Some good people[1], plus Chet and I, met in Ann Arbor the week of October 12 2009, to discuss Agile Team Member qualification. The outcome: The Agile Skills Project.

The Agile Skills Project is a non-commercial resource that will establish a common baseline of the skills an Agile developer needs to have, including a shared vocabulary and understanding of fundamental practices. The Project intends to:

  • establish an evolving picture of the skills needed on Agile teams;
  • encourage life-long continuous learning;
  • establish a network of trust to help members find like-minded folk, and to identify new mentors in the community.

Among the projects we have an interest in supporting are:

  • defining an Agile Skills Inventory (e.g. Active Listening, Story Splitting, Test-Driven Development, Exploratory Testing):
  • providing a repository for reference courses, interest groups, and other material;
  • defining self and peer assessments;
  • characterizingof external courses in terms of their coverage of the Agile Skills Inventory;
  • defining a "learning ecosystem" including paths of learning, or "quests";
  • offering means for publishing team or individual experience reports;
  • supporting community rating of courses or trainers;
  • supporting ratings for trainers and courses

The Agile Skills Project is not for profit. It aims to be independent of any specific form or style of Agile, and explicitly welcomes all such forms and related disciplines such as Lean or Kanban. The idea here is to build an inventory of all the skills that can aid an Agile team member, across the board.

Looking at certification specifically, The Agile Skills Project stands in full support of the Agile Alliance position that certification should be skills-based, and hard to attain. At the same time, the Project also exists in support of any and all such efforts, in that it will provide a stable and independent Skills Inventory, against which any proposed certification can be assessed.

[1] Lance Dacy, D. Andre Dhondt, Nayan Hajratwala, Chet Hendrickson, Ron Jeffries, Christoph Mathis, Chad Meyer, Charlie Poole, J. B. Rainsberger, Adam Sroka, Bill Tozier, Bill Wake, Don Wells, Patrick Wilson-Welsh. (Did I miss anyone?)