Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Masters degree helps with Agile PM career?

Expand Messages
  • Kurt Häusler
    I just completed a MSc in Software Management from the University of Aberdeen through distance learning. It focuses more on agile and lean management and less
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 28, 2011
    • 0 Attachment

      I just completed a MSc in Software Management from the University of Aberdeen through distance learning. It focuses more on agile and lean management and less on traditional management, but most of the material is independent of whether it is agile or traditional.

      As a professional masters it is linked to your job, and most of the time you can choose to do an assignment in an agile or lean way if you wish.

      I hope it helps my career. So far it has actually cost me my job, in the sense that as part of my project (introducing more agile and lean ideas to the company, among other things) advocated having less managers and analysts in proportion to developers (currently it is about 50/50, so too many analysts and managers per developer), and the idea that a developer would move into a management role was seen as contrary to that, so I have to switch companies in order to actually use my degree.

      But without it I would have a hard time explaining to potential employers why they should hire someone with 10 years of experience as a developer for a management role with no experience (and being a developer on a "self-organising team" doesn't count for as much as I thought it might). For me it is the essential ticket that says I have at least a theoretical background in the topic. Without it prospective employers would think I applied for the wrong job.

      If the OP already has 3 years experience as a PM then I guess that doesn't apply to him, it it certainly shouldn't hurt his career.

      What Agile or Agile PM "qualifications" are you aware of, apart from certifications, which the community seems to be basically rejecting?

      On Sep 28, 2011, at 3:26 PM, Steve wrote:

       

      Hello Michael

      If you wish to advance as an Agile PM, it would make more sense to me to gain Agile/Agile PM qualifications rather than the more generic IS quaklification that you sescribe which may not contain any Agile content at all.

      Not sure where you are in the world (your reference to 'Uni' makes me think it may be UK) but there is a 'burst mode' Agile Masters on offer from the University of Central Lancs (UCLAN).

      Mention my name; it shouldn't penalise your application (I hope!)

      Steve

      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Michael Jones <michaelhardwinjones@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi all,
      >
      > (thanks for your feedback on the story points question)
      >
      > I've got an offer to do a Masters of Science degree in Information Systems
      > and Management (about 50% computer science modules and 50% management).
      >
      > My question, I guess to people who have travelled further on this path and
      > might be recruiters, is how much stock you place in a Masters?
      >
      > As background I've got about 3 years experience as a PM (both agile and
      > waterfall) on website design and build projects. I didn't study computer
      > science at uni, something which has occasionally held me back - I've got a
      > broadbrush understanding of concepts to do with web publishing but not in
      > detail.
      >
      > My objective is to progress as an Agile PM and progress to more senior
      > roles.
      >
      > Grateful for any opinions!
      > Michael
      >


    • Steve
      Hi Kurt Thanks for pointingout Aberdeen Uni s offering - always good to know what new stuff is going on. Sort of commisereations about your job but I m gussing
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 28, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Kurt

        Thanks for pointingout Aberdeen Uni's offering - always good to know what new stuff is going on.

        Sort of commisereations about your job but I'm gussing that you wouldn't have been happy in an organisation that works out it's head count that way!

        In terms of Agile 'academic' qualifications, I know of no other in the UK than the UCLAN offering (and now Aberdeen); intersting to hear your observation that the community is rejecting certifications. That is not my direct experience; can you share any examples that lead you to the observation?

        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Kurt Häusler <kurt.haeusler@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > I just completed a MSc in Software Management from the University of Aberdeen through distance learning. It focuses more on agile and lean management and less on traditional management, but most of the material is independent of whether it is agile or traditional.
        >
        > As a professional masters it is linked to your job, and most of the time you can choose to do an assignment in an agile or lean way if you wish.
        >
        > I hope it helps my career. So far it has actually cost me my job, in the sense that as part of my project (introducing more agile and lean ideas to the company, among other things) advocated having less managers and analysts in proportion to developers (currently it is about 50/50, so too many analysts and managers per developer), and the idea that a developer would move into a management role was seen as contrary to that, so I have to switch companies in order to actually use my degree.
        >
        > But without it I would have a hard time explaining to potential employers why they should hire someone with 10 years of experience as a developer for a management role with no experience (and being a developer on a "self-organising team" doesn't count for as much as I thought it might). For me it is the essential ticket that says I have at least a theoretical background in the topic. Without it prospective employers would think I applied for the wrong job.
        >
        > If the OP already has 3 years experience as a PM then I guess that doesn't apply to him, it it certainly shouldn't hurt his career.
        >
        > What Agile or Agile PM "qualifications" are you aware of, apart from certifications, which the community seems to be basically rejecting?
        >
        > On Sep 28, 2011, at 3:26 PM, Steve wrote:
        >
        > > Hello Michael
        > >
        > > If you wish to advance as an Agile PM, it would make more sense to me to gain Agile/Agile PM qualifications rather than the more generic IS quaklification that you sescribe which may not contain any Agile content at all.
        > >
        > > Not sure where you are in the world (your reference to 'Uni' makes me think it may be UK) but there is a 'burst mode' Agile Masters on offer from the University of Central Lancs (UCLAN).
        > >
        > > Mention my name; it shouldn't penalise your application (I hope!)
        > >
        > > Steve
        > >
        > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Michael Jones <michaelhardwinjones@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Hi all,
        > > >
        > > > (thanks for your feedback on the story points question)
        > > >
        > > > I've got an offer to do a Masters of Science degree in Information Systems
        > > > and Management (about 50% computer science modules and 50% management).
        > > >
        > > > My question, I guess to people who have travelled further on this path and
        > > > might be recruiters, is how much stock you place in a Masters?
        > > >
        > > > As background I've got about 3 years experience as a PM (both agile and
        > > > waterfall) on website design and build projects. I didn't study computer
        > > > science at uni, something which has occasionally held me back - I've got a
        > > > broadbrush understanding of concepts to do with web publishing but not in
        > > > detail.
        > > >
        > > > My objective is to progress as an Agile PM and progress to more senior
        > > > roles.
        > > >
        > > > Grateful for any opinions!
        > > > Michael
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        >
      • Michael Jones
        Hi both, Good to know about the Agile masters courses, thanks for the tip Steve, appreciate it. The UCLAN course looks great. Unfort I m not close enough to do
        Message 3 of 8 , Sep 28, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi both,

          Good to know about the Agile masters courses, thanks for the tip Steve, appreciate it. The UCLAN course looks great. Unfort I'm not close enough to do it!

          It's a curious thing with these masters courses - it's a huge investment of money and time and the pay-off is really uncertain. That doesn't jibe with my internal ROI-meter, or stinginess, at all. And yet people often do say they're really rewarding in lots of ways.

          I guess I'm wondering if anyone will say "no, ivory tower waste of time", or "yes, it gold-plates your CV".

          Cheers!
          Michael



          On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 4:30 PM, Steve <steve@...> wrote:
           

          Hi Kurt

          Thanks for pointingout Aberdeen Uni's offering - always good to know what new stuff is going on.

          Sort of commisereations about your job but I'm gussing that you wouldn't have been happy in an organisation that works out it's head count that way!

          In terms of Agile 'academic' qualifications, I know of no other in the UK than the UCLAN offering (and now Aberdeen); intersting to hear your observation that the community is rejecting certifications. That is not my direct experience; can you share any examples that lead you to the observation?



          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Kurt Häusler <kurt.haeusler@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > I just completed a MSc in Software Management from the University of Aberdeen through distance learning. It focuses more on agile and lean management and less on traditional management, but most of the material is independent of whether it is agile or traditional.
          >
          > As a professional masters it is linked to your job, and most of the time you can choose to do an assignment in an agile or lean way if you wish.
          >
          > I hope it helps my career. So far it has actually cost me my job, in the sense that as part of my project (introducing more agile and lean ideas to the company, among other things) advocated having less managers and analysts in proportion to developers (currently it is about 50/50, so too many analysts and managers per developer), and the idea that a developer would move into a management role was seen as contrary to that, so I have to switch companies in order to actually use my degree.
          >
          > But without it I would have a hard time explaining to potential employers why they should hire someone with 10 years of experience as a developer for a management role with no experience (and being a developer on a "self-organising team" doesn't count for as much as I thought it might). For me it is the essential ticket that says I have at least a theoretical background in the topic. Without it prospective employers would think I applied for the wrong job.
          >
          > If the OP already has 3 years experience as a PM then I guess that doesn't apply to him, it it certainly shouldn't hurt his career.
          >
          > What Agile or Agile PM "qualifications" are you aware of, apart from certifications, which the community seems to be basically rejecting?
          >
          > On Sep 28, 2011, at 3:26 PM, Steve wrote:
          >
          > > Hello Michael
          > >
          > > If you wish to advance as an Agile PM, it would make more sense to me to gain Agile/Agile PM qualifications rather than the more generic IS quaklification that you sescribe which may not contain any Agile content at all.
          > >
          > > Not sure where you are in the world (your reference to 'Uni' makes me think it may be UK) but there is a 'burst mode' Agile Masters on offer from the University of Central Lancs (UCLAN).
          > >
          > > Mention my name; it shouldn't penalise your application (I hope!)
          > >
          > > Steve
          > >
          > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Michael Jones <michaelhardwinjones@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Hi all,
          > > >
          > > > (thanks for your feedback on the story points question)
          > > >
          > > > I've got an offer to do a Masters of Science degree in Information Systems
          > > > and Management (about 50% computer science modules and 50% management).
          > > >
          > > > My question, I guess to people who have travelled further on this path and
          > > > might be recruiters, is how much stock you place in a Masters?
          > > >
          > > > As background I've got about 3 years experience as a PM (both agile and
          > > > waterfall) on website design and build projects. I didn't study computer
          > > > science at uni, something which has occasionally held me back - I've got a
          > > > broadbrush understanding of concepts to do with web publishing but not in
          > > > detail.
          > > >
          > > > My objective is to progress as an Agile PM and progress to more senior
          > > > roles.
          > > >
          > > > Grateful for any opinions!
          > > > Michael
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          >


        • Paul Hudson
          I may be old fashioned but I think the main reason for doing a Masters (or a first degree(*), for that matter) should be that you re interested in the subject
          Message 4 of 8 , Sep 28, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            I may be old fashioned but I think the main reason for doing a Masters (or a first degree(*), for that matter) should be that you're interested in the subject and want to learn more about it.

            Any vocational benefits should be a secondary consideration.

            So I would look at the syllabus of of each and see if it sounds like something you'd like to study (I decided against a 4th year CS diploma because it looked boring, but did an MBA later because it looked interesting. I'm not sure whether either decision impacted my career)


            (*) WIth some exceptions for overtly vocational ones like Medicine.

            Paul
          • Adam Sroka
            I am a at a disadvantage here, because I only know the US system and I am a programmer, not a PM, by trade. But, I will share my perspective anyway: I think
            Message 5 of 8 , Sep 28, 2011
            • 0 Attachment
              I am a at a disadvantage here, because I only know the US system and I am a programmer, not a PM, by trade. But, I will share my perspective anyway:

              I think the main reason to pursue an advanced degree is if you find it personally fulfilling to dive deeper into some academic subject. I think it is a mistake to pursue such a degree for advancement or monetary gain.

              Regarding advancement, in my experience the software industry respects experience, hard work, and relevant expertise much more than academic achievement. There are exceptions depending on where you go, but typically I only see the larger more traditional organizations (i.e. the ones mostly not doing scrum or not doing it very well) placing a premium on academic certification. 

              Regarding monetary gain, college, and particularly grad school, are expensive. So, you have to figure that what you can make in the near term is offset by what you have to pay back and what you didn't make while you were studying and not working. In many professional fields the additional earning potential offsets that after a few years of earnest work, but in software you are competing with guys who have BAs in art history but can still sling some code. Those guys can often make six figures (US) after just a few years of practice, and your advanced degree is not likely to put you ahead of them in the industry in general (With the exception of those larger conservative organizations, who often pay less anyway.) 

              On the other hand, universities can be great places to meet people and to pursue new ideas on the cutting edge of the field. So, if you are willing to work very hard and have an interest in some new or emerging niche then a university might be a good place to get some knowledge and practice and discover something that you might be able to sell. 

              < / two-cents >
            • Kurt Häusler
              ... Well the head count thing is a non-issue really, but it would have been demotivating to invest 3 years effort into studying something and not get to use
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 29, 2011
              • 0 Attachment
                On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 5:30 PM, Steve <steve@...> wrote:
                 

                Hi Kurt

                Thanks for pointingout Aberdeen Uni's offering - always good to know what new stuff is going on.

                Sort of commisereations about your job but I'm gussing that you wouldn't have been happy in an organisation that works out it's head count that way!


                Well the head count thing is a non-issue really, but it would have been demotivating to invest 3 years effort into studying something and not get to use it.
                 


                In terms of Agile 'academic' qualifications, I know of no other in the UK than the UCLAN offering (and now Aberdeen); intersting to hear your observation that the community is rejecting certifications. That is not my direct experience; can you share any examples that lead you to the observation?


                Comments from people at various conferences (at least the community conferences I go to, I understand some of the more enterprisy conferences might be different), things agile leaders say, comments coming from developer forums in general, as well as mailing lists like these. 

                There seem to be a vocal-minority making money from the certification business that defend them, but apart from that people seem to be railing against them more and more. At least that is my perception.

                By community I meant the agile community (as opposed to the agile industry), but other software development communities seem to be against certification too, in general at least.

                I did not mean the "business community" they generally still seem to be sticking to certifications as a crutch unfortunately, which means many of us feel obliged to hand over the cash, at least until we can build up a reputation strong enough to make certifications irrelevant. 

                But it can be a controversial topic, so I won't try to defend any opinion too strongly one way or another, at least not in this thread :-)
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.