Last year I let my Scrum Alliance certification expire.

In IT, certifications are part of the business. A third-party assesses that you possess some skillset. You typically pass a written exam and, or course, you pay for it. Most of the time they don’t prove you are able to perform in the given field; merely that the basics are covered.

To become a Certified Scrum Master, you have to follow a two-days training, then take an online evaluation. That does not make you an efficient Scrum Master, but if you choose your trainer well, it gives you a strong starting kit. And if you are already experienced, it is a good occasion to fine tune and strengthen your skills. I took the certification for "the wrong reason": people around me (customers and recruiters) were mostly unable to assess if I knew what I was talking about, so a paper would help. Of course, I took the training seriously, and I learned from it. So in the end it all made sense to pay for that certification, and it was money well spent.

Now two years have passed, and my certification was about to expire. I received an invitation to renew it. But it is not about remaining current, or to measure any progress. It was only a matter of paying USD 100 to the Scrum Alliance. No exam. No evaluation. No training. No assessment.

The Scrum Alliance uses a careful wording: "maintain your professional credentials". Meaning you lose the right to claim you are certified if you do not renew. At least they don’t pretend it is about remaining up to date.

Of course, the Scrum Alliance is not the only one to exhibit such practice. But I don’t want to be part of that kind of business. Our industry already has enough quirks as it is in my opinion. I haven’t cancelled my Scrum Alliance membership but for sure I won’t shell out any amount of money for the sake of displaying a logo.

Parody of the CSM logo