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4 Myths About No-Code Citizen Development

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The era of the citizen developer is here, but many people are still wary of this growing trend. Let’s debunk some common myths about no-code citizen development. 

As the need for digital transformation surges and no-code tools continue to gain traction, we’re seeing more users without engineering backgrounds getting involved in application development. We call these empowered non-tech business users “citizen developers,” or “people without formal coding expertise who create new business applications using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.”

Citizen development includes more people in the development process to broaden the scope of the tech team, maximize internal resources, and speed up digital transformation in a meaningful way. We’ve found that many people are still hesitant about citizen development and, for that reason, haven’t taken full advantage of it yet. Let’s debunk some common no-code citizen development myths, and explore how this trend can actually benefit your application development efforts.

Myth #1: Citizen developers will replace engineers and the tech team

The biggest misconception about citizen development is that citizen developers emerged as a replacement for engineers. That’s simply not true! In fact, the only way citizen development works—without devolving into the Wild West of software development—is if the tech team maintains oversight.

Applications built on a centralized no-code platform like Unqork are monitored and controlled by tech teams, preventing citizen developers from creating whatever they want, whenever they want. Not only would this introduce potential security and compliance risks, but it’s also not a productive way to work. With Unqork, citizen developers can take part in the development process but they don’t own it by themselves. Plus, features like RBAC ensure that no one but tech team members have unfettered access. There’s plenty of room for both citizen developers and tech team members—it’s not a competition!

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Myth #2: Citizen development is a burden on tech teams

Since the tech team has to oversee citizen development to keep the development process running smoothly, you might think this is just another responsibility being added to their plate. When done right, citizen development actually eases the burden on tech teams. If your engineers are overworked and you can see your project backlog growing, citizen developers can help lighten the load by independently creating the applications business users need.

You can also divvy up work between your citizen developers and tech teams, streamlining the development process and making better use of everyone’s skills. For applications that are simpler and more formulaic once you get the basics down, such as self-service portals or onboarding workflows, you can give that work to citizen developers. This gives your formally trained engineers the space, time, and energy to take on the more complex work.

Myth #3: Citizen developers can only create small applications 

While the more complex tasks may go to your trained engineers, this doesn’t mean that citizen developers can only make simple or small applications. In the past, no-code technologies marketed towards citizen developers could only handle simple projects. That’s not the case anymore! 

Enterprise-grade no-code application development platforms like Unqork take core engineering rules and place them in a completely visual context. This makes it easier to create complex and sophisticated applications, as well as simpler flows—it just depends on what your business needs. Also, even though non-tech business users start as application development beginners, they don’t have to stay there forever. As your citizen developers move through Unqork Academy and complete live training, they’ll acquire the advanced skills they need to continually level up and take on more advanced projects with the help of the tech team.

Myth #4: Citizen development is just a gateway to shadow IT

Shadow IT refers to any applications, projects, or IT infrastructure outside of your tech team’s jurisdiction. The name sounds scary, but many of the applications we use every day fall into this category, from file sharing apps to productivity apps like Trello. Still, shadow IT can be dangerous if users are not managing the data within these apps in a secure way.

Citizen development can actually help reduce the risks associated with shadow IT. After all, when business users have the skills, tools, and opportunities to create the applications they need, there’s no need to bring in outside solutions. Also, when citizen developers and the tech team work hand in hand, all applications built by citizen developers are closely monitored. This reduces security and compliance risks. 

Making the most of citizen development with Unqork

Instead of replacing existing tech teams, citizen developers take care of tasks they know how to do in ways that make everyone’s lives easier.

The idea of citizen development may be new, strange, or even scary to you and your developers. However, when you combine citizen development with the power of no-code, you can actually boost application development in many ways. 

Instead of replacing existing tech teams, citizen developers take care of tasks they know how to do in ways that make everyone’s lives easier. Plus, when you use Unqork with your citizen developers, they’re guaranteed to make secure applications that change your business for the better. Start building applications in a brand new way with the help of no-code citizen development!

Experience Unqork for yourself by requesting a personalized demonstration with one of our in-house experts. For more no-code news, sign up for the Unqork newsletter!