I endorse scrum as a good approach within Agile to pursue. It is one option of several and I've had success with it. I'm also a CSM, certified scrum master. This was paid by my prior employer and I was trained by one of the original 40 CSTs, certified scrum trainers.
At Agile 2007, I talked to someone in the Scrum Alliance booth and found out that there is a great money sucking scheme behind this certification thing. First of all, it expires after a year. Secondly, you can renew it by simply paying for it. Back then, they sent you a new sticker for the new year to place on your certificate. They didn't even take the time to print and send you a new one.
So basically, the certification is a scam. It certifies that you sat in a class that has no test at the end. It doesn't require you to have experience. It doesn't require anything for renewal but money. Oh yeah... now that everyone has it, they offer several other upgrade certifications: CSC, CSP, CSPO, CST. Why not a CSBSer?
What triggered this rant a year after I gained this knowledge at Agile 2007? Recently, Bob Sarni did an awesome thing by creating a LinkedIn group for the Scrum Alliance. It was one of the few LinkedIn groups that had some real discussion. Recently, he handed the baton off for the group to someone else. After a few weeks, there is an announcement that members of the group should divide themselves by the above acronyms and join new groups. Oh yeah, and-
Each requires active membership in the Scrum Alliance and appropriate certification. Please feel free to join any of the other groups you are certified for...So, now they are using LinkedIn to milk money out of the certification machine.
It's a shame because its stuff like this that helps people lump agile into the same bucket as all the other has-been process certifications over the years.
Agile is supposed to be an inclusive community. We are all supposed to be striving together for higher understanding. We are all supposed to be helping each other. This smells like an old boys club.
I'm not alone in this thinking... here is a post on InfoQ, a second one, and the formal Agile Alliance stance on certifications.
I am glad I have the certification. The training was valuable and helpful for my education in Agile. I am honored to have worked with some of the people in the Scrum Alliance. I'm just opening a real debate around how it sets a perception of elitism.
In related news, there is a driving movement towards peer certifications that I do endorse (assuming it continues in the direction it is currently heading).
Invitation: I seriously welcome any thoughts on this topic. I will let them all through... I only moderate comments to block spam.
Update Nov 2008: this post got a lot of traffic... there is good news... they are adding a test to this certification! I don't know how well it will work, but it is a start.