Several years ago, through a research partnership, we identified a term that we felt identified a large segment of our user base—citizen developer.
When we look at the personas of the people who use Cincom Smalltalk™, several types of users stand out to us.:
- Most of them are full-time developers who are looking for tools to help them develop applications quicker and more efficiently.
- Some are people whose job is not necessarily app dev, but more of a supporting role in IT, Marketing Automation, Quality Assurance, or similarly associated with application development. After spending time working within their company and the overall team, they’ve identified a need they feel can be eased through an application they develop on their own to support the product group.
- Then there’s always the person who fits somewhere in-between these two, curious about application development and looking for a good place to land. This wide range of users perfectly illustrates what a citizen developer does.
This is our citizen developer story.
The cool part about this story is that as we were discussing it, our team began sharing other stories that they have encountered. For example, we discussed an admin we knew who became a full-time app-developer for their business. We talked about a business developer who was very similar to Suzanne’s favorite story above, developing apps part-time because they were busy in other roles for their day job. We also spoke about a power user who was the rock star hero for his company, building out custom tools for their cloud-based services in the office.
As we compared our notes with the Forrester story, we realized that our shared experiences were very similar to what thousands of others are doing for their companies as citizen developers:
- Line-of-business developers: Admin to delivering apps These citizen developers create apps full-time for business units big enough to need a full-time developer.
- Business developers: Deliver apps part-time This type of citizen developer is a business expert first and a developer second. Business developers deliver apps in their spare time. In fact, their job descriptions rarely include software development.
- Power users: Focus solely on personal and team needs These citizen developers are the office “heroes” who aggressively use spreadsheets and databases to speed up tasks, customize email clients and introduce cloud-based tools to help their team. They also build and configure tools for their own use.
Are you ready?Are you comfortable with the risks inherent in using applications developed by end-users? Many companies turn to them out of necessity because of scarce resources, shoestring budgets or time constraints. However, most companies really would like a little more control over the process.
What if you could:
- Reduce the Risks by providing guidelines and a company-sanctioned framework that citizen developers would clamor to use?
- Increase your capability to produce new apps using the staff you already have – without going through IT?
- Reap the benefits of quickly-produced applications that are exactly what you need?
You can! Cincom Smalltalk is a cross-platform development and deployment technology that helps citizen developers build applications quickly and efficiently – from highly scalable web and web 2.0 apps to classic client/server systems. Smalltalk provides the safe, sanctioned environment that companies want – along with a powerful, easy-to-use platform that developers are passionate about.