums are all great ways to start a conversation with the right people. As I said before, the agile community is very community-based; we collaborate, share, and raise each other up. There is always someone there to give a deserving new agilist a chance. After all, we all start somewhere.
What if my professional history doesn’t relate to agile?
I’ll tell you something that might surprise you (it certainly surprised me). Your professional history includes more agile experience than you think. In your professional career, did you ever have team meetings? Have brainstorming sessions? What about prioritising your work? Maybe you worked in a cross-functional team? The more you learn about agile, the more you can reflect on your professional history and relate to it.
In summary, my advice is:
- Understand why you want to work in the agile world
- Invest your time in learning/researching
- Network - connect with the community
- Be responsible for your development
- Be proactive and curious in discovering more
- Don’t underestimate yourself
- Be open-minded
- Be open to adapting and changing
If you’re new to the agile world and are not sure whether to take the leap, I hope this blog gives you some answers to those worrisome questions. Most of all I hope it gives you the confidence to take on the challenge and put in the work and effort. No matter your background, no matter your experience or where you are in your professional career, there is a large community rooting for you to succeed!