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Resume for Agile Professionals

Based on Leonardo da Vinci's Resume

18 December 2013

Robert Kalweit
Self Employed


Years ago I came across a developer's resume published via Y Combinator's Hacker News, and I was intrigued: the style, the unquestionable arrogance, the notion that "nothing is impossible" -- fascinating. I looked up the original resume by Leonardo da Vinci and found that one even more bristling with self-confidence. Ever since then, I have wanted to write a similar resume for Agile project managers. So here it is.

Basic skills

First I gathered what I think are the most important skills for Agile professionals, be they ScrumMasters or product owners. Trying to resemble da Vinci, a universally acknowledged genius, I assumed one would need skills to perform in both roles:
  • Possess an Agile mindset
  • Establish continuous deployment processes
  • Bring teams to an even higher level of performance
  • Engage in lightweight Agile program management
  • Create product concepts based on the company strategy
  • Break down concepts into user stories
  • Prioritize the product backlog
  • Channel requirements
  • Discuss requirements and stories with the development team
  • Gather data and provide Agile metrics
  • Plan releases
  • Be adept in conflict management and conflict resolution
  • Have experience in coaching fellow ScrumMasters
  • Make work fun

The resume letter

Most Illustrious Proprietor,

Having now sufficiently considered the specimens of all those who proclaim themselves skilled project managers in Agile or traditional ways, and proposing that establishing and operating the said methods are nothing different from those in common use, I shall endeavor, without prejudice to any one else, to explain myself to your company, showing your C-Level my secrets, and then offering them to your best pleasure and approbation to work with effect at opportune moments on all those things that, in part, shall be briefly noted below.
  1. I follow an extremely light and efficient Agile process, adapted to be most easily applied, and with that you may pursue and at any time change a project plan; and others, battle-proven, easy and fast, to prioritize among projects and manage a program in an Agile manner. Also methods of convincing stakeholders and winning them over.
  2. I know how, when development teams are besieged by a variety of clients, to take pressure off them, enabling them to concentrate on the work at hand, channeling requirements, chastening clients through open communication so they won't be insulted, and using other methods pertaining to such concerns.
  3. If, by reason of motivation of the team, or conflicts between teams and in the company, performance is low and people are struggling, I have methods for conflict management and resolution, which -- mixed with personal heartiness -- can make work fun again, even if that seemed impossible before.
  4. Again, I can moderate Agile retrospectives, making them most pleasant for team members and focused on results, to bring teams to an even higher level of performance. With this and the help of continuous deployment processes, I have methods to outdistance your competition, to their great detriment and confusion.
  5. And if the product shouldn't be a platform but a shippable one, I can provide Agile metrics, most efficient in data collection, to plan releases, which will be on time and within budget.
  6. I have means by secret and inconceivable ideas and whole product concepts, made to stick, to contribute to a designated company strategy, even if it were needed to do turnaround management.
  7. I will cast the above-mentioned concepts into bulletproof user stories, safe and unassailable, fulfilling all INVEST criteria, first and foremost being estimable by the development team. And if there should be compromises, which I am prepared for, be sure they will be for the greater good of your company.
  8. In case of need, of which I'm sure there will be, I will organize the product backlog, being well able to apply the MoSCoW prioritization and map the result with a business value per story point order.
  9. Where the operation of prioritization might fail, I will help the team provide high-quality software by concentrating on bugs first and delivering fully functional product increments. And, in short, according to the variety of cases, I can contrive various improvements to make prioritization possible.
  10. In times of lower workload I believe I can give perfect satisfaction, to the equal of any other, in coaching and mentoring fellow ScrumMasters and product owners in Agile best practices.
  11. I can carry out code in HTML, can style it with CSS, and have an excellent understanding of SQL and JAVA. Furthermore, I can administer your project management tools, bug trackers, or knowledge management software, doing whatever may be done as well as any other, be he who he may.
Again, this glimpse of my abilities may be taken in hand, which is to be to the immortal glory and eternal honor of all your customers, and of the illustrious house of your company.

And if any of the above-named things seem to anyone to be impossible or not feasible, I am most ready to make the experiment in your office, assessment center, or in whatever place may please your Excellency, to whom I commend myself with the utmost humility, etc.

Sources and references

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 4.9 (7 ratings)


Robert, very intelligent article. When I was reading points mentioned in your article, I had this on back of my mind - "have I done this?" Really nice and useful article.
Robert Weidner, CEC,CTC,CSP,CSM,CSPO, 12/18/2013 12:49:01 PM
Entertaining, while informing. I love it! Also, any article that draws inspiration from Leanardo da Vinci is a must read.
Rex Lester, CSM, 12/19/2013 2:41:09 AM
Of course there is the possibility that any Illustrious Proprietor may want you to back up these claims with some tangible examples. I particularly like the idea of "chastening clients through open communication so they won't be insulted"
Robert Kalweit, CSP,CSM,CSPO, 1/6/2014 7:38:17 AM
Thanks for your comments - good to know you had as much fun reading as I had writing this!

Rex, I can come up with an anecdote describing a problem and our solution for every bullet point (remembering those was the fun part) - but I'm still working on "chastening clients" ;-)
Andreea TOMOIAGA, CSM, 1/17/2014 3:46:16 AM
Very interesting and original article. I could add only a suggestion for slight variation with regards to extending/adapting it.

It is certainly the act of selling somebody so if the person to be sold would be a product I would focus on the Kano model and list the critical 3-5 bullets depending on the actual company/position targeted. If it would be a little bit more concise, it would be perfect in my opinion!
Varun Mahajan, CSM, 4/26/2015 6:20:57 AM
That's a great piece of work. I would surely extend and then adapt it to use next!
James Joseph, CSM, 12/10/2015 4:54:01 AM
That's a nice one
Uday Kiran kuramana, CSM, 7/11/2016 11:48:00 PM
Really god article and liked it!
Nagendra Regala, CSM, 4/1/2017 1:58:05 AM
Very Informative write-up.... Appreciate it
Irene Kelly, CSM, 11/11/2017 6:39:08 PM
Thanks for sharing, this is helping me organize my resume.
Irene Kelly, CSM, 11/11/2017 6:39:12 PM
Thanks for sharing, this is helping me organize my resume.
Irene Kelly, CSM, 11/11/2017 6:39:13 PM
Thanks for sharing, this is helping me organize my resume.

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