In tough economic times with a lot of people out of work and employers cutting back on training budgets few can afford the kind of big-budget, fancy hotel courses which were the staple of corporate training even just a short while ago. So Tobias Mayer has started a no-frills way to get “certified scrum master” status and spread the agile/scrum way of working. He calls it WelfareCSM.
The cost is essentially $50 (to the Scrum Alliance for the certificate) plus a voluntary contribution to cover any room costs etc. Sort out your own food and transport. Even for those of us who regard agile certification as a dubious concept this is pretty tempting.
Reading between the lines, though. It appears that the different agile “camps” may be slipping into a battle for mind-share. If Scrum certification becomes more widely available and understood, then alternative approaches (particularly XP, but also all the other adapted, customized and home-brewed agile working practices) may seem to have less value to employers and clients.