Person walking down long road

Gaining Agile Experience – My Story

Many of us travel non-linear career paths, making moves as result of exciting opportunities, personal interests, or just sometimes out of necessity. My first big shift was leaving software technology to lead Bay to Breakers. Bay to Breakers, once one of the world’s largest footraces was in an entirely different industry giving me the opportunity to acquire new leadership, business, and industry skills. Though I enjoyed this role for over a decade I missed working in technology and headed back in that direction. One aspect of this shift back was that I would need to broaden and update my skill-set. This would ultimately lead me to seek opportunities to gain experience with Agile methodologies and tools.

Discovering Agile…

My first few roles back in the software industry were customer facing where I often interacted with product and software development organizations. This led to my interest in learning more about Agile and Scrum methodologies and their impact in the software development process. As a next step I investigated training courses and discovered The Job Hackers. The Job Hackers is a non-profit, whose Agile MBA program teaches Agile fundamentals to people in transition.  I completed the program, earned my Professional Scrum Master 1 certification and was excited to put it to use and gain hands-on experience.

Finding SVPM…

It started with a post in a Job Hackers slack channel where a member described gaining hands-on experience with scrum methodology through Silicon Valley Project Management(SVPM).  Upon investigation I learned that SVPM provides volunteers experience through their immersive Scrum Team program. This results in the volunteer acquiring experience with scrum fundamentals and other Agile frameworks from knowledgeable leaders and practitioners, exactly what I was looking for!

SVPM Experience…

In the first few weeks I completed an onboarding process and was given opportunity to sit-in on sprint ceremonies. I then participated in subsequent sprints as a member of the Content Management team and eventually as Scrum Master. This included the following:

Participation in sprint ceremonies:

  • Backlog Refinement
  • Sprint Planning
  • Daily Standups
  • Sprint Retrospective (as an observer for a prior Sprint)

Utilized the following tools:

  • Planning Poker
  • Slack
  • Trello
  • Zoom
  • Mural
  • WordPress


Participating in SVPM was fun, engaging, and provided invaluable experience. The generosity to help others develop skills in a safe, supportive environment, is reflective of the culture of this organization. It has been a few years since my time with SVPM and I have once again submitted a volunteer application to join the team. What I look forward to is learning from and contributing to this amazing organization as I determine what comes next in my non-linear, flexible career path.

Finally, if you are looking to gain knowledge and hands-on experience with Agile, I encourage you to consider SVPM. To learn more and find out how you can become part of this community check out SVPM or find us on LinkedIn.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top