Tips on how to pass Professional Scrum Developer
In one of the previous posts Łukasz Kempny presented his preparation for the PSM I exam. In turn, I will try to share with you my experience concerning preparations for the PSD I, a certificate for developers working in Scrum teams. Not a long time ago scrum.org presented an interesting article describing who the Professional Scrum Developer is. In December 2014 I managed to pass that exam with a result of 87.5%. Below, you can find a list of hints, which should help you preparing to the exam.
SCRUM GUIDE: Is a must read in case of each exam. Read it few times and go back to it after reading other materials concerning Scrum. This document is worth reading both in English and in your mother tongue in order to clear up any doubts.
PSD SUBJECT AREAS: It contains a list of a worth reading literature before you attend the exam. Personally, I have read only few of them, which I highly recommend:
- Specification by example
- The Clean Coder
- Agile Software Development
- Clean Code
- Test-Driven Development
- Implementation Patterns
- Continuous Integration
SCRUM GLOSSARY & PSD GLOSSARY: A list of notions and their short definitions, which you should know. Many of them are mentioned in the questions during the exam.
SCRUM OPEN ASSESSMENTS: Here, you will find exemplary questions, which may appear in the exam. Two kinds of Open Assessments are available. Each of them is composed of 30 questions, which should be answered in 30 minutes. I suggest not to heed those tests, as even a recurrent 100% score do not guarantee passing the exam.
EXPERIENCE: If you are or were a member of a SCRUM team, you have a considerable advantage over others at the very beginning. There is no better way to learn than to acquire knowledge from the more experienced people. If you didn’t have a chance to work in such a team it is worth arranging a meeting with someone of a greater experience in SCRUM. One of the roles of Scrum Master is to popularise knowledge among less experienced employees. That is why organizing this kind of meeting should not be a problem.
- SCRUM and more — a well written book about the various agile methodologies focusing mainly on SCRUM. Unfortunately, this book is available only in Polish.
- Continuous Delivery — Jez Humble’s presentation
- Behaviour Driven Development — Gordon Force’s presentation
- Dealing with technical debt — Mark Noneman’s presentation
As in the case of the article concerning PSM, it is also worth reading a series of articles by Ian Mitchell:
- § http://agile.dzone.com/articles/sprint-retrospectives-practice
- § http://agile.dzone.com/articles/sprint-planning-practice
- § http://agile.dzone.com/articles/sprint-reviews-practice
- § http://agile.dzone.com/articles/sprint-backlogs-practice
- § http://agile.dzone.com/articles/product-backlogs-practice
- § http://agile.dzone.com/articles/definitions-done-practice
The exam is composed of 80 questions. It takes 60 minutes and at least 85% answers should be correct to pass. If you are not sure of any answer, you can mark that question and go back to it at the end of the exam. Questions are divided into the following categories:
- Scrum Framework — Rules and roles of Scrum per the Scrum Guide.
- Scrum Theory and Principles — Good understanding of Scrum theory, how it is founded on empirical theory, and the principles and values of Scrum.
- Analysis – Modern practices for a Development Team to best interpret user needs so that they are most transparent with the least waste possible.
- Cross-functional, self-organizing Teams — Scrum Teams are different from traditional development groups. The paradigm and nature of a cross-functional and self-organizing team promotes flexibility, creativity, and productivity. They choose how to best do their work and have all competencies needed to accomplish it without depending on others outside of the team.
- Cross-functional, self-organized Development — Self-organization within the Development team fosters collaboration and increases commitment, feeling of ownership and creativity. The Development team makes all decisions on how to do the work that it has forecast it could complete.
- Design & Architecture — Technical approaches to developing software architecture and design that a Development Team must do in order to deliver business value in the form of working software every Sprint.
- Documentation/Persistence – Documentation makes information persistent. Documentation is incrementally maintained, and is a development activity.
- Quality — As part of incremental development, Scrum puts quality before scope. This requires transparent agreements and standards.
- Test First Development — Development approach of thinking through requirements before writing functional code in order to consider work in terms of how it will be tested, creating traceability and eliminating waste.
After passing the exam you will receive an email with a certificate, and a list of people with PSD I on Scrum.org will be updated with your name. In 2015 it will be possible to obtain a new PSD II certificate.
Do you have another helpful tips? Share in comments.