Citizen Developer

What Does Citizen Developer Mean?

A citizen developer is a tech-savvy end user who has the ability to create a new software feature or application program from an approved corporate or cloud-based code base, system or structure.


Citizen developers typically use visual integrated development environments (IDEs) to drag-and-drop application components and connect them together. In business, this low-code/no-code (LCNC) approach to software development allows authorized employees to design and build business applications that meet niche business needs.

Techopedia Explains Citizen Developer

Typically, citizen developers hold jobs outside their organization's ICT department. This type of amateur developer often uses cloud-based development tools made available over the internet.

If not monitored, citizen developers can contribute to an issue known as shadow IT. When too much software is developed without the knowledge and approval of the company's IT department, it can affect the integrity of the organization's entire IT system. In general, proponents of this type of unsanctioned development have to weigh the risks against the benefits.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.