Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) is certification program by Scrum Alliance for scrum team. CSD is not only for developer as its name suggest (Similarly Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is not to make you master and in fact CSM is just introductory course) but CSD is for everyone working in scrum team including scrum master, product owner, developer, tester, and business analyst. Ideally build and release manager and functional managers should also attend this training. Agile engineering helps in improving quality and productivity of scrum team.
CSD certification is divided in 3 important topics
1st topic is basic of scrum that is equivalent to what someone learn in certified scrum master course that’s the reason CSM holder should attend only 3 days training to become CSD.
2nd and most important topic is agile engineering, this topic covers all possible tools and engineering practices that can help team to achieve better quality product, early release of product and way to collaborate with stakeholders. Agile engineering is useful not only for agile team but also for any other SDLC methodologies like waterfall or iterative. Most important take away from this training includes better coding practices, automated acceptance testing and continuous delivery.
3rd topic is elective and can be customized based on organization need but within the Scrum Alliance guideline.
So what is better CSM or CSD?
CSM is introductory course and covers scrum framework that includes roles, ceremonies and artifacts. CSD is advance course that covers content of CSM as well as agile engineering. Both has their own advantages. CSM training more about processes and cultural changes whereas CSD focuses more on engineering excellence. If you are completely new and wanted to experiment scrum then attend CSM to start with then go an attend CSD to maximize the benefit. If you are already practicing scrum and looking for certification then better to go directly for CSD. If you are not following scrum but having better and stable processes and looking for faster release cycle and continuous delivery then CSD will be right fit for you.