Project Management

Why Go for Citizen Developer Certification?

From the Citizen Development Insights Blog
by , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Citizen development is a disruptive approach to digital transformation and organizational innovation, where teams are empowered to turn ideas into applications using no-code/low-code technology. This blog provides insights, advice and practical knowledge from thought leaders and practitioners in Citizen Development.

About this Blog


View Posts By:

Cameron McGaughy
Ron Immink
Jody Temple White
Mario Trentim
Jelili Odunayo Kazeem
Jason Mayall
Chandrasekaran Audivaragan
Ryan Whitmore
Kimberly Whitby
Justin Sears
Derya Sousa
Vivek Goel
Raveesh Dewan
Dalibor Ninkovic
Ian Gosling
Tara Leparulo

Past Contributors:

Elizabeth Jordan
Arjun Jamnadass
Rogerio Sandim
Martin Kalliomaki
Richard Earley
Maelisa Woulfe
Octavio Arranz

Recent Posts

5 Top Citizen Development Myths Busted

Empowering Citizen Developers: Overcoming 5 Common Challenges Together

Citizen Development: The Path to Success Starts Small

Can No-Code/Low-Code ERP Replace Traditional ERP Platforms?

No Code, Big Bucks: How Citizen Developers Can Capitalize on the Future of Tech 


Agile, Best Practices, best practices, Career Development, CD Canvas, Change Management, Citizen Developer, Citizen Development, Citizen development, citizen development, Communication, Digital Transformation, digital transformation, Documentation, Innovation, IT Project Management, LCNC, Leadership, Lessons Learned, Low-Code, myths, No-Code, no-code, No-code and Gen Z, PM Think About It, PMI, PMI Global Congress 2013 - North America, PMO, Portfolio Management, Program Management, Programs (PMO), Project Delivery, Project Management, project management, Risk Management, ROI, software development, Stakeholder, Strategy, Talent Management, Tools


By Mario Trentim

Citizen development is not something that´s far out in the future. We now live in an era of hyper-agility that demands citizen development skills to innovate, and the modern workplace and digital businesses require cultivating citizen development to maximize digital dexterity.


Citizen developers are in high demand in all

professions and roles.


Figure 1 – Anyone can be a developer (Gartner, 2019)


Although, in theory, anyone can become a citizen developer (Figure 1), it is not easy to become a successful citizen developer. In a previous article, I laid out five tips to QuickStart your citizen development career. And in this article, I would like to highlight the benefits of certifications to establish your professional credibility and to guide you on best practices.


How can you stand out in the job market as

a professional citizen developer?


Professional Developer vs Citizen Developer

. Before I describe citizen development certificates and credentials, it is important to highlight the major career differences between a citizen developer and a professional developer:

-          Professional Developer: IT professionals and software developers who have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to create and maintain software created for commercial purposes.

-          Citizen Developer: non-IT professionals who are capable of building applications without coding knowledge, but usually with the support of IT.


A typical career path for a software developer may start with database, application services, software development lifecycle, coding skills, and a variety of technologies. A professional developer might become a technical leader, software architect, CIO (Chief Information Officer) or CTO (Chief Technology Officer).


Figure 2 – Software developer learning paths (LinkedIn Learning)


What about Citizen Developers?

What does a CD career path look like?

The Project Economy articulates how work has changed for individuals and organizations. According to PMI´s research, the future of work will be based more on specific projects than roles, meaning change-makers are anywhere in all industries and professions. On top of that, digital transformation is everywhere from products and services to new technologies, new business models, and new ways of work. Consequently, citizen development as a life skill applies to all of us.

Learning a visual interface drag-and-drop system to connect components in a meaningful order to create an application without writing any code is not enough. You have to acquire the skillset to see the world through new lens, understanding business needs through the hyper-agile SDLC (Doing and the Management of Doing).

Figure 3 – PMI Citizen Development framework.


To become a successful citizen developer, you must understand the citizen development framework (Figure 2), as I explained in previous articles. You can take the official course at and showcase your certificate of completion on your resume. The next step is to get certified.


Get a Certification, and Get Ahead

A certification increases your earning potential and employability. You can also access community involvement benefits by getting a certification.

Figure 4 – PMI CD product descriptions and certifications.


Our professions are rapidly evolving, citizen development will upskill your career, enabling you to create low-code applications. That means you can leverage your competencies and experience to achieve more through the use of technology. Take these examples:

-          Finance: as a citizen developer, you may solve a variety of problems by developing a reimbursement app or automated approvals based on business rules;

-          Health Care: as a citizen developer, you may identify opportunities to improve services by adopting paperless technology and real time dashboards;

-          Marketing: as a citizen developer, you may develop applications to improve customer experience, customer service, and more;

-          Project Management: as a citizen developer, you may build a variety of applications to help you updating tasks, manage information and documents, and more;

-          Logistics: as a citizen developer, you may find ways to become more productive by using artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning;

-          Engineering: as a citizen developer, you may combine Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and more to build low-code applications and improve your organization´s competitiveness.


The common story among the examples above is that they use a proven framework to move from the project concept to a minimum viable product. Hyper-agility is the next big thing for all organizations and professionals. And, by getting certified, you get ahead. Visit and stay tuned.


Join the conversation. Let me know your thoughts on the comments below. 


Do you prefer listening to a Podcast? Check out the PMOCast here.


Posted by Mario Trentim on: April 29, 2021 12:38 PM | Permalink

Comments (5)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item
Rami Kaibni
Community Champion
Senior Projects Manager | Field & Marten Associates New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Great post Mario !

Pablo Lledo President| Mendoza, Argentina
Capo Marito! 👏👏👏

Luis Branco CEO| Business Insight, Consultores de Gestão, Ldª Carcavelos, Lisboa, Portugal
Dear Mario
Very interesting the theme that brought to our reflection and debate
Thanks for sharing and your opinion

Tiago Romao Program Manager MSc. PgMP | PMP | ACP | PBA | CBAP | CSM| Altice Portugal | Meo Sobreda, Setubal/Almada, Portugal
Interesting Mario,

Although its uneasy to understand why a citizen would develop apps : finance, healthcare, project management, while there are thousands of apps developed by professional developers, free of charge, available for download to people smartphones.
I do think is important to know how to code, many of people who manage HW and SW projects should know about. For those who want to become specialists, makes more sense to get a certification on cloud, AI, ML. I will get more knowledge about Citizen developer but it seems it tries to solve a non problem for project management professionals.

Mariya Dimitrova Bulgaria

Thank you Mario for the great article! ?? ??‍?? Indeed citizen developers are not just an alternative for traditional coders but the ones who undertake many important responsibilities in an organization. From ideating to recognizing business needs to app building, there is a lot on a citizen developer’s plate. In my opinion citizen developers can help companies a lot. Citizen development is slowly becoming a crucial department for companies as the need for unique user-centric apps is growing. 

Please Login/Register to leave a comment.


"There is not one wise man in 20 that will praise himself."

- William Shakespeare