If you’re like me, you occasionally run into the job description, blog or forum post asserting or puzzling over the benefit of a technical Scrum Master. In this case, technical refers to development acumen i.e. languages, tools, frameworks, methodologies or design. One thing often omitted in these descriptions and opinion pieces is the reason why technical qualifications are desired.
Do not insist a Scrum Master possess technical skills if:
- You want a Scrum Master to drive the improvement of our Development Team’s technical practices
- You want a Scrum Master who will write the definition of “Done” for our Development Team
- You want a Scrum Master who will write technical specifications for our Development Team
- You want a Scrum Master who can estimate the effort of our Product Backlog items.
It would be nice for a Scrum Master to be technical if:
- You want a Scrum Master who willing to mentor developers seeking to learn better technical practices
- You want a Scrum Master who can coach developers to create a technically rigorous Definition of “Done”
- You want a Scrum Master who can teach a Development Team to create sound plans for their Sprint Backlogs
- You want a Scrum Master who can coach a Product Owner to recognize how technical dependencies and trade-offs can be handled to better optimize the value a Development Team produces
Do you think a Scrum Master should possess technical skills?