Throughout history, disruptive innovations have changed how we run businesses and live our lives, from emails to cars to smartphones, and mobile applications are no exception. Nowadays, advances in technology have enabled people not only to consume it, but also be creators of it.
The term Citizen Developer, first coined by the technology research firm Gartner, refers to the end users who create their own software for consumption by others in the workplace. In other words, these are people who have not been formally trained in coding or software development, but are now empowered to create their own solutions thanks to the availability of drag and drop development tools.
End users can now design, build, test and deploy their own applications among their co-workers to be more productive and efficient in the workplace and on the go whilst using mobile devices. Rather than depending on IT departments and developers to satisfy their needs, they can now quickly build and deploy apps among their co-workers to manage tasks, track finances or invoices, measure results and share information, the possibilities are endless.
These citizen developers may work for large enterprises who want to build an app for their own personal working needs or they may work for SMBs who don’t have the technical skills to do it in house, nor do they have the financial resources to hire developers. Empowering people with the tools to create their own apps lowers the barriers to entry to the app world and removes the cost and skill factors that previously restricted access.
It´s also clear from this Google Trend Search that over the last four years, people are far more interested in making their own apps, rather than learning the skills required to program. People don’t connect making apps with programming or coding as is evident from their search results. They want to make apps without getting involved in all the technicalities.
In a survey carried out by Udemy, almost 33% of employees claimed that they needed but didn’t have the technical skills such as programming for their current job. But what if we supply them with the tools that removes the need for technical skills such as programming?
Twenty years ago, the idea of non-technically skilled people creating their own software or websites would have seemed like a far off future, but it has not only become a reality, but also a necessity. The demand for apps is on the rise but the number of professional programmers is growing linearly so by providing end users with the tools to create their own business applications rather than relying on others to do it for them is a powerful solution to meeting this demand. WordPress is a great example of a tool that has empowered people to create their own websites without being formally trained in programming or web development. A whopping 18.9% of websites online are powered by WordPress and that figure is increasing by the day.
As of October 2014, mobile devices now outnumber humans for the first time in history according to the U.S Census Bureau with the rate of growth increasing five times faster than the human population. The number of apps available has been growing exponentially with Apple´s App Store reaching 1.2 million apps this summer and recording over 75 billion downloads to date.
So what are the options available for people who want to build their own apps? We’ve adapted the following graphic with Commit Strip´s permission to include what we consider as the third method for mobile app development: Radarc Online.
So where does this leave programmers? Well, giving an author a faster typewriter, won’t make him a better writer – it allows him to be more productive and efficient but it won´t give him the ability to write a bestselling novel. Similarly, while these new technological developments have levelled the competitive playing field and made app creation more affordable and accessible than ever before, success will depend on what you make and do with these tools. It might have worked for Kevin Costner in Field Of Dreams, but the motto “If You Build It, They Will Come” holds less weight in the app world as the most successful apps are derived from great ideas, not just great design.
Here at Icinetic we’re delighted to announce the launch of Radarc Online, a visual and intuitive online editor which enables users without programming skills to create their own apps. You don’t need to be formally trained in programming to use Radarc Online, but if you are, you can further customise and extend your mobile app as users are given access to the fully native source code upon app generation.
Now you can be a creator of technology, not just a consumer of it. Check out www.radarconline.com to build your app today!