From my personal experience project managers as other "knowledge workers" have being creating software applications using low-code / no code platforms, i.e. the Macro recorder in MS Office tools, since personal computers were widely available (personally I'm doing this since 1996). Because of this, leaving to the side the technology changes in the last decades, it looks to me that "citizen development" (as a type of software development) is just a new name for an old thing. Or citizen developement corresponds to a relative new concept* relevant for project managers nowadays?
* So far I only found in Google Books two books having the term "citizen development", as a type of software develoment, one of them from PMI, both from 2021. I'm wondering if it might be worthy to buy them.
Other names for this old thing
Reading a recent sponsored blog post1 I found a term that it's new to me, citizen developer. It make me remember terms that I learned several years ago like civic hacking, civic tech among others. Googling about this new term for me I found a Wikipedia article in German2 about this term having only one link to other language, Polish. The apparently most relevant search results about this term in English comes from companies selling stuff like analysis reports and courses about low-code/no-code software developement 3, 4.
From the Project Management Institute website3
What is Citizen Development?
Citizen development is one of the most exciting and current business movements. It enables Project Managers and other changemakers to create applications using low-code and no-code platforms, without complete reliance on the IT department and for a fraction of the cost and time commitment.
I continue reading stuff from the web. This lead me to search directly in the Gartner Group site because the term citizen developers was attributed to them on several webpages from software vendors and news sites.
Citizen Development: Reinventing the Shadows of IT
Published: 02 February 2012
IT consumerization is erasing barriers that used to prohibit technology experimentation and solution creation by businesspeople. As more of these barriers disappear, citizen developers emerge. Citizen developers are end users who create business applications for consumption by others using corporate-IT-sanctioned development and runtime environments. Previously, "shadow IT" was viewed negatively; now it is increasingly associated with how business gets done. As a result, technical professionals must begin seeing citizen developers as partners in solution development, instead of adversaries. This document by Research VP Mike Rollings discusses the implications of citizen developers and how IT must change to actively support them.
- Speeding software innovation with low-code/no-code tools
- Citizen Developer | Wikipedia
- Citizen Developer | PMI
- Citizen Developer | Gartner