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Question: What is meant by the term “citizen developer”?


Citizen developer refers to non-technical resources who have the ability to create, revise and maintain features and functionality in software applications without the need for coding or programming knowledge. Unlike programmers, who are typically IT resources, citizen developers can be located in any enterprise department and may hold various roles such as business analyst, business technologist, operations manager, etc.

Citizen developers are enabled by the advent of low-code and no-code design environments in many of today’s software solutions, which democratize the development process. These low-code/no-code environments, frequently called studios, support various non-technical interfaces such as visual drag-and-drop tools, point-and-click functionality, or task wizards. Several applications found in contact centers increasingly include low-code/no-code capabilities, including robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent virtual agents (IVAs)/virtual assistants (VAs), and knowledge management (KM) solutions. When these capabilities are exposed in a low-code/no-code studio, citizen developers can create attended and/or unattended automations in RPA solutions; assign new tasks for IVAs/VAs to complete on a customer or employee’s behalf; or design decision trees that deliver the most appropriate answer or knowledge asset to an internal or external user of a KM application. And because citizen developers are generally business users who understand what the application needs to do to support an employee or process, it opens up new job opportunities for contact center employees to move into these roles.