What is the role of a citizen developer ?

What is the role of a citizen developer ?

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5 MIN

The role of citizen developers?

Digital transformation is a central concern for all companies. They need to be always reactive to digital innovations.

To do this, they tend to put pressure on the IT department (the information systems department) to stay up to date. This leads to many unnecessary dysfunctions due to the need for digital transformation.

In addition, many companies lack the time or budget to implement new projects that sometimes last for months.

Therefore, a new solution has emerged, No Code/Low Code. A way to create applications in a few weeks and without development knowledge. The citizen developer was created to answer questions about this new activity.

What is a citizen developer?

What is the principle of citizen development?

Citizen development is the idea of developing a company's business using a software development approach that requires little knowledge of computer languages.

This principle is implemented through citizen developers, who are usually people outside of IT departments who want to build perspectives from their personal knowledge of IT services and systems.

What is a citizen developer?

The term citizen developer refers to one or more people who are business experts in software development. They are usually passionate about digital culture.

Their skills are not especially technical and do not necessarily come from a training course.

They have expertise on drag-and-drop platforms more commonly referred to as the Low Code/No Code movement, which allows them to create applications and technology solutions tailored to the business.

They are business experts thanks to their knowledge and understanding of different digital tools. Not only that, but they create direct IT collaboration between the business and IT people.

They are the ones who bring additional tools to the developers' toolbox

The tasks of citizen developers

The citizen developers' first task is to identify the needs in relation to a business problem. Then, they have to find a way to solve the problem by proposing, for example, Low Code/No Code solutions and create a custom application. The last step in the work of a citizen developer is to present and validate the application to a developer in the IT department.

No Code and Low Code

No Code is the new trend for companies. This term refers to the development of applications and web platforms without any lines of code. To do this, companies and agencies use tools like Bubble, Airtable, Adalo, Notion and many others.

In contrast, Low Code is web application and platform development that combines No Code and “classic” development language with code. It has been anchored in our daily use for years with the Microsoft Exel tool. This is the same reasoning behind tools like Microsoft Power Apps, Salesforces, Medrix or AppSheet.

Thanks to the No Code / Low Code tools, the time to create an application is considerably reduced. For a “classic” development, agencies used to take several months, whereas today only a few weeks are needed. These new languages are open to all, from novice to expert, everyone can benefit.

These tools are the specialist actors who created the citizen development movement.

The citizen developer knows the world of No Code / Low Code, he transmits his knowledge and know-how to the company.

The advantages of citizen developers

Meet the needs of digital transformation

Companies have a focus on performance, and the need to develop new applications is in high demand. According to an IDC study, over the next 5 years, 500 million applications will be created (almost as many as in the last 40 years) and 65% of them will be Low Code (by Gartner).

To meet the growing needs of companies, citizen developers are the solution. Their experience is a major asset in creating a healthier environment within the overall corporate structure.

These employees can develop their full potential at work. It is also a way for companies to save money and a resource in developing competitive advantage.

A solution to Shadow IT

Shadow IT refers to all IT usage that is not verified by the company or the IT department, such as an employee installing a new application without the approval of the network security manager. These practices are increasingly widespread and constitute a real security breach.

The risks of Shadow IT are numerous:

  • Potential data leakage due to numerous applications
  • Regulations such as GDPRor collective agreements are no longer respected
  • The management flow of IT services is disorganized
  • Teamwork and collaboration between the different activities of the company is disrupted by the use of numerous tools.
  • Lack of knowledge of IT departments with a surplus of apps

The problem can be solved by citizen developers, who can help determine which type of application is best suited to the business. It is not a question of repressing employees by preventing the use of applications. On the contrary, it is about finding or creating applications that really meet the common needs of all the company's departments.

This makes it easier for the company to organize itself, track the progress of its employees, and limit the risks and loss of important data.

The process of creating Low Code / No Code tools is a way to structure these applications quickly. Their drag-and-drop technology allows a platform to be fully customized and adapted to the needs of any business.

Decongesting IT departments

The current unemployment rate for software developers is 1.7%. The development industry is facing a high demand for skilled employees. The IT developer environment is a key resource for any organization, they are constantly in demand.

The fact is that IT departments require numerous talented technicians. The solution to over-demand can be citizen development, which can significantly reduce the need. All you have to do is find IT talent in No Code that is not part of the same department and ask them for help. These external IT talents will be the developers capable of creating applications that are adapted to meet the needs of the various departments.

With internal resources capable of structuring applications in No Code and Low Code, the demand, time and overall production costs of the business will be significantly reduced.

This new resource has a general impact on the organization of the various departments, and IT teams can concentrate on more technically complex projects.

Other benefits of citizen development

Citizen development has other advantages, some of which are listed below:

  • Speed and agility of execution
  • Enhancement of the personal development of employees
  • Reduces the burden on the IT department
  • Harmonize application design
  • Enhanced innovation
  • Reduce costs
  • Increased transparency
  • Improve employee efficiency

Today, the reach of citizen developers in organizations is greater than ever. They can address many of the technological and organizational needs of any business. Without this notion of citizen development, it will be difficult to keep up with the pace of digital transformation. Moreover, it is a real opportunity for all organizations, as citizen developers considerably reduce the cost and time of implementing technological solutions.

Noxcod helps companies to train their teams in No Code, either through training, coaching, or even by creating applications for you. The Noxcod team guides you and brings you the basics of No Code development.

Emma Carvalho
Communication at Noxcod

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