A Complete Guide to Citizen Development

With low-code development platforms like Kuika, citizen developers can create and maintain their own web and mobile apps, easing the burden on IT departments.
A Complete Guide to Citizen Development

Stabilizing your business in the digital age comes with new challenges and customer expectations, and citizen developers can be powerful allies. As digitalization and advancing technology dramatically shift the business landscape, innovative solutions are essential to sustained success. In the face of the acceleration of digital transformation in business, organizations need to look to more modern approaches rather than a traditional approach in software development processes.

The software developer gap, which exists especially in the current period and is expected to increase in the future in the light of the data, once again emphasizes the importance of a modern approach. In this context, the faster development method with low-code platforms turns out to be the ideal choice.

In a basic definition, low-code is a visual-based software development model where users can drag-and-drop features into the apps they want to create on a platform with a graphical user interface. Low-code development platforms can be used to develop and/or create web/mobile (suitable for Android and iOS operating systems) applications, IOTs, RPAs, business processes and workflow automations. With the use of low-code platforms, application development processes are accelerated, production efficiency is increased, while maintenance processes, workloads and costs are reduced

With help from low-code development platforms like Kuika, citizen developers without a technical background can create and maintain their own web and mobile apps, easing the burden on IT departments.

What is citizen development?

Citizen development is the idea that people who are not professional developers can build apps with the help of easy-to-use tools. It is a citizen-driven approach to digital transformation that gives non-IT professionals the ability to build applications with minimal coding knowledge. 

Citizen developers can use low-code platforms and APIs from other platforms to create process-specific mobile or web applications. With this concept, people with limited technical backgrounds can combine their skills and expertise with digitalization

In this way, managers, HRs, customer service, and non-technical workers have the opportunity to develop target-specific tools without writing code. As a result, they add value to their fields and businesses.

Professional developer or citizen developer: What's the difference?

In recent years, the terms professional developer and citizen developer have been cropping up more and more in conversations about development. Let's explore the key distinctions between the two. 

Professional developers

  • Typically have obtained formal education, including university-level study, and continued learning instruction tailored to their job roles. 
  • Understand the complexities of programming languages and possess project management skills. 
  • Possess an in-depth knowledge of software architecture, and can solve complex programming problems.

Citizen developers

  • Are typically self-taught users who understand basic coding fundamentals. 
  • Apply their skills acquired through blogs, forums, libraries, video courses, or tutorials. 
  • Often educate themselves, so their knowledge and ability may be narrower in scope.
  • Do, however, bring diverse ideas to the table based on their unique perspectives. 

Citizen developers won’t be a substitute for your whole IT team. However, you can position citizen developers to support the IT team. This way, your IT department can devote time to more complex tasks to increase efficiency in business processes.

It is predicted that the number of citizen developers in organizations will be four times more than the number of professional software developers in the coming years. In light of this, organizations can minimize the labor gap with the employment resource provided by citizen developers. Here, organizations have the opportunity to welcome citizen developers from outside the institution or from different departments within the institution through low-code platforms.

How to become a citizen developer

Low-code platform academies

A planned and systematic academic structure plays an important role in the competence of citizen developers. With online courses like Kuika Academy, citizen developers can manage learning processes at their pace, independent of time and location. Learning experiences like these can act as a catalyst in accelerating the adoption process of institutions toward low-code development. This can also be a solution for businesses that have difficulties in accessing trained and talented personnel.

Online learning communities

One of the most important variables in citizen developer education is undoubtedly online communities. Interaction is one of the most basic components that form the basis of learning. Through citizen developer platforms, it is possible to create an efficient interaction network between low-code citizen developers.


Workshops organized privately by companies in the business world, higher education institutions continuing their education activities and foundations operating in the field of civil society or open to everyone will provide the experiential learning process in citizen developer education. Workshops can help citizen developer skills to start being seen in the business world, supporting low-code citizen developers to get recognized.

Certificate programs

Certificate programs have an important place in the competence and training of citizen developers. Learning activities carried out within the scope of a certain citizen developer program and concluded with certification increase the motivation of individuals with the effect of gamification. In addition, having a document proving that individuals have completed a specifically designed low-code citizen developer program will strengthen the resume of citizen developers. 

What can citizen developers create?

Using low-code platforms, citizen developers can easily create:

  • Mobile applications
  • Web applications
  • Sophisticated database systems
  • Dashboards and reports
  • Automated business processes

Ultimately, citizen development gives individuals the power to design projects that are suitable for their own unique needs. No matter what industry you work in, citizen developers can contribute greatly to development when empowered by low-code development.

Why citizen developers?

Citizen developers offer a wealth of benefits to organizations that leverage their expertise.

  • They provide cost savings since they are typically already employed. 
  • They can see the bigger picture, like how an organization works and what solutions would be most effective.
  • Citizen developers can reduce the workload of IT teams.
  • They can also build agile applications faster, without needing the same degree of technical training that IT professionals require. 
  • With their knowledge of user needs and expectations, they can bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the application development process. 
  • They can be employees from different departments. In this way, citizen developers can improve the functioning between their departments and IT. 

How to get started with citizen development

It's time to take the next step and harness the power of low-code platforms – a revolutionary way to build apps with less coding. From the flexibility in customizing your app, to a wealth of support resources available; there are plenty of features and options out there for those who want fast access to creating their own mobile or web application! With the right low-code platform in place, citizen developers can be the key to an agile and streamlined workflow.

Discover Kuika’s low-code platform to get the most out of citizen development: Our mission is to meet your software needs while empowering your team to be game-changers. With low-code technologies, you can add tremendous value to your business in no time! Request a demo now and watch the magic happen.

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