Quality Learning

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09 Nov 2016

Analysing Agilica

Written by Mark Jeckells

So I just wrote the agilica.com website - hooray! Now I want to add Google Analytics to it. Easy just a bit of javascript, right! Sure that was easy. All I have to wait until tomorrow to get some data.

Hang on a minute - the site is basically a one page website and I am not getting the metrics I need: who clicked on what course and how many clicks led to bookings. So, err, how do I do that? Oh, I see, I just need to enable enhanced link attribution and add a bit more javascript and then wait until tomorrow again.

Oh no, still no data. Alright why did that not work? Ahh, enhanced link attribution only works for links that go to another page, not anchor links on the same page. It will work for www.agilica.com/courses, but not www.agilica.com#courses. I just need to implement event tracking.

Blimey, this event tracking is a bit of a bother, I have loads of links and I have to set them all up manually... Is there a better way than this?

Oooohhh what's this Google tag manager malarkey. This looks a lot better! Instead of manually tagging each link, I can get other people from Agilica to do this as it's all managed from Google tag manager and I don't have to write any more javascript!

Do you know what? I wish someone had written a quick blog post about this so I could have saved a load of time and just implemented Google tag manager in the first place!

Oh and by the way if you need any agile training from people who practice what they preach, pop over to www.agilica.com. Even if we don't have the training you want listed drop us an email and we will do our best to sort you out.



14 Nov 2016

How to maximise value doing your certification

Written by Sam Zawadi

There's a long standing and ever ongoing discussion as to whether certifications are actually worth doing.

Example: if you have your Certified Scrum Master certificate, the CSM (or the equivalent, e.g. PSM or the new SSM) on your CV, then you get noticed by recruitment agents, and those little search algorithms pick you up and send your virtual profile on its way.

However, are certifications actually worth doing, and how do you maximise the value you get from doing them?

I think that depends on two things:

  1. Why you want the certification
  2. If you have any prior knowledge or experience in the thing you want to be certified in

I am not a believer in badge collecting because I don't see the value in it.

I have seen and worked with people with certifications that have little to no experience in the thing they're certified in. Though, they do come out of the course with some knowledge of the framework, process or theory, which may allow them to speak a common language within their organisation - but nothing they couldn't get from reading through online articles or in published books or YouTube videos.

In this case, I believe the only value certifications have is the recruitment agent 'tick box' on your CV or profile.

I once attended a popular 2-day training course where one delegate was new to Scrum and on his laptop for most of those two days - he probably still got his certification and probably emerged a fully qualified CSM. Will that person get value from his certification? A more concerning question is, will his organisation get value from him having done the CSM course?

In the ideal situation you'll get the most out of your training course if you are already a practitioner of that thing at some level in your organisation, having real world experience will always trump having certifications. However, having certifications can get you more of that sought after real world experience which, if you're a contractor, will make it easier to command a higher day rate as well.

It's not quite chicken and egg though, so here is a good formula for untying this knot and maximising the value out of doing your certification:

  1. You already have some relevant, real world experience
  2. You are well versed in the theory, this means you've read articles or books on the subject, been to meetups, watched YouTube videos etc.
  3. You then decide to get the formal certification because it's an opportunity to increase your knowledge of the subject matter, not to learn it from scratch
  4. You emerge with the said certification and you have the real world experience to back it up - you continue to attain real world experience till you achieve your level of unconscious competence.

I think the above scenario illustrates a situation where you can maximise value from your certification, rather than engaging it with little or no prior experience or knowledge.