The “Citizen Developer” term seems to be almost as popular as low-code/no-code platforms themselves. At the first sight, its definition is quite simple: 

The person from business department (not IT) who has basic IT knowledge and develops business applications

But it is a very broad description. Let’s go deeper and wonder:

  • Who exactly are such people?
  • Where do they come from?
  • What is their background?

I had a lot of discussions with my mates and clients about that. Here are the insights.

The most obvious candidates to become Citizen Developers are business owners of IT systems within the organization. They are responsible for implemented solutions. Regardless of whether the apps are out-of-the-box or custom implementations, the owners are forced to understand – on general technical level – what is “under the hood”. Such experience gives them perfect background to get familiar with low-code tools and build software solutions on their own.

Another group are business analysts or implementation consultants on the vendor side. They need to cooperate with their customers to design a solution from the business perspective and translate it to the language understandable by programmers. They need just one simple step forward and use a low-code platform, not only to design but also to develop the solution themselves.

Of course, the above are not the only source for Citizen Development army. There are lot of youngsters who are entering the market, having great ambitions but also having even greater way to earn competencies and experience in software development. Low-code tools significantly shorten the gap separating them from the world of professional application developers.

And finally, people that I would call “unfulfilled developers”. They were once active in software development, however their career path pushed them strongly into business area, far aside of technology. They would be happy to develop solutions for their own needs but have no time nor determination to catch up with over a decade of frameworks evolution. LCDP will allow them to forget about frameworks, and just build what they need.

I believe that the list above does not enclose all possible examples of who can become Citizen Developer. And since becoming one is much easier than becoming a traditional coder, a new army of developers re-open possibilities to automate business processes that once were unreasonable to do due to high cost of development or shortage of the seasoned coders.

Slawomir Gierek
Head of Business Development for VSoft archITekt
Let’s connect on LinkedIn