How to harness the promise of ‘citizen developers’

With talent in short supply, IT is turning to end users to fulfill app dev needs. But turning these ‘citizen developers’ into business assets takes foresight and strategy.

How to harness the promise of ‘citizen developers’
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The high demand for software developers has programming talent in short supply. And yet the seemingly insatiable need for new applications remains. How is an organization to cope with this gap?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of software developers is predicted to grow 21 percent from 2018 to 2028 — far faster than the average rate for occupations overall.

Given the rising demand and the strain that is causing on the workforce, as well as at individual enterprises, the concept of the “citizen developer” is appealing to organizations in a variety of industries.

Citizen developers are end users who create applications from a corporate code base, system, or structure. They are typically not professional developers, but other professionals who leverage available tools that require little coding skills to build applications that developers would otherwise need to code from the ground up.

“It’s basically the evolution of agile development; putting more and more control into the hands of the end users to run at their pace with their needs,” says Gary Kern, CIO at banking company MutualBank.

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