Software companies huddle for competitive ‘Scrum’ positions

3 Feb 2009

A Skillnet programme aimed at making Irish software companies more productive has been sold out and the Irish Software Association has established a waiting list for the next one.

The Irish Software Association’s 2009 Software Skillnet began with classes on adopting the most advanced principles for improving productivity in the Irish software industry.

Companies were taught by the internationally renowned ‘Scrum’ expert, Martine Devos, who was in Dublin recently.

‘Scrum’ is an iterative incremental process of software development commonly used with agile software development.

Although Scrum was intended to be for management of software development projects, it can be used in running software maintenance teams, or as a program management approach.

Scrum is a process skeleton that includes a set of practices and predefined roles. The main roles in Scrum are the “ScrumMaster” who maintains the processes and works similarly to a project manager, the “Product Owner” who represents the stakeholders, and the “Team” which includes the developers.

During each “sprint” – typically a 2-4 week period – the team creates an increment of usable software.

This Software Skillnet programme was the first internationally recognised, certified ScrumMaster training course open to all software companies in Ireland.

The SCRUM approach has now attained a worldwide reputation for its ability to increase the productivity of software teams significantly through empowering individuals, fostering a team-oriented environment, and focusing on project transparency and results.

Companies such as Ericsson, Qumas, WeDo, Fexco and Allianz took part in January, to train 20 team leaders and senior developers to become ScrumMasters – joining a worldwide alliance of 2000 ScrumMasters.

“Access to a top international expertise in agile methodologies such as Martine Devos, through the Software Skillnet truly helps the Irish software sector to gain a competitive advantage as Scrum ensures that the features that are developed first are of the highest value to the customer,” explained Niall O Cleirigh, MD of Macalla, chairman of the Software Skillnet.

Starting the 2009 programme of training for the Software Skillnet, the 2-day SCRUM workshop, was organised in partnership with Neueda, one of Ireland’s leading agile and software engineering consultancies.

The Software Skillnet is a training network which receives a grant from Skillnets Training Networks programme to support training and enhanced expertise in Software Development in Ireland.

To get further information contact or go to the Software Skillnet website at

By John Kennedy

Pictured: attending the first open ScrumMaster programme in Ireland run by the Software Skillnet on 12-13 January 2009 were (l-r) Namgyal Babdul, from DKIT, David O’ Brien, software development manager Fexco, Roger Fitzpatrick, vice-president R&D Ericsson, Terry Mc Sweeney, Fexco.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years