Citizen Developer

In consumerization of IT, citizen developer is a phrase used to describe the growing trend of employees within an organization who create business apps in the workplace using tools including fourth-generation languages (4GL), low code technology platforms and cloud services.

Consumerization of IT Definition

Commonly Shared Traits and Experience

Citizen developers usually have no formal training or even an educational background in computer science. Surprisingly, these developers often work in a management or supervisory role — not in the professional developer job role that we would think. Many have limited experience and knowledge outside self-taught application and coding use for specific platforms, but they are savvy computer users.

According to a survey conducted by FileMaker (2017) most citizen developers choose to develop apps on their own to create a better way to work, to be more productive or simply to help others in their organization.

Industry analyst firm Gartner is credited with coining the phrase citizen developer. Over time the meaning has changed and is used in a much broader context. For example, some may use the phrase citizen developer to mean any person (with or without formal developer education and job training) who creates the apps outside traditional workplace IT channels.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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