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The State of Scrum: San Diego

by Platinum Edge
Aerial view of San Diego skyline against harbor

Teamwork is something we’ve all heard about since we were children. In theory, it’s an easy enough process to understand; people coming together for a goal. Everyone brings their unique abilities to the task at hand for the betterment of the team. But often teams find challenges building the trust and flow associated with effective planning. So, that leads to the natural question: what's the most effective way to develop teamwork in your business projects to enhance effectiveness and efficiency?

For many industries, the answer is scrum. Regardless if you’re on the talented development team, act as the servant-leader scrum master, or the decision making product owner, you’re able to make measurable progress faster with Scrum.

Let’s explore why Scrum is important to the business community of San Diego.

An Overview of San Diego's Business Climate

Technology is the largest industry in the San Diego job market. Health care and research are also in the top five, making the area a prime location to empower your career with Scrum knowledge.

Due to an influx of new companies and the expansion of established businesses in the area, the unemployment rate has been on the decline since 2010. It currently sits at 4.0%, making it lower than the national average. The county's population continues to grow, with experts expecting it to reach four million by 2050.

That population boom, education levels, and young workforce look good for the business community in the area.

What Type of Companies Benefit From Scrum?

People often associate scrum with software development. The truth is that any business can benefit from early empirical feedback, which is the scrum framework is all about. Every company needs team members that work in a synchronous way to drive forward initiatives that achieve business goals. A key role in this process is the scrum masters; professionals with this certification tend to benefit from diversified economies that allow them to market their skills to a broad base of clients. San Diego might be the perfect location for any agile professionals.

Like any professional position, success lies in your ability to market yourself. Receiving scrum training is only the beginning. You'll still have to communicate with hiring managers how your skill sets can help their company. The San Diego job market shows that there is a strong need for professionals that know how to be a part of a team that takes advantage of scrum. Positions may be titled with more traditional project management terms which can cause confusion. For example, often:

  • Organizations post project manager titled positions when they’re actually seeking scrum masters,
  • Product owner positions may be listed as  business analysts,
  • The development team members should include a variety of positions: from technical to strategic talent, not just coding skills.

Professional Opportunities

There are three roles in a scrum team, each offering their expertise to the collective. Taking a quick look at the job market Indeed shows approximately 80 open scrum master positions and more than 60 open product owner roles. Taking into account job postings  that do not include these specific titles, as well as developers with all skills required to take business ideas and implement them into shippable and valuable functionality (e.g. coding, testing, design, automation, database, UX, etc), we are easily looking at hundreds if not thousands of opportunities.

  • NST technologies recently posted a position for a project coordinator. For this position, they prefer someone with scrum certification. Considering the job market, applying without that certification would move your application to the back of their list.
  • Pharmaceutical strategies advertised for a scrum master/agile coach as well. Like the previous position, someone that isn't certified will face an uphill battle. Those that apply with scrum certification on their resume will have the upper hand.
  • Genuent, one of the leading technology-based job recruiters, has regular openings for scrum masters in the area. Mitchell International, whose home office is in San Diego, is also hiring scrum professionals.

Linkedin and the other popular boards also have jobs as well. Keep in mind that these jobs are only for San Diego. Once you factor in surrounding areas such as Del Mar and Lakeside, you're looking at significantly more excellent opportunities.

Advancement

You may not need to transition into a new company to advance your career. There may be opportunities to advance within your own company with scrum certification. If your company is not that far yet, maybe you could also create your own position at your company. Make the case and see where that leads.

With your Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) in hand, you can approach the management team and let them know that you'd like to facilitate a scrum team to run a project using scrum. Explain how the framework works and how it improves the delivery of value while empowering the team.

Once you establish yourself, they'll come to you with new projects, improving your stature in the company and getting you the recognition you deserve.

How Much Can I Make as a ScrumMaster in San Diego?

Being a ScrumMaster in San Diego could provide you with a life-changing salary. According to GlassDoor, you can expect to make an average salary of over $126,000 a year. At the low end of the spectrum, you'll still make an average of over $100,000 a year.

You could earn well over this amount once you gain experience and a reputation in your field. Through networking, you'll develop connections throughout the region in different industries. If someone needs a scrum master or wants to use scrum for their next project, and your name is fresh on their mind, they'll pay you more to make sure you don't work for someone else.

There are some jobs that pay on a project-based system. Instead of working full-time for an employer, you'll get hired on for an number of sprints. Once you complete the work you'll be free to take a new position.

San Diego is in a unique position because of its high tech industry and proximity to Silicon Valley. Many companies in Northern California recruit from San Diego because of the talent in the region. Some also prefer to avoid competing with Los Angeles firms.

In many ways, San Diego is a springboard area. Talented project leaders develop skills there and use those skills to land highly-lucrative jobs. Places such as Google, Amazon, and other tech firms are always on the lookout for skilled agile managers.

With certification and experience, you'll stand out from the hundreds of applicants that apply daily.

Networking Opportunities

San Diego always has a conference of some kind. The beautiful weather and beaches of the area attract plenty of opportunities to meet and greet others in the profession.

Last year, the Agile Alliance held its yearly North American conference in San Diego. Hundreds of professionals came into the area exchanging information and ideas. In 2019, there are more opportunities to meet with professionals, both local and national.

Agile coaching relies on the diversity of skills, ideas, and mindsets, making this an excellent opportunity to get your name out there. The Agile Open annual conference is an exciting collaborative experience using open space technology to bring people together around topics that interest them. This community brings strength to those seeking career development as agile professionals.

On October 26th, the Trade Ideas Summit 2019 will be in San Diego. This an excellent chance to network and meet influential people in a wide array of fields.

These are only a few of the dozens of conferences and networking opportunities in the area this year. Once you get certified as a Certified ScrumMaster, it'll surprise you how many doors open up.

The San Diego Economy

The strength of San Diego's economy lies in its diversity and influx of new talent. The eight universities within the city help train the next generation of tech employees. This gives new businesses and startups all the motivation they need to bring their companies to the area.

This influx of business will put scrum masters and agile managers in high demand. Those that employ the scrum framework can expect more and higher paying opportunities over the next decade.

Since the area has such a diversified economy, these managers should be able to find work in a wide range of fields. There are currently a large number of tech firms in San Diego, with more expected in the next few years.

Companies such as Seamgen, Hyper Trends Global and Vivid Software show that the area has the talent necessary to sustain a tech industry. With the University of San Diego and other colleges gaining a national reputation, the industry will continue to grow.

The cost of living in San Diego is higher than the national average, but wages are also higher than average. This means that you have to make more money if you want to enjoy your time in paradise.

Scrum certification provides you with the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits of living in the area. You'll get the full Southern California experience with the money you'll make and the jobs you can apply for. The universities also provide you with the chance to improve your skills so that you can continue to move up the corporate ladder.

Another great benefit of universities is that they give you another job opportunity. Many business schools look for professors with real-world experience to teach their students. With a scrum certification and an advanced degree in business, you could shape the minds of tomorrow's business leaders.

Sign Up for Scrum Training Today

When you’re ready to advance your training: either just starting out or taking it to the next level, the team here at Platinum Edge is ready to support you. Check out our upcoming training sessions, including both Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) classes in San Diego.. We've designed courses to provide you with the information needed to advance your career.