If you thought that ScrumMaster was a poorly named role in Scrum, check out Developers. In recent years, the ScrumGuide has been making changes to help people outside of software see that they can fit into the game of Scrum. Excellent. However, the 2020 change from “Development Team” to “Developers” just made the situation worse.
The Scrum Guide says, “Developers are the people in the Scrum Team that are committed to creating any aspect of a usable Increment each Sprint.” 
I wish it called them the “Doers” or the “Great People who get stuff done”. Perhaps we couldn’t put that in the ScrumGuide, but it gets the point across. The common misunderstanding is that, since they’re called Developers, they just write code, except nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re building software, the “Developers” are responsible for building from beginning to end. That includes UX, Testing, Test Automation, Creating Acceptance Criteria, … and even (gasp) writing the code. If your product is outside of software – for example an educational website – they’re responsible for the writing, editing, finding pictures, formatting as html, and even sourcing/creating supporting videos.
To achieve this, we assign Developers some responsibilities:
- They plan the work.
- They replan the daily work toward the Sprint Goal (they use the Daily Scrum to make this happen).
- They focus on delivering quality, using their Definition of Done as a measuring stick.
- They’re transparent with themselves and the Product Owner about the current state work.
- They solve their own problems without waiting for outside help.
- They put real effort into continuous improvement.
- They collaborate towards achieving the Sprint Goal.
To learn more about the Doers, see: Scrum by Example: Stories for the Working ScrumMaster. It’s focused on the ScrumMaster role, but the series also provides many examples of work in a team.
- Characteristics of a Great Scrum Team – this has an excellent summary of the developer role in addition to the other roles
- The Role of the Developer in a Scrum Team
Mark Levison has been helping Scrum teams and organizations with Agile, Scrum and Kanban style approaches since 2001. From certified scrum master training to custom Agile courses, he has helped well over 8,000 individuals, earning him respect and top rated reviews as one of the pioneers within the industry, as well as a raft of certifications from the ScrumAlliance. Mark has been a speaker at various Agile Conferences for more than 20 years, and is a published Scrum author with eBooks as well as articles on InfoQ.com, ScrumAlliance.org an AgileAlliance.org.
*Thank you for visiting the World's Largest Opinionated Agile Reference Library. This content is created and the links are curated through the lens of Agile Pain Relief Consulting's view of what is effective in the practice of Scrum and Agile. We don't accept submissions and emails to that effect are marked as spam. Book listings may use affiliate links that could result in a small commission received by us if you purchase, but they do not affect the price at all. From experience, this won't amount to anything more than a cup of coffee in a year.« Back to Glossary Index