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The 1000 Students Challenge

I’ve been doing agile coaching and consulting since 2003. First internally, later external working for various consulting organizations all over the globe. Well, one of my key experiences was, that before being able to teach agile, the mind needs to be freed from old school thinking. Think about a major reset. I won’t say that everything taught is unusable, however, it is often used in the wrong context. There is more and more evidence that better ways of working — especially, in the field of knowledge work — do exist and agile is one of them.
Since 2010 I am a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and teach various Scrum classes. Depending on the mixture of the audience and their background, it does take some time to free their minds from the old believe system and make them receptive to the new ideas. Better late then never, but for a two day course it is not as effective as it could be. Often, the AHA-effect happens late on day two.
After having given the PSM to a bunch of very stubborn senior managers, I decided that a there must be a better way to change the world of software development. That night, the 1000 student challenge was born. The idea is simple – don’t try to change the head of the system, but have future agile thought leaders join the system and move up the ladder.
My vision is to teach 1000 students in Scrum and hope that they will change the world of tomorrow.

On May 28-29 2011 I gave me first Pay It Forwad – Professional Scrum Master (PIF-PSM) training at the University of Bern. I had the pleasure to work with 13 bright students, willing to come in on a Saturday and Sunday to learn about agile and Scrum. The training is essential for free – however USD 100 per student is required to cover the assessment fees and the course material.

13 people joining the workforce with a an agile mind set. It is a small beginning, nevertheless I really feel good about it.

If you are interested in doing this at your local university please contact me and we work out a way to spread Scrum at your place as well.

987 more to go …
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7 comments

Dale

Totally agree with the approach. I've had similar thoughts after fruitlessly trying to extol the virtues of Agile techniques to 'experts'.

Convincing Comp Sci courses to include a TDD module would be a great step forward. Or even teach it as the normal way to develop. Day 1 – Assert HelloWorld Outputs "Hello World"

Priscila Coelho Blauth

Great approach! I'm sure you can help to create a new generation of real agile professionals. But don't give up on stubborn, sometimes they just need proofs.

Peter Gfader

Wow! This is a GREAT approach Jocham!

I am keen to help you in your challenge to "Change the world of software development"!!!

Henrik Berglund

Hi Ralph,

Well done! I have also been thinking about what I can do to help students and help advance the state of our profession. Maybe inspired by our face to face trainer meet in Boston! Last week I did my first pro-bono job at a university level course class, just a talk and a short workshop. I was thrilled to see what they were studyng though! When I walked in they were doing study questions in group over Mike Cohns "agile esimating and planning". They had also been using TDD and Scrum in projects guided by a industry expert! So, old timers, whatch out, these guys will be good right out school!

Best

Henrik

Patrick Weibel

Here my blog post (I was one of this 13 students): blog.eweibel.net. Thank you again Ralph, it was great.

Ralph Jocham

Thanks for all the positive feed-back. It looks like I hit a sweet spot ­čÖé

… and I will keep on working with the stubborn ones!

Cheers,
Ralph

Vikas

Hi Ralph

Great approach!! I am also planning to do the same in my colleage for around 30 students during my next visit. I will certainly need your help to design it as it will be good if I already have some experience and content to do it effectively..

Best regards,
Vikas

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