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.Long train delay, decided to think about a thing. :) Why do testers (in my world anyway) often become Scrum Masters? #testing #agile #scrum pic.twitter.com/FGGXFiBGz1— Ash Winter (@northern_tester) February 13, 2018
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.Great list. Personally I think that as a scrum master I can add even more towards the goal of quality.— Christian Kram (@chr_kram) February 13, 2018
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.I’ve noticed a lot of the testers in the area I’m working in have become scrum masters or aspiring to be scrum masters. From what I’ve seen, they see it as a career progression. But they must have the right interpersonal skills too I guess.— Blair Garrett (@blairguk) February 14, 2018
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.I think a tester with great communication skills is a true gem. In places devs without the people skills can get away it. I think it’s more difficult for testers though. Not sure how usual it is for testers to get into architecture, but I believe they would be equipped.— Blair Garrett (@blairguk) February 14, 2018
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...