I can generalize this question to, "I'm knowledgeable in this methodology that is relatively rare in the market, yet respected (to those that have heard of it). Does it make sense to reach out to companies that are looking for experts in a different methodology I consider inferior?"

I'm figuring my angle could be along the lines of, "I see you're looking for someone with expertise in X, have you considered someone with expertise in Y? Here are the benefits: ... Here's my number if you'd like to discuss further: ..."

Would this be an effective approach, or is it a waste of time? Keep in mind, 95% of the jobs out there are looking for X, not Y. It'd obviously be more efficient to reach out to that 5%, but they're hard to find.

2 Answers 2


It kind of depends.

If the company you're looking to sell yourself/your methodology to is in the market for Scrum masters not because they specifically want Scrum, but because they want to adopt a higher-quality software development methodology, then I would absolutely approach them with a similar approach you specified. If your involvement would be switching their current development environment from Scrum to Agile, I could understand some friction in the transition.

If your potentially-interested company is an ideal target to market yourself, I would focus less on the "I consider this methodology inferior to mine" and more on the "I can offer expertise in a methodology that will be exceedingly useful to your development environment," if that makes sense. In other words, market yourself not to tear down Scrum, but to build up Agile (and the Extreme Programming specifics) and offer it as an acceptable alternative, which you may view in your opinion to be superior.

Your success rate is going to depend primarily upon how set-in-stone the company is in Scrum, but selling Agile (XP) and your expertise in it in a way that's noncombative should increase your chances of them biting.

  • Yes you should, Scrum is trending, people hiring barely know what that means because not even the agile community was able to agree on what scrum is or isn't. They need someone to be between business and developers. Everyone needs developers, nobody likes developers. If you can speak tech and business, do it.

  • Yes again, If you cherry-pick scrum tools and ceremonies, you get XP. Unless they are hiring someone to write a book about scrum, you should apply.

  • Don't antagonize the hiring team, HR can barely say "Scrum Master" without screaming that master is an oppressive word and saying we should use "Scrum Mister/Main/Person". HR will match the tags on your resume to the tags in the job description and attempt to filter crazy and unprofessional people. Jump this hoop and proceed to the phase where you will get actual insight on what you'll be doing.

  • Can you manage a team of individuals, lead them into a productive and healthy delivery cycle of work? Then whatever what you call yourself. Unless the institution is requesting a scrum master certification (which you can get in a weekend of half effort study) not only you can but you should apply. Just don't try to tell them they want something different until you've either met with the team or with your leader. By then you can ask a simple question "so, will I have autonomy to manage the team?" If the answer is no, you should probably jump the boat even if you were a scrum mister.

  • I've been a developer for a decade, and I think of scrum, xp, rup, etc as programming languages. Programming languages have different paradigms, libraries, and frameworks, but it all boils down to logic, math, CPU, memory, disk, network. Can a C++ dev apply to a PHP position? Can a python dev apply to a node job?

The same thing applies to project management skills, if you think of yourself as a xp coach and not team lead, then you shouldn't be applying to any leadership positions.

Methodologies are tools. Programming languages are tools. A hammer is a tool, if you had a hammer wielding certification, would you call yourself a hammer man? Or would you be a woodworker that is very good at using a hammer?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.