Citizen

What are Citizen Developers?

Citizen development encourages employees who are not IT-trained to become software developers. They use NoCode/LowCode (LCNC) platforms that allow them to create business applications. This method of software development allows employees to become citizen developers, despite not having a formal education. They modify existing software programs to meet the needs of a specific user and increase operational efficiency within a company.

These LCNC platform contain the required lines of code. Users can drag and drop icons to create or update applications. The platforms’ visual tools make it easy to create and update applications. They allow users to connect different business units with the same functions, as well as to apply actions and test the code to ensure that it works correctly.

What is the role of citizen developers?

Citizen developers empower business users to create or modify existing business applications without having to involve IT departments. Employees who sought approval for even the smallest projects were often frustrated by the slow response from an IT department. The wait was likely to have been prolonged by internal business priorities changing and business competition. Citizen developers, on the other hand, respond quickly to changing business environments and are more agile.

This not only accelerates innovation and the process of application development, but it also reduces backlogs. IT personnel are free to prioritise and deal with more urgent business issues. Through transparency, resource sharing, and monitoring between IT professionals and citizen developers, this approach simultaneously addresses security issues associated with shadow IT and other third-party apps.

Citizenship development is essential

Businesses who devote their time and resources to citizen development have seen an increase in productivity and efficiency and is now a standard practice in many companies involved in application creation.

Moreover, employees who understand the application of LCNC platforms are able to use them as software developers or share their knowledge with other employees, thereby growing the community of citizen developers. Both cases increase operational efficiency in any business process.

The pros and cons of citizen-development

A comparison of time and targeted talent is the basis for citizen development. There will be an increase in the demand for business apps. This is a question of whether experienced employees with IT training can produce apps faster for end users than IT professionals who are skilled in complex code, but not the understanding or interest required by the targeted end users.

Pros

  • Reducing IT department burdens. LCNC allows citizen developments helps the IT staff creating apps and let them handle other tasks. A well-managed IT department can monitor the risks of citizen development, including any necessary integrations that will allow an app to succeed.
  • Cost. Citizen Development creates a greater pool of employees that can share resources and develop tools. This reduces the need to hire IT professionals, as well as the associated costs. It also increases technical knowledge among the citizen developers.
  • Productivity and efficiency increase. Focusing on speed and collaboration will increase efficiency and productivity. LCNC platforms make use of existing code to create apps faster. Their ease-of-use allows users to make changes more quickly as a company grows.

Cons

  • Technology is constantly changing. Constant updates to programs and applications require constant retraining of citizen developers to keep up with these changes. Most citizen developers, particularly those who are new to the business thus need support from prefessional developers, creating an additional burden for IT professionals.
  • Poor quality. The quality of the product by citzen developers can be poor in comparison, if they lack oversight by IT professionals. Thus are an integral part of ensuring that an application’s functionality and quality is maintained, from development through testing to its final product and security.

Professional developer vs. citizen developer

Business analysts realized that professional developers had simply too much work creating and maintaining applications. Citizen development was born from the realization of business analysts. Projects would languish in the queue for months because IT professionals had so many requests from different departments.

Indeed, Apps created by citizen developers are more likely to be a good fit in their field, because they have more knowledge about their field.

The citizen developer is here to stay, and will continue to expand its position in application development. Businesses must find a balance between citizen developers’ speed and suitability for creating apps and the security and oversight that professional developers provide.

Resources and tools

Some enterprises use NoCode platforms to meet changing market needs. These platforms improve business processes and interact between companies and customers. Because they are simple to use, these platforms are often called point-and-click platforms. Here’s a short list of platforms:

  • Mendix.
  • Microsoft PowerApps.
  • Nocode Essentials.
  • Salesforce Lightning Platform.
  • Zudy.
  • Appypie.

There are many more our there. We at IKANGAI also offer our own NoCode platform with qonnect. Contact us to learn how to build great apps with qonnect.

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Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels

Sources:

https://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/definition/citizen-development

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johneverhard/2019/01/22/the-pros-and-cons-of-citizen-development

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