How a Former Recruiter Switched Career to Become Scrum Master: Benedicta Lysandra’s Story

Raisa Nabila
Jun 3, 2020 · 3 min read

In startups, unconventional career moves are not a new thing. For example, many marketing people move to the product team (e.g. Graphic Design to UX Design). Inside the engineering team, people switch roles all the time (Engineer to Product Manager, Backend Developer to DevOps Engineer). At Mekari, one of the most unconventional career moves we have ever seen is that of Benedicta Lysandra (Andra), our current Scrum Master and former recruiter.

Benedicta Lysandra (Andra), Scrum Master at Mekari
Benedicta Lysandra (Andra)

Andra joined us as a Technical Recruiter in April 2018. Coming from a Human Resources and Organization background, she always approaches her work with a people-first mentality. When Andra realized that hiring technical talents is not a straightforward job, she started to build relationships with our engineers to understand how engineers work and what makes them tick.

In the beginning, she started by joining Scrum events to understand the inner workings of engineering. She eventually saw there are many areas for improvement to improve the team dynamics, so aside for her recruitment job, Andra went on to start some initiatives. One of them was driving each engineer to write a “How to Work With Me” guide that helps the team understand each other’s working style better.

Our then-CTO, Rafeequl, saw that Andra was the missing puzzle piece in our tech team. She has a knack for creating psychological safety: the no. 1 factor that makes a high-performing team. Rafeequl then offered Andra to move from HR to Tech as Scrum Master.

“I was initially resistant to the idea because Scrum Master is a completely different role. However, Rafeequl had confidence in me and the company was willing to invest in Scrum Master training for me. I said yes to the offer.”

A Scrum Master role is not so easy to define as the person holding it has to wear many hats all the time. When she agreed to the offer, Andra knew that this role will force her to learn continuously.

“In my role as a Scrum Master, I have to understand when to switch hats, because a Scrum Master’s task is not only about facilitating Scrum events. Since my main job is to improve the team dynamics, I have to be able to do capacity estimation, help break down the silos, identify engineers’ learning needs, and quantify productivity,” said Andra.

One of the things Andra did to improve the team dynamics was organizing a Scrum Bootcamp to align everyone’s understanding of how to work with Scrum. 100 participants from both engineering and product teams joined the bootcamp in 4 batches.

Andra agrees that the varying backgrounds of Mekari’s Scrum Masters help the company to be able to see things from multiple points of view. As her background in HR helps her to focus more on the people, another Scrum Master with a strong technical background has a great eye on process improvement.

“A Scrum Master can come from many backgrounds, but the one thing they have to be is a servant leader.”

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