Tl;Dr: Are questions about citizen development, as defined by the Project Management Institute in the book of the same name, on-topic in Software Engineering?

Several webpages from software vendors, news sites and the Project Managment Institute (PMI) are using the terms citizen development / citizen developer. Some, like Microsoft attributes this term to Gartner1. At this time I have no access to Gartner reports; I just got "Citizen Development" and other books from PMI. I'm anticipating that I will have questions and I'm wondering if I could ask some of them here, i.e. about the Citizen Development Canvas that among other things includes Hyper Agile SDLC.

From the Project Management Institute website, https://www.pmi.org/citizen-developer

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.

From https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/1913315

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.



  1. Introducing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services

2 Answers 2


Without seeing what kinds of specific questions you had in mind, I suspect that many would fall into questions asking about how to use specific no-code or low-code tools, and questions about how to use specific tools are off-topic here, with the recommendation that they should be addressed to the official customer support channels for the specific tool.

I do see some opportunities for questions. Requirements engineering would need to happen to build something useful with these tools, so that would be one opportunity. There may also be questions about fitting these types of tools into a broader context or a system-of-systems. A lot of these questions aren't specifically about low-code and no-code tools, though, but more fundamental questions in how to design and build systems.

  • What about business modeling as in "Business Modeling with UML: Business patterns at work" (is a book from Object Managment Book) / using Enterprise Architect from Sparks Sytems or similar modeling / analysis tools? I have take a quick look to business-process, business-logic, business-rules have few questions and the last two has no tag usage. No have reviewed those questions in deep yet.
    – user233431
    Nov 23, 2022 at 0:38
  • 2
    @Rubén Questions about modeling and modeling languages would be on-topic, but not the specific use of tools like Enterprise Architect. If you have a specific question on how to use a tool, the best place would be that tool's support channels. However, I think Stack Overflow does allow questions on modeling tools (like Enterprise Architect, Visual Paradigm, and others - I've found help there before).
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Nov 23, 2022 at 1:48

I can imagine a lot of things to discuss about "attempts to replace trained developers by skilled, but untrained employees with low code tools" (newly labeled as "Citizen Developers"). And I am sure many people here in our community have some strong opinions about this idea, for the good and for the bad.

Unfortunately, the SE sites are not discussion sites, and specificially here on SE.SE, some community members will downvote and close vote anything which just smells a little bit like a discussion. They will also close everything which in their eyes could fit better on TheWorkplace.SE or ProjectManagement.SE, everything which is tool-vendor specific and everything which looks like a tool or third-party resource recommendation question.

Hence, it will all boil down to the point if your question about "Citizen Developers" belongs to the "Systems Development Life Cycle", if the question can be answered by facts, professional first-hand experience and citations, and if it focusses on one clear problem. If you think it does, feel free to ask.

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