On July 20, 2022
Organizations looking to implement a low-code/no-code platform often face the so-called “blank slate” problem. This feeling of being overwhelmed can be caused by a lack of experience in programming or software development, not knowing where to start, or feeling like they are not capable of learning. Even with considerable learning resources, the modern business landscape presents a daunting challenge for the citizen developer.
The first step in solving the blank slate problem is acknowledging that it exists. This can be a difficult task in itself, as it requires admitting that there is a lack of knowledge or experience. Once the problem is acknowledged, it can be addressed with proper resources. This article will review strategies for combating this roadblock and what steps are needed to establish a functional citizen developer program in your organization.
How to Identify the Blank Slate Problem – The Easy Way
1. Look for the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Citizen developers who are feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of learning a low-code/no-code platform are likely experiencing the blank slate problem. This feeling can be caused by a lack of experience or knowledge in the field, not knowing where to start, or feeling like a given task is insurmountable.
2. Determine the source of the feeling.
Once the feeling of being overwhelmed has been identified, it is important to determine the source. Is the citizen developer not experienced in programming or software development? Do they not know where to start? Do they feel like they are not capable of learning? Once the source of the feeling is determined, it can be addressed.
3. Address the source of the feeling.
If the citizen developer is not experienced in programming or software development, providing them with resources, such as tutorials, documentation, and community support, can help solve the blank slate problem. If the citizen developer does not know where to start, providing them with a clear and concise guide can help. If the citizen developer feels like they are not capable of learning, providing them with encouragement and support can help. Citizen development is very much a people-driven process, more so than a technical one.
Culture Ideas to Combat The Blank Slate Problem
Consider implementing a peer coaching program where more experienced citizen developers help those who are just starting out. This will also help company morale and strengthen coworker bonds, effectively making your citizen development program a social outlet versus a chore.
Encourage a culture of lifelong learning by providing resources and opportunities for continuous learning. This keeps citizen developers engaged and excited about the possibilities of the low-code/no-code platform, rather than feeling bogged down by the learning process.
Make it easy for people to ask questions and get help when they need it. This could be in the form of a dedicated Teams channel, a weekly Q&A session, or even just making sure that the people who are supposed to be helping are accessible and willing to do so.
The Relationship of Burnout and The Blank Slate Problem
Burnout is real, and even with the best of intentions, can happen to the most passionate and enthusiastic of us. Solving the blank slate problem can help to prevent or mitigate burnout by ensuring that citizen developers have the resources they need to learn and be successful.
When citizen developers are overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn, they are more likely to experience burnout. By providing resources and support, we can help them to avoid or recover from burnout.
Some signs that a citizen developer may be experiencing burnout include:
- Withdrawing from social corporate activities
- Loss of interest in the low-code/no-code platform or in learning in general
- Decreased productivity
- Increased absenteeism
If you notice any of these signs in a citizen developer, it is important to reach out and offer support. Often, all it takes is a little bit of help to get them back on track.
Solving the blank slate problem is essential to the success of any low-code/no-code platform. By providing resources and support, we can help citizen developers to avoid or recover from burnout, and to be successful in their learning journey.
Solving the blank slate problem can be a difficult task, but it is important to remember that it can be done. By providing the citizen developer with resources, such as tutorials, documentation, and community support, the blank slate problem can be successfully managed in any size organization.