Should Scrum Master Be Technical?

Hey guys, Anatoly from Define Agile here.

Today I am answering a question from Sabah Omer. Sabah said:

“Thank you so much for recording the video. I am looking for your advice on students or professionals without an IT/software backgrounds as myself, pursuing certification and then a career in Agile Consultant/Scrum Master. I want to learn and then pursue Agile/Scrum roles as a career. Do you need an IT background to be a Scrum Master? Can individual without an IT background be successful as Scrum Master? Thank you. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.”

First of all, thank you, Sabah, very much for posting this question. It’s a very important question. There are lots of people who are not in the IT field who want to move to Agile and Scrum, and I think it is very important for them to know how to do that.

My opinion is it is totally possible to start be a Scrum Master without an IT background. I know a couple of great Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches that I worked with who do not have an IT background and they are very successful. However,  I also think that it  also depends on which teams you’re working with.

Personally, I have an IT background , I work as a Developer and I  understand  software lifecycle. It helps me to work with technical teams.

So if I work with teams that are doing low level programming, there is no UI, for me it is easier to talk to them then for a person who does not have a technical background. I speak their language.

However, there are lots of teams that do not require that deep technical  of knowledge. For example some teams I am working with are building marketing pages – they do not require my technical expertise at all.

Moreover, please remember that not only IT companies require Agile help – there are hospitals, there are restaurants, there are clubs. Everyone right now is moving to Agile, because it works better.  So, it’s not just for IT.


So, please do not stop pursuing Agile career if you don’t have an IT background. Just start with getting a certificate, start with looking for companies and for job descriptions that do not require in-depth technical knowledge – there are many of those.  I’m sure you’ll do great.


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