Working for free, refusing to go on holiday – the future of software development!!

Tomorrow I’m meeting up with 25 students from Chalmers University. Their peers have taken off for Easter holidays, but my group has instead paid a $100 fee to remain in school for two more days. Myself, I will be working two full days without any compensation.

Let me tell you about the grand plan behind it all:

My mission for the last four years has been to try to be of assistance to organizations that are moving forward, applying Scrum/lean/agile, creating new great places to work and producing amazing products. As much as I enjoy being part of this, it has its downs for sure. Changing organizations is not for the weak of heart. On the less great days I do get frustrated by the painful slowness of adoption and by the inevitable setbacks of it all.

So, let me run this thought by you: It is a common belief that it takes 10 000 hours to be an expert in something. A lot of the people I meet have put in this time, and more, and are experts in traditional software development, project management and line management. How many hours does it take for experts like these to change old habits and acquire new ones?

Wouldn’t it just be easier to work this issue at the root, starting with newly trained students? So much easier than trying to assist experts in questioning old habits. At least I think it would. We’ll soon see 😉

So, this is what will bring me to Chalmers University for two days of unpaid work tomorrow. We will be doing a “Pay it Forward” two day “Professional Scrum Foundations” course. The course is highly focused on getting participants to experience self-organization and the soul of well-functioning Scrum/agile. After the course the students will be able to assess and demonstrate their understanding by taking the “Professional Scrum Master I”, PSMI, assessment created by Ken Schwaber, creator of Scrum.

When these people will hit the workplace they will have a different view on things and they will be another force working from within. Joining us in our mission of improving the profession of software development!

In this quest I’m joining my Scrum.org colleague Ralph Jocham. Ralph has already gotten started and we have set as a first goal to train 1000 students in Scrum(!). Read more about the “pay it forward” scrum training and “1000 student challenge” at his website!

Btw, arrangements were made by student Viktor Nyblom, facilities for the course are provided by Chalmers University, courseware is provided by Scrum.org and training is provided by myself/Cedur AB. Nobody charges anything for this. The reason we charge students $100 fee is mainly to get people signed up that will actually show up. The fees will be used to cover materials used and the cost of the PSM I assessment included. (full price of course is about $2000/person). Any surplus after that will be deposited at Kiva.org to be used for micro-loans. Trying to assist others to sort out their own problems rather to sort it out for them, just as Scrum!

If your university is interested in doing something like this, get in touch! We still have have 942 students to go…

– Henrik

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