“What does someone need to learn to become an agile expert in a particular discipline?”
ICAgile is an international certification body that develops and delivers globally recognized, accredited, and sought-after credentials in the Agile space. They aim to provide an internationally recognized standard of competence and career development tools that will enable Agile professionals to grow their careers, remain on top of their game, and make a difference.
ICAgile gathered over 60 worldwide agile thought leaders to develop its industry-leading ICP and ICE certifications. These credentials are globally the most prominent agile certifications with thousands of certified professionals worldwide.
Let’s break them down and explain each of the learning tracks.
The start of the Agile journey requires a foundation of knowledge in agile principles and practices. The cornerstone of all ICAgile programs is the Agile Fundamentals segment which focuses on the concept of “being agile while doing agile” instead of any one methodology (such as Scrum, Kanban, XP, and similar).
ICAgile’s approach to this foundational knowledge emphasizes experiential learning that encourages interaction between course participants.
So, what are the Agile Fundamentals learning track about? The track covers topics such as:
- Adaptive planning
- Team collaboration
- Value-driven development
- Continuous improvement and more
Upon completing an ICAgile-accredited Agile Fundamentals course, participants obtain the ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP) certificate.
From there, they can opt for different learning tracks that will fit their specific needs and interests.
Agile Coaching Track
The Agile Coaching path is meant for professionals who have a basic understanding of agile principles. They are looking to develop and deepen their knowledge of agile coaching, mentoring, and facilitation skills. Some topics covered in this learning track include:
- Facilitating agile practices – For Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches, this learning track will deepen their understanding of agile collaboration and how to facilitate it.
- Different roles of an agile coach – An Agile Coach has different roles to play, such as a mentor and teacher, facilitator, and professional coach. This learning segment explores all the different roles and how they should be performed.
- Working with new agile teams – Teams new to Agile often struggle with setting up the agile-specific processes and procedures. This segment covers techniques that can be used to help new teams adopt an agile mindset.
- Reaching self-organization – The ultimate goal of an Agile Coach is to help the team reach self-organization and high performance.
The Agile Coaching track offers three ICAgile credentials:
- ICP-ATF (ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Team Facilitation)
- ICP-ACC (ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Coaching)
- ICE-AC (ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Coaching)
Agile Engineering Track
The Agile Engineering learning track is well suited for professionals looking to expand their knowledge of the technical aspects of software development. It focuses on critical concepts and topics such as continuous integration, refactoring, automated testing, or design patterns. Some of the essential things covered in this track include:
- Collaboration – Covers the principles and practices of shared responsibility, collective ownership, and teamwork fundamental to agile software development.
- Technical excellence – Covers topics such as unit testing and robust testing patterns to help professionals master technical excellence.
- Simple design – Software development teams need to produce high-quality, reusable, and easy-to-maintain systems. This segment is designed to help participants create robust yet straightforward designs that are essential for self-organization and continuous delivery.
- Continuous integration and continuous delivery – Covers how CI and CD can be used to help teams deliver high-quality software and reduce risk and adapt to change.
The Agile Engineering track offers two knowledge-based (ICP) certifications and one competency-based (ICE) certification:
- ICP-PRG (ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Programming)
- ICP-ASD (ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Software Design)
- ICE-AE (ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Engineering)
Agile Testing Track
Agile testers and test engineers are an integral part of agile development teams. This learning track is focused on all the skills an agile tester should possess to become a valuable team member. Some topics covered include:
- Agile testing mindset – This segment introduces the different values and principles of an agile testing mindset, along with some essential attitudes that every Agile Tester should adopt to be successful.
- Testing techniques – Participants will learn techniques and concepts that can help them understand the software better. This section also covers general agile testing principles such as test-driven development, acceptance of test-driven development, and exploratory testing.
- Agile testing process – This segment describes an agile testing process and the essential key practices for effective collaboration between developers and testers.
- Test automation – Covers automated testing principles, strategies, and frameworks.
The Agile Testing track offers the following certs:
- ICP-TST (ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Testing)
- ICP-ATA (ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Test Automation)
- ICE-AT (ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Testing)
Delivery Management Track
Agile management is vital for the success of any Agile project. If no one can lead and guide teams, then agile methods cannot be effectively implemented. This track helps participants understand how to become effective managers in an agile environment. Some topics covered include:
- Agility and delivery management – Covers the basic definitions and pillars of Agile management and how to become an effective agile manager.
- Maximizing delivered value – This section describes how to build a high-performing team and deliver the right product in an Agile environment with iterative processes, continuous delivery, customer collaboration, and interaction.
- Empowering people and teams – In an agile environment, it is essential to empower individuals through self-organization and adaptation. This section covers how managers can help teams become more efficient, effective, and collaborative.
- Agile delivery for enterprises – This section describes the challenges of agile adoption in an enterprise environment and how to overcome them.
The following certifications are available in the Delivery Management track:
- ICP-APM (ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Project and Delivery Management)
- ICP-DAS (ICAgile Certified Professional – Delivery at Scale)
- ICE-DM (ICAgile Certified Expert in Delivery Management)
DevOps combines the work of software developers and system administrators into a cohesive team that works together to deliver working products. This concept is even more vital in agile organizations as both development and operations share the responsibility for delivering high-quality software. Participants in this track will learn how to integrate DevOps principles with Agile methods to build better teams through:
- Continuous integration – This segment helps participants understand the importance of continuous integration and several strategies to implement it.
- Continuous delivery – Describes the working of DevOps practices for continuous delivery, including automated testing and triggering events based on build results.
- The CI/CD pipeline – Planning, building, monitoring, and maturing the continuous integration and continuous delivery pipeline is crucial for building and deploying better software.
The following certifications are offered in the DevOps track:
- ICP-FDO (ICAgile Certified Professional – Foundations of DevOps)
- ICP-IDO (ICAgile Certified Professional – Implementing DevOps)
- ICE-DO (ICAgile Certified Expert in DevOps)
Product Ownership Track
Product ownership seeks to ensure that “working software” – created iteratively with quick iterations in short increments – is delivered to the customer. This track provides knowledge on how to be an effective product owner in an environment where teams are empowered to make decisions and expected to find solutions for any issues. It also offers tips on how to lead technical teams towards the successful adoption of agile methods. Some topics covered include:
- Organizational alignment – Each participant in the organization holds different information, so it is crucial to ensure that everyone understands the vision and goals. This section shows how teams can align their work with other stakeholders in the organization.
- Adaptive planning – In an agile setting, the product owner must use multiple techniques for effective planning. This section describes several such strategies that participants can use when determining a sprint goal and story list.
- Product road-mapping – This section explains how agile teams can effectively create and maintain their product roadmaps as time goes on.
- Progressive elaboration – One of the challenges that product owners face is to get teams working on what matters most. This section shows how they can do this by progressively elaborating their requirements and prioritizing where to focus their attention based on customer needs.
The Product Ownership track provides these certs:
- ICP-APO (ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Product Ownership)
- ICP-EPO (ICAgile Certified Professional – Enterprise Product Ownership)
- ICE-PO (ICAgile Certified Expert in Product Ownership)
Before you embark on a learning track, acquire your first ICP credential with an Agile Fundamentals course. This will give you an introduction to the ICAgile certification program and help you decide which track best suits your needs. In addition, if you are interested in achieving a specific cert, a Fundamentals course will provide the prerequisite knowledge for completing it.
After that, which learning track you will select for your Agile Professionals will depend on the type of work you want to focus on. If you’re a software developer, you could benefit from the Agile Engineering or DevOps tracks. If you’re a product owner or Scrum Master, the Product Ownership track might be for you.
Either way, you should find the course that works best for you. ICAgile member organizations offer various ways to get you certified, including classroom-based training (workshops and instructor-led courses) and online classes.
Please take a look at our list of upcoming ICAgile training sessions and get the cert credentials you need to boost your career in Agile! They offer remote and in-person training in the Dallas and Fort Worth area.