Scrum Developers

Who is a Developer in Scrum?

In the context of Scrum, the term developer is not limited to programmers but refers to anyone who works on delivering functionality at the end of each Sprint. Unlike traditional project management methods, Scrum does not have strictly defined roles such as a tester, analyst, or designer; everyone is simply Developers. This means that each team member may have different skills and responsibilities, but they all aim for the same goal.

The Scrum Team consists of three main responsibilities: the Product Owner, the Scrum Master, and the Developers. It is important that the team size is optimal - according to the Scrum Guide, it usually counts about 10 people. Such team size favors effective communication and collaboration.

A distinctive feature of developers in Scrum is their ability to self-manage. This means they do not need top-down management to decide who does what and how tasks should be performed – these decisions are made by the team members themselves. This is possible thanks to their high competence and commitment to the project.

Another important feature is the cross-functionality of the team members (versatility or interdisciplinarity), meaning that although everyone may have their specialization, all should be ready to help others and take on various tasks as needed. This promotes flexibility and adaptability of the Scrum Team, which is key in the agile product management philosophy.

Developers in Scrum are also tasked with maintaining high work quality. Thanks to regular meetings, such as the Daily Scrum, and the continuous process of code review, they ensure that the delivered functionality meets all requirements and is free from errors.

Developer Responsibilities

Developers play a key role in Scrum, being the driving force and executing the work on the product. The main roles and responsibilities of this team include a wide range of activities necessary for effectively delivering value to the customer. Above all, Developers are responsible for creating the Product Increment during each Sprint

During Sprint Planning, team members collaborate with the Product Owner to select which tasks from the Product Backlog will be executed. This is a dynamic process, requiring the team to have the ability to manage their own work and the capacity for self-organization. During the Sprint, developers meet daily at the Daily Scrum, where progress and potential obstacles in achieving the Sprint goals are discussed.

Maintaining quality continuously is also crucial, which is achieved by adhering to the previously established Definition of Done. This criterion allows for assessing when a Backlog item has been completed and is ready to be presented to the client or included in the next version of the product.

One of the most important aspects of the Developers' work is the ability to deliver a functional Increment at the end of each Sprint. This may require not only technical programming skills but also continuous communication within the team and flexibility in adapting to changing requirements or priorities.

Developers must also actively participate in the inspection and adaptation of work processes – two key pillars of Scrum. This means participating in the Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective, where both successes and areas requiring improvement are analyzed.

In short, the duties of Developers can be summarized as:

  • Supporting the selection of tasks and Product Backlog items for execution
  • Independently planning the method of work execution.
  • Daily synchronization of progress at the Daily Scrum.
  • Delivering high-quality Product Increments.
  • Continuous inspection and adaptation of work processes.

Striving to be effective as a team requires engagement and responsibility from each member for the common goal – creating the best possible product. These tasks are the essence of the Scrum framework and form the foundation for the success of any project based on this framework.

Collaboration in the Scrum Team

Self-organization, crucial for Agile, requires a high level of communication and trust among Developers. Collaboration with other responsibilities in Scrum also has its unique character. The Scrum Master acts as a facilitator and coach for Developers, helping them remove obstacles and perfect work processes according to Agile philosophy. This role also ensures that all Scrum events are conducted correctly and effectively support the team's work.

Meanwhile, the Product Owner represents the business interests of the project and is responsible for maximizing the value of the product created by Developers. They manage the Product Backlog – a list of all features, repairs, and other work required in the product – prioritizing them according to business needs. Communication between the Product Owner and Developers must be open and continuous to ensure that work is heading in the right direction.

The key to effective collaboration is regularly reviewing progress and adapting plans – achieved through Sprint Review and Sprint Planning. These meetings involve all members of the Scrum Team, allowing them to directly exchange opinions about the current state of the project and plan the next steps.

The Scrum Master supports Developers, for instance, by asking questions, suggesting techniques for better product management, observing and providing feedback. They can observe individual team members and support their development, advise on better team composition, facilitate decision-making, and teach in the context of Scrum principles to collectively improve the construction of the product being the team's output.

Developer or Development Team?

In previous versions of the Scrum Guide, we had the term "development team." In November 2020, this was changed to "Developers." The purpose of the change was not to create a team within a team, which could create an artificial "us-them" barrier and thus build silos instead of supporting joint inspection and adaptation.

The only team present in Scrum is the Scrum Team.