Why do Testers become Scrum Masters?

It was late and I was stuck on a train, so I pondered on the question of why do testers often (in my experience) become Scrum Masters. Its a very dear question to me, as its been a big part of my career journey In fact, I've been there and back again. Tester to supposed-to-be-testing-but-being-a-Scrum-Master to Scrum Master, back to Tester and very happy thank you.

I encapsulated my reasoning in the following:
The tweet got a lot of traction, and generated a couple of interesting threads which made me think.
Perhaps part of the reason for the transition is a growing appreciation of where quality has its roots? If testing is a way of providing information about quality, facilitating a team to work closely together, with their customers, with robust technical practices towards a common goal has a more direct impact on quality. Testing is but one measure of quality, perhaps transitioning to becoming a Scrum Master meets the need to be able to impact the bigger picture.
The other potential reason and perhaps the more obvious, is that if the tester career path runs out at a given organisation, or is not appealing, a pivot is required. I have observed this with regard to those who might be called 'manual testers' where the career path is much wider for testers with an interest in the technical pathways of an organisation, the Scrum Master role brings new skills and often greater renumeration.
The part of this that interested me greatly was the end, as this speaks to my world view. I think a great deal about testability and the impact of architecture on testing. It left me wondering that as testers take on more technical roles, perhaps this will be the next migration for testers? For me, if a tester takes a solid appreciation of the value and limits of testing into a new discipline, I don't see that as a reason to be upset, careers evolve and if testing was part of your nurture, more often than not, it persists.

This all contains a reasonable amount of hearsay and bias, so I would love to hear your stories. For transparency, I want to write a talk about this. If you have become a Scrum Master or would like to, or have been on some other comparable journey, get in touch via the comments...


  1. I am currently trying to move into this area, I work as a Test Lead for a reasonable sized company that is "agile lite" and while it talks about quality, does not really value it, which is really frustrating me, and its my second lead role in three years where I am hitting the quality "brickwall"
    So i am going to ask to be an "acting scrum master" within my project team, or should I just do a qualification.
    BTW in Lead roles previous, I was on a rota of "acting" scrum for the project team.

    1. Thanks for your comment. :)

      My path was to do the role, in some ways did well and made a differences, others I made mistakes. When I finally did Certified Scrum Master I really valued having some experience to reflect on. The theory solidified some of the practical, also the practical showed the limits of the theory.

      Do you think you will be able to influence quality more as a Scrum Master?

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