Citizen Developers Are Helping Companies Meet Software Demands. Who Are They?

by February 23, 2021

Every company running a business in the fourth industrial revolution uses software and applications to handle many business functions. That’s done by software developers. According to SeedScientific, software development as a career is expected to grow 22% in the coming decade. Currently, the demand for software developers is so high that the supply is falling short. To fill this gap, citizen developers are helping companies to fill this gap.


Citizen Developers Are Stepping Up

A citizen developer is someone who doesn’t have formal training in software development but develops low-code software or software that uses no-code platforms. Similar to the concept of citizen journalists, they are regular people who don’t have extensive textbook knowledge. If a company requires software for a specific department or purpose, they are more likely to hire a citizen developer. These developers work under the IT department and professional developers who overlook their work to ensure quality outcomes. Thanks to PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), people with limited coding skills are developing sophisticated software. With that said, having a good understanding of the need for that software and how it will be used can make a good citizen developer, a great one. Qualities like problem-solving skills, an interest in software development, and the ability to take constructive criticism are a bonus.


The Demand For Citizen Developers

Every organization is digitizing its operations. Some are already done while some companies are en-route complete digitization. In this regard, the IT department needs to come with solutions to coordinate and look over these changes. Unfortunately, they are falling short of resources and hence, the need for citizen developers.

With digitization, IT departments are under a lot of pressure to safeguard their functions. While doing this, they often don’t meet the demands for new internal applications that various departments demand. This leads to many internal unofficial applications created by employees themselves. To bridge this gap, citizen developers are brought in to make office applications as per the department’s needs under the IT department’s surveillance.


How Are Citizen Developers Helping Businesses?

The need for citizen developers is proportional to the workload of the IT departments to develop faster solutions. Once companies started to notice their potential, they realized that there are multiple benefits. It’s become common for companies to employ as much software as they can to ease their business functions. This has created an increased demand for applications which the IT department is unable to control on its own. Citizen developers who are well versed with the company’s operations are used to fill this gap.

Sometimes, business users understand an application’s minute details better than anyone. They can identify small alterations that will have a great impact to fulfil the end-user’s needs. Citizen development gives them the power to develop apps with better ideas in mind than developers. This way, the app developed by citizen developers has a better shot at customer satisfaction.

It’s a known fact to every employee in an organization that software will help them be more efficient at their work. Whether it is to deliver high-quality products in a short amount of time or be ready to help customers 24/7, citizen development can help develop several applications that will increase the productive output of every employee, which will in turn help the business earn more profits. This helps shorten the application development cycle and gives the company a competitive edge.

Citizen development opens many doors of opportunities for organizations to bridge the gap between tech demand and shortage of skill. Citizen development can contribute largely to the company’s efficiency. Organizations need to seize this chance and leverage the power of these citizens to increase cost-effectiveness and employee engagement.