The great thing about training and working in IT – and more specifically Agile software development – is that there are many different career paths to take. From quality analytics and testing to mentoring junior developers, there are a wealth of opportunities to learn new skills and carve out a career.
As with any profession, some people know exactly what they want to do right from the start, whilst other people discover what they enjoy doing by trying out new things. Both Biraj Singh Karki and Viraj Kumar Shrestha are Scrum Masters at Proshore. However, they each took a different journey to arrive at the same destination. So in this edition of our employee stories, we found out more about their individual experiences.
What did you do before Proshore?
Biraj: I currently live in Kathmandu. I completed my BSc in IT at Islington College, which is affiliated with London Metropolitan University. Before joining Proshore, I did two internships: firstly as a web designer at Archiesoft Technology, and secondly, at ZenLabs in Laravel development. I joined Proshore in 2021 as a Quality Analyst.
Viraj: I’ve lived in Kathmandu my whole life, and I completed my Bachelor of Information Management at Prime College. I’m not the kind of person who plans everything out. I have more of a ‘whatever happens, happens’ mindset. At university, I was involved in many clubs, and that’s what made me interested in management.
How did you find out about Proshore?
Biraj: I wrote a post on a Facebook group about internships for a Quality Analyst (QA). In response, one of the team members from Proshore actually connected with me. He sent over my resume to HR, and everything went from there.
Viraj: My career started with an internship at Studio Matrix – a web design company. I stayed there for 4 years. By the end, I thought I was out of love with programming, but one of my seniors from Prime College was working at Proshore and encouraged me to apply. In my interview, they liked what I said about management, and I got the job.
How did you progress to Scrum Master?
Biraj: I initially started as a QA, testing the codes and features that the developers had written. Then in April 2022, I got an opportunity to lead a team for the product Faire Integration & Sync. That’s when the transition process began. The move was gradual, and now I’ve completely transitioned from a QA to being Scrum Master for around 5 products.
It was a planned move. In my third year of university, I started researching the pathways to being a Scrum Master or a Project Manager. I found out QA was a good route to becoming a Scrum Master.
Viraj: Within a week or so of joining Proshore, one of our Scrum Masters, Simon Shrestha, asked me what I wanted to do in life. I’d never been asked that before! What I knew from my college days was that I loved interacting with people, getting to know them, and solving their problems.
I enjoy motivating people. At the same time, I’m not someone who goes into technical jargon, I talk in simple terms, so anyone can understand me. So it’s my characteristics that make me a good fit for the role of Scrum Master.
What’s it like to be a Scrum Master at Proshore?
Biraj: One of the major parts of the job is removing impediments for teammates. Whenever there’s a new project, or we acquire a product, we assign team members and facilitate Scrum events, like daily Scrum and planning meetings for what we are going to be doing for the next sprint.
Viraj: For me, it’s kind of like being in the background – leading the team, but letting them take all the credit! Before I transitioned from a developer to Scrum Master, the team that I worked in used to be very dependent on me. Now, it’s more about empowering them – giving the power to the team itself, and encouraging them to come up with their own solutions.
What’s the best thing about being a Scrum Master?
Biraj: Before this role, I’d never been much of a people person. So for me to transition and take this role – I had to become a people person. I had to change my mindset. Now I get to lead all kinds of interesting projects.
Viraj: For me, it’s about seeing people grow. That’s the best part of being a Scrum Master.
When I was a developer, junior developers would run most decisions through me. Now in my current role, I have to facilitate the values of Scrum – openness and respect for each other; the courage to provide constructive feedback to one another. That’s what I really like about the role of Scrum master.
Do you have any tips for aspiring Scrum Masters?
Biraj: I think it’s important to know what you want to do in life. That way, you can pave your path for whatever you want to do later. So if you want to become a Scrum Master, you have to have certain qualities that you need to develop as a developer or in any other role you’re doing in the industry.
Viraj: I think the best tip that I can give is to have patience because it might take some time for you to become a Scrum Master. For me, it has been a year in the making. Also, it’s good to have team support – that’s going to make your transition much easier.
If you could code any piece of software, what would it be and why?
Biraj: There are a few transport apps that people currently use in Nepal. I’d be interested in creating a car rental application – like Lyft – where people rent their vehicles. People can pick up a vehicle from any spot they like and then leave it somewhere else.
Viraj: I think a piece of software that answers trivial questions you have. Suppose you’re planning an outing, or you need random answers – I think that would make people’s life a lot easier, right?