On October 9, 2022
Citizen development is not a new concept, but with the rise of low-code development platforms, it has become more popular in recent years. Many organizations see citizen development as a way to quickly create applications without adding to their technical debt. However, there are some risks associated with citizen development that organizations need to be aware of. In this article, we will discuss tech debt in citizen development, how to avoid it, and some best practices for citizen developers.
What is Tech Debt?
Tech debt, also known as code debt, is a term used to describe the extra work that is required to maintain or improve software that has been created quickly or in a hurry. This extra work can come in the form of bug fixes, security updates, or performance improvements. In some cases, tech debt can be caused by using low-quality or outdated code or implementation practices.
In the low-code world, tech debt can also be related to outdated implementations of business processes or functions. For example, if a citizen developer creates an application that automates a process that has since been changed or updated, the application may need to be modified to reflect the new process. This can add extra work for the developer and may require re-training for users.
How Can Citizen Developers Avoid Tech Debt?
There are several ways that citizen developers can avoid adding to their organization’s tech debt. First, they should only create applications that are needed. Creating unnecessary applications can add extra work for the developer and may not be used by anyone.
Second, they should use code only when needed. The native features of your low-code platform should be used whenever possible. This will minimize the amount of custom code that needs to be created and maintained.
Third, they should document their code and app structures. This will help other citizen developers understand the app and make it easier to maintain in the future. Documentation can also be helpful when training users on the application.
Resolving Low-Code Tech Debt
Tech debt in citizen development can be resolved in a number of ways. First, the application can be refactored to use the native features of the low-code platform. This will minimize the amount of custom code that needs to be created and maintained.
Second, the application can be migrated to a different low-code platform. This may be necessary if the original platform is no longer supported or if there are better alternatives available.
Third, the application can be rewritten from scratch. This may be necessary if the code is very outdated or if there are significant changes that need to be made.
Citizen development can be a great way to quickly create applications without adding to your organization’s tech debt. However, there are some risks associated with citizen development that organizations need to be aware of. By following some best practices, citizen developers can avoid adding to their organization’s tech debt.