Is Agile Coaching Becoming a Commodity Profession?
[Nostalgic moment] Oh I remember ever so fondly when Agile Coaching jobs were filled with people who actually knew how to coach teams. And even when they did not learn anything, at least they were actually interested in learning.
Not anymore. Those days are long gone.
Nowadays the entrance criteria to become an Agile Coach is whether or not you can facilitate a retrospective few different ways and are able to find your way around some Agile tracking tool... Oh yes, if you can pretend to listen while nodding your head every so often and saying "I hear you. What do YOU think you should do now?" then that is also a bonus.
It is evident to me that we have entered the industrial revolution phase of Agile adoption and the Agile coaching community is an all too willing victim of this.
You know that you are working in a commodity profession when:
- Run of the mill staff augmentation firms start their own Agile practice.
- You start receiving unsolicited e-mails from 3rd world country recruiters named Prince offering Agile ScrumMaster or Agile Coach opportunities.
- Agile coaching jobs command a whopping $60 an hour, and forget the travel expenses because they won't pay for that (get to California on your own dime!).
- Everyone who has taken a CSM class or read one of Esther Derby's posts is suddenly an expert on team dynamics.
- Yours is the first position the company downsizes when the going gets tough.
- Non-Agile companies start to sponsor Agile events.
In addition, all these certifications by PMI, Scrum Alliance, Scrum.org, ISQI (just to name few) are not making things any better. These days you can pay between 1K-3K, take some exam that has a +90% passing rate and become an official ScrumMaster, Agile Coach, Agile Developer, Agile Tester, Agile Project Manager or a Certified Expert in Agile scaling.
Right now we are at the convergence of two perfect storms: on the one hand we have an army of a bogus Agile experts, and on the other side we have an equally vast army of companies who could not spot a knowledgeable Agile tech if their life depended on it.
Okay, okay… so I am being a bit dramatic and negative. The Agile coaching world isn't all that bleak right?
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