Why I’m a Scrum Coach


In this article, I want to take a different approach than my usual articles. Today I want to tell you a little bit about myself and my past.

A friend and fellow Scrum Coach/Trainer friend of mine posed this question in an online forum:

Why are you a Coach?

So mine is more of an answer to “Why are you a Scrum Coach?”

My Short Answer

In short, because I believe that Scrum works exponentially better than older software processes, and I enjoy helping people get better at what they do. Also, I like to hear myself talk. :-)

My Longer Answer

If I am being truly honest, after 15 years of Java consulting, I was getting bored with my job, and I didn’t really want to go into management, but I did want to continue advancing my career(and salary, frankly). Scrum came along, which turned out to be a win-win-win for me. The first win is that I can stay in software development and don’t have to switch to a totally different industry(I was considering real estate management). The second win is that I can advance my career (and salary) without having to go into a more traditional manager role. The third win is that I fell in love with Scrum because it solved much of the pain that I experienced in my 15 year software consulting career. I would not be a Scrum coach if I didn’t fully believe in Scrum.

I have always enjoyed helping other people get better. I started tutoring other students when I was in 5th grade(program at school where 5th graders tutored 2nd graders in math). In high school, I was really good and passionate at my computer science classes, and my CS teacher rewarded my interest by granting me an independent studies program where I helped other CS students with their programming assignments. I started a business in college tutoring freshman Chemistry, and I taught large classes that were typically 50 at a time but peaked at as many as 300 at a time!

I was very early in the Java space (v1.0.2!), so I ended up mentoring a lot of other Java developers. I was also one of the first developers in the world to be Sun certified in Java 2(aka Java version 1.2). That led to my Java consulting career, my Java evangelizing role, and eventually resulted in my teaching a Java course at a local community college(more of a training class, actually). It also led to me being President of the Denver Java User’s Group for 3 years around the Y2K.

I think the “root cause” of all this is that my primary love language that I like to give (and receive, as it turns out) is “acts of service.” So, I have a selfish desire to help others. I know that sounds weird or maybe even pretentious, but the truth is that I help others largely because it makes *me* feel good personally. In terms of how helping others makes me *feel*, the fact that my help *actually helps* others, is a secondary win. I know. It’s weird, but that’s how I feel.

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