10 DIY Application Development Platforms

Paul Ferrill

Updated · Nov 09, 2015

Need an application to help you do a specific task more efficiently? Why not create it yourself?

That is the thinking behind a growing phenomenon called “citizen development.” Gartner defines a citizen developer as anyone outside the IT department that creates new business applications for consumption by themselves or others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by the corporate IT department.

Why are citizen development and DIY apps becoming more popular? “The biggest issue is business units getting tired of waiting for IT departments,” explains Gartner research director Mark Driver. “Employees have an intimate knowledge of the subject matter, and they can throw something together very quickly – in six days rather than six months.”

Gartner estimates that in 2010 just 20 percent of large enterprises had established citizen developer policies, but by 2020 this will grow to 70 percent.

Since many citizen development tools are essentially “no code” tools designed for people without specific development skills to make DIY apps, most users can work productively with them. (An Intuit survey found that while 97 percent of citizen developers have traditional word processing and spreadsheet/formula skills, only 36 percent have front end Web interface skills and just 8 percent have traditional coding skills in languages like Java, .NET, C++ or Ruby.)

Here are 10 citizen development platforms worth looking at: