Using Scrum to Sprint to a Job

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash

Why Sprint and Scrum?

I have years of Project Management experience in architecture but am new to data and the tech sector’s management terms and philosophies, so I am also using this approach to keep myself on task and reinforce what I am learning. I realize this is not a typical setup because I am playing the roles of Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Developer of my own life and job search process. Hopefully this approach can also help some readers out there in the future… If you’d like to know more about Scrum, go read the Scrum Guide. I’ll link to it again at the end of this blog post. With that being said let’s get into the first part of the Sprint, the Sprint Planning event.

Sprint Planning

Real examples from my Backlog include:

The main topics of the Sprint Planning event are:

Why is this sprint valuable?

What can be done this sprint?

How will chosen work get done?

Product Backlog & Refinement

  • Update Resume
  • Update Portfolio Website

The item Update Resume will be adding the Scrum Master Certification (when I get it,) adding in keywords such as Scrum, Agile, Jira into my Skills section and removing architecture related software.

Update my website entails:

  • Loading the updated resume
  • Updating my description to fit more project management and scrum master positions
  • Making the overall site look better

I am keeping the website items in that order. The item of making the portfolio website look aesthetically better may be pushed off to the next Sprint or it might turn into minor modifications and get put back on the list for a larger overhaul next Sprint… We’ll see how much time remains.

Note on items in the backlog: In general the items in a backlog are ordered by the Product Owner. Since I am also playing that role, I take a few minutes here and there to make sure they are ordered by my perceived importance & dependencies. For example: In order to pass the exam for Scrum Master certification, I first need to study and re-read the scrum guide. So reading the scrum guide and making this blog post come ahead of taking the exam. Putting Certified Scrum Master on my LinkedIn profile would come after my passing the exam.

The Sprint backlog ends up looking more like this:

  • Re-read Scrum guide
  • Scrum Blog Outline
  • Write Scrum Blog Post
  • Take Scrum Certification exam
  • Update Resume reflecting Scrum Certification
  • Update LinkedIn profile reflecting Scrum Certification

Daily Scrum

I blocked off roughly a month on my calendar, and have scheduled a final day of Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospection before starting up Sprint #2 and Sprint Planning the next day.

Sprint Review

  • Review key work completed & what changed
  • What to do next?
  • Backlog adjustments

Sprint Retrospective

  • Plan ways to do it better
  • Look at Individuals, Interactions, Process, Tools, Definition of Done
  • What went well & what problems were there?
  • Helpful changes

Wrap Up

Applying for jobs can feel like you’re screaming into the void. Sending out multiple applications with personalized cover letters daily, not ever getting a response back. Not knowing if your resume has even made it past the algorithm and to a real person.

That’s another reason I am implementing Scrum on my job search as a personal project. I can work on continuously making myself a better candidate, applying for job opportunities, while taking time to appreciate the work I’m doing and plan ahead for the next Sprint.

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I am a data scientist, leveraging my experience in residential architecture to apply creativity to data informed solutions and graphically communicate results.

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David Holcomb

I am a data scientist, leveraging my experience in residential architecture to apply creativity to data informed solutions and graphically communicate results.