The relationship between professional and so-called citizen developers is often uneasy at best. Too often, citizen developers opt to employ higher-level development platforms that run out of head room as the application they created needs to scale. That usually results in professional developers having to rewrite the entire applications.
Kony, Inc. today unveiled an update to the Kony AppPlatform that promises to provide a middle ground via which applications built by citizen developers can easily be extended by professional developers when necessary.
Burley Kawasaki, executive vice president of products at Kony, says Kony AppPlatform 8 has been enhanced to make it simpler for citizen developers to build omni-channel applications that span both mobile and web applications. At the same time, Kony has infused the platform with pre-built application programming interfaces (APIs) that make it simpler for professional developers to invoke backend services such as SQL databases whenever necessary, says Kawasaki.
“We’re trying to provide the best of both worlds,” says Kawasaki.
Regardless of how individual classes of developers may feel about one another, the fact remains that organizations are relying more on citizen developers to create applications. Professional developers are not only expensive to hire and retain, but the amount of time it takes a professional developer to create an application usually exceeds the requirement set by an individual department requesting that application.
Frustrated then by what they perceive to be an IT organization not making their needs a priority, it’s not too long before some individuals inside a department start to build their own applications. Those applications may not always pass muster with a professional developer. But more often than many professional developers would care to admit, the application created by the citizen developer gets the task at hand accomplished. The opportunity and the challenge going forward is to not throw that successful application out with the proverbial bath water just because there’s now a need to scale it beyond a single department.