Businesses go agile for better quality products, happier customers and more productive teams. But agility and frameworks like Scrum are super advantageous during the learning process too. We’ll take you behind the scenes to show you how we implement Scrum into our teaching method, and why this is good for you.
The agile way of working is not just a buzzword in the world of IT.
Today, more than 70% of companies worldwide use agile methods in IT or for their business processes. While IT was the first sector to implement agile values in software development, companies saw the perks, and started rethinking their whole organisation using agile principles, in the scope of large-scale agile transformations.
In software development, most companies made their pledge to the Scrum framework to implement core agile values. Scrum can be a useful addition in the learning process, too, and we’ve decided to make it an integral part of our teaching method.
But what is it about agile that makes it so effective? And why is it so beneficial to use it to teach programming?
First, let’s see what it really means to go the agile way.
A quick recap on agile
Agile relies on self-organising, cross-functional teams, and it’s a more reactive, more flexible way of organising your company.
The 4 basic agile values are:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
Agile prioritises the human element and holds your customer’s satisfaction above all. And we just have to look at the numbers to see that it’s really working. From the 70% of companies that adopted agile, 98% said that it helped to achieve their previously set business goals.
Why? Because agile frameworks can enable your team to create better products by changing specifications and designs on time. They can get up-to-date feedback from customers, and test parts of the product as the process goes. Mistakes or changes in business needs can peacefully coexist with initial plans, and everything can be dealt with on time.
This overall philosophy leads to more productive teams, higher quality products, and satisfied customers.
Transform your business with the power of agility
Agile stopped being the IT sector’s secret ingredient a long time ago. So whatever your business profile may be, you can start an agile transformation to make your organisation respond to change better and faster.
Going agile just for the sake of it will by no means be a guaranteed solution to all your problems. But it could break silos, and enable a more collaborative way of working within your organisation. For example, your IT, HR, and Sales departments could be working together in a more connected way to solve problems and deliver amazing products.
To go agile, you could:
- transform one section of your company with agile and build a supportive, more traditional business structure around it, or
- apply agile values to your entire organisation, and all the different departments within.
To start the transformation you should do a detailed assessment of your business. And if you’ve been wondering, there’s absolutely no need for an already existing agile team within your organisation, and you might as well start from the ground up.
Go agile in programming training, too
To implement agile values in software development, there are a lot of different frameworks you could use. The most well-known and widely-used is definitely Scrum. To implement Scrum effectively in IT, you’ll need a team of developers who’re clear on agile values, Scrum roles, and ceremonies.
And that’s exactly why we made Scrum an integral part of the Codecool way of learning, too. To make sure that our juniors will be well-prepared for individual and teamwork in any Scrum project, as well as continuous learning in their future careers.
Codecoolers learn and work with Scrum from day 1: they do sprint planning, take on the role of the Scrum Master during sprints, and even work with Product Owners (acted out by our mentors) and real customers (representatives from our partner companies).
Through lifelike projects and real-life inspired user stories, they also learn valuable soft skills, like teamwork, time management, effective presentation, conflict resolution, and assertive communication. They continuously give and receive constructive feedback, and learn what it takes to study on their own.
But let’s see in detail, how we do all this.
Scrum in action at Codecool
At Codecool we use the below elements from the Scrum methodology in our flagship Full-Stack Development course:
- the Scrum Master and the Product Owner roles,
- sprints (with ceremonies, like planning, standups, reviews, retros, demos),
- the Sprint Backlog and the Product Backlog.
Let’s see how we incorporate these in our learning methodology for the best results!
This title belongs to the person who facilitates Scrum to the team. A Scrum Master is committed to Scrum values and principles and ensures that the framework is followed.
At Codecool, students select a Scrum Master from among themselves while planning their tasks and priorities for their next sprint. This role rotates by sprint so that everyone can try their hand at it.
It’s the Scrum Master’s job to administrate the team’s progress and to keep in contact with the Product Owner. If there are questions emerging or unexpected difficulties, the Scrum Master moves things further. Scrum Masters in Codecool teams also do hands-on development themselves.
The Product Owner acts as the project’s key stakeholder who has a clear vision of where the team should arrive at the end of the project. They’re the ones communicating with other stakeholders and the ones that understand the market, the customer, and the business too.
At Codecool, mentors act as Product Owners, and usually they create and maintain the product backlog.
A sprint is a time-boxed period when a Scrum team aims to complete a set amount of work.
Just like professional development teams, our students work in one or two-week-long sprints to deliver projects.
On self-instructed weeks, they deepen their knowledge on their own with available help from mentors. This setup supports our mastery-based learning method because it improves individual learning and teaches how to take ownership.
On alternating, teamwork weeks students work in Scrum teams to get closer to the demands of a workplace. That’s when they actually act as any software development team in a Scrum environment.
Development teams do the detailed planning of the sprint together to kick off the project. During the planning, the team defines what they can deliver in the sprint and how they will achieve it. Codecoolers do the planning, create the sprint backlog and appoint the Scrum Master on Monday.
Product backlog / Sprint backlog
A Product Backlog is a list of deliverables derived from the project roadmap and the high-level business requirements. The most important tasks are shown at the top of the product backlog. At Codecool, mentors act as Product Owners, so usually they create and maintain the product backlog.
Sprint backlogs list tasks to be carried out in the specific sprint, taken from the Product Backlog. Sprint backlogs at Codecool are created by the student Scrum teams.
From Tuesdays to Thursdays students have their implementation days when they get to do the development planned out for the sprint. Each morning, they have daily standups, facilitated by the Scrum Master, where they align on daily tasks and discuss any obstacles keeping them from going on with their tasks.
During sprint reviews, development teams have a chance to check the sprint’s product, and demo the working app or feature to the customer.
Fridays are Demo Days at Codecool, and these days provide an opportunity to have the sprint reviews, and reflect upon the work that has been done during the sprint. Students demo the result of the sprint in the morning in front of teammates and real customers, who are actually guests from our hiring partner companies.
The focus at demos is always on practising presentation skills, giving detailed, constructive feedback, and discussing learnings.
Retrospective meetings are held to reflect upon what and how went down during the Sprint, facilitated by the Scrum Master They give teams a chance to learn from the setbacks that they encountered, and an opportunity to improve for the future.
The retros at Codecool usually happen after the demos, on Friday afternoon.
Looking for your next agile developer?
After going through a year-long learning journey organised around Scrum projects, our junior developers are at the top of their game in Scrum teamwork and practices. Due to our super-fast sourcing process, your next junior agile developer could be in your team in just 5 days after you contact us.
We are also here, if you’re rather interested in up-skilling or re-skilling your existing colleagues in Scrum software development.
If you’d like to hire new teams, and get them through an onboarding training in Scrum software development, then an internal training academy, powered by Codecool, tailored to your exact needs might be the best option for you.
But why not visit one of our Demo Days on a Friday first, and check out the skills and capabilities of our students yourself? We’d be happy to have you.
If you’re interested, or have any questions, please contact us. Can’t wait to talk to you!