What actually is a Citizen Developer?

(Estimated reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)
Ralf Riethmuller

Ralf Riethmuller

Heads the service department at KUMAVISION. In this role, the technology expert is also responsible for Cloud, Teams and office 365

And why should companies concern themselves with this topic?

A Citizen Developer is a non-IT employee, based in a functional department, who is able to build and customize software applications and automate business processes using low-code or no-code platforms. These platforms provide a drag-and-drop visual interface that allows users to build applications and automate processes without the need for extensive programming skills.

Citizen developers are often business analysts, department heads or other employees who have a deep understanding of the specific requirements and processes of their department. They are able to create bespoke solutions tailored to the specific needs of their department and can respond quickly to changing business needs.

How and where citizen developers and traditional programmers differ

In contrast, traditional programmers are typically highly skilled software developers who have in-depth knowledge of programming languages ​​and software development. You will be responsible for creating and maintaining software applications and may be involved in all aspects of the software development lifecycle - including design, development, testing and deployment.

While traditional programmers are needed for complex and large-scale software development projects, citizen developers can be an effective solution for smaller projects or for automating specific business processes. Citizen developers can also be useful in situations where traditional programmers are not available or when the cost of hiring a traditional programmer is too high.

Diverse possibilities with the Microsoft Power Platform

An example of a low-code and no-code platform is the Microsoft Power Platform, which includes Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Power Automate. With these tools, users can easily create and share data visualizations, develop custom applications, and automate workflows.

Power BI is a business intelligence tool that allows users to create interactive data visualizations, dashboards, and reports. with Power BI allows users to connect to a variety of data sources, including Excel, SQL Server and SharePoint, and create visualizations that can be shared with others.

Power Apps is a platform for building custom applications without the need for coding. Power Apps allows users to create applications that run on any device and easily integrates with other Microsoft services and third-party APIs. For example, KUMAVISION created Power Apps for mobile time recording, the reservation of office workstations or to support service in the field in a short time.

Power Automate, formerly known as Microsoft Flow, is a workflow automation tool that allows users to automate repetitive tasks and processes. With Power Automate, users can easily create workflows that can be triggered by specific events, e.g. B. by the arrival of a new email or the completion of a task in SharePoint or Teams

Shorter project times, more business benefits, stronger identification

A major advantage of low-code and no-code platforms is their ability to speed up the development process. Traditional software development can be time-consuming and expensive, with projects often lasting months or even years. Low-code and no-code platforms, on the other hand, enable rapid development and deployment, allowing organizations to rapidly build and launch new applications and automate processes. Prototypes or MVPs (minimal viable products) in particular can be created in a short time to check the potential of new applications in practice.

Another benefit is that low-code and no-code platforms can increase employee engagement and participation in business processes. With these platforms, citizen developers, ie employees with no special training in software development, can take an active role in creating and customizing applications that are specifically tailored to the needs of their department. This can lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness of business processes.