By Amber Wise, Business Analyst
It is no secret that citizen development is on the rise, and rightfully so. Citizen development enables non-technical employees, such as business users, to create applications using Low-Code/No-Code platforms with minimal dependence on IT teams. The advantages of citizen development for organizations are numerous, including faster time-to-market, increased agility, and improved productivity. Citizen developers have an intimate understanding of the applications needed and pain points that need to be addressed so they can tailor apps to meet their needs. However, organizations that want to excel at citizen development must prepare accordingly. Citizen developers need proper tools, training, support, and established governance. Without these, citizen development can become a nightmare. This article will examine strategies for training and supporting citizen developers to prosper in their roles.
The Need for Training and Benefits
Proper training and support are crucial for citizen developers to excel in their roles. Organizations that invest in these areas see significant improvements in the quality of work, efficiency, and employee empowerment. Additionally, citizen development promotes innovation throughout the organization and encourages collaboration between business users and the IT department.
Providing training and support for citizen developers improves the quality of work and reduces costs, errors, and risks associated with application development. When citizen developers have the necessary skills and resources, they can create high-quality applications that meet the organization’s specific needs, reducing reliance on IT teams and expediting time-to-market.
Moreover, training and support help establish governance policies that minimize the risk of security vulnerabilities and ensure compliance with industry regulations. This ultimately leads to a more secure and reliable application environment for the organization. Investing in proper training and providing support will produce significant benefits for organizations looking to leverage citizen development as part of their digital transformation strategy.
Examples of Training and Support
Several training programs are available for citizen developers, depending on their experience level and the type of applications they are building. Here are some examples:
Vendor-Provided Training: Many Low-Code/No-Code platforms provide training programs as part of their services. These usually teach the basics of their platform and then branch off into specific areas of study and include a path to get certified. They can be self-paced as well as online or in-person live trainings. Vendor-provided training programs are updated regularly to reflect changes and new features in the platform. This ensures that users are always up to date with the latest developments in the platform. They typically have a community of users who can offer support and advice. This community can be a valuable resource for citizen developers who have questions or need help with the platform.
Community-Based Training: Citizen developers can learn from other citizen developers by participating in community-based training programs. These typically specialize in one platform and to tend to be comprised of a specific demographic, such as women who code, veteran and military spouse groups, and location-based groups. These can include online forums, meetups, and hackathons where developers can collaborate, share ideas, and learn from one another.
Citizen Development Independent Training: Citizen development is growing in popularity, so outside of LCAP-specific trainings, there are independent citizen development trainings. These courses are designed to help individuals develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as citizen developers in the digital age. They focus on agile, project management, governance, development constructs and other knowledge for citizen developers.
Internal Training Programs and Mentorship: Organizations can also develop their own training programs for citizen developers. These can include customized training courses tailored to the organization’s specific needs and requirements. Also, pairing citizen developers with professional developers or experienced citizen developers can provide them with ongoing support and guidance. This can help them develop their skills, learn from mistakes, and build better applications.
Online Resources: Many online resources are available for citizen developers to learn specific Low-code/No-Code platforms. These include blogs, articles, and video tutorials. These can be a useful source of information and guidance, especially for those who prefer to learn at their own pace.
In conclusion, citizen development is becoming increasingly popular as it offers numerous benefits for organizations, such as faster time-to-market, increased agility, and improved productivity. However, to fully realize these benefits, organizations must invest in proper training and support for citizen developers. Providing these resources will improve the quality of work, efficiency, and employee empowerment and reduce costs, errors, and risks associated with application development. Several training programs are available for citizen developers, ranging from vendor-provided training to community-based training programs, and the offerings are still growing. By taking advantage of these resources, citizen developers can develop their skills, build better applications, and contribute to their organization’s success. This will ensure that organizations can leverage citizen development as part of their digital transformation strategy.
For more information on how the Octo LC/NC team can help implement end-to-end citizen development, best practices, and modern approaches to your federal agency, visit our dedicated low-code/no-code page to contact a Team Octo member.