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Scrum Club: Agile Philanthropy With an Edge

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The first rule of Scrum Club is...

At work they are product managers, CTOs, entrepreneurs, designers, and coders. At Scrum Club they are helping each other learn about agile development, by doing agile development, while benefiting non-profit organizations. It helps that they have a Fight Club inspired video.

...and if this is your first time at Scrum Club, you have to Scrum!

Scrum Club was founded by Amanda Abelove, a product manager and business analyst in the Los Angeles area. The group describes their mission in 4 parts:

At a grass-roots level
Scrum Club unites members of the community in a welcoming environment to network professionally.

As a community service organization
Scrum Club directs the efforts of members to provide deserving, non-profit organizations with sorely needed assets that contribute to their reach and ability to service the needs of their communities.

As a professional organization
Scrum Club provides training and experience to develop strong community organizers with leadership, communication, and influence skills coupled with technological expertise. This increases the probability that an individual will succeed in serving his or her companies and ventures.

As evangelists for Agile and Scrum methodologies
A primary focus of Scrum Club is to promote adoption of the methodologies. We achieve this by training people to be more knowledgeable, communicative, and persuasive about Agile and Scrum in a professional environment.

The name is inspired by the movie Fight Club, as is this video that has been used to promote Scrum Club.

All of this inspired a group of participants at Agile Open California 2008 to form a related group in the San Francisco Bay Area. This group is called the Bay Area Agile Philanthropy User Group (BAAPUG). The group describe themselves this way:

BAAPUG is dedicated to giving back to the community using agile values and principles. We use agile methods (xp, scrum, lean) to build applications on a volunteer basis for non-profits.

Bowling Green State University has a program called the Agile Software Factory, where students learn about agile development by creating software for local non-profit organizations. This program was previously reported on in this InfoQ article.

The Agile2008 conference included a Live Aid stage in which participants developed software and raised money for Mano a Mano, a charity working for health care and education in Bolivia. This podcast was recorded at Agile2008 while the Live Aid stage was active. Agile 2009 plans to see the Live Aid stage return.

All of these programs share a common theme of participants learning about agile by doing real-world charity projects. Are you aware of similar opportunities for agilists to hone their skill while giving back to the community? Leave a comment and share.

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