Project Management

Citizen Development

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Topics: Citizen Development
What do I need to start an experiment with no/low code development in my organization
The proof of the pudding is in eating it. And it´s promoted as being easy.

So far I could only find a lot of ´talking´ but no clear suggestions to support doing´. And as I want to start a concrete experiment with no/low code development in my organization I´looking for more ´hands-on´ info & tips to get started. Like: what does one need to get started? Any platform required/suggested? Any free Citizen development platforms available? Sandbox? ...

Really looking forward to tangible tips/tools simply get started and start experimenting with this!
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Anton -

Here's a site with a list of no cost CD tools which you may wish to explore: https://www.g2.com/categories/no-code-development-platforms/free

However, before picking a tool, have you identified a specific use case for using CD and have you got the necessary leadership support for implementing a solution? How will specific quality requirements such as security, privacy or scalability be addressed?

Kiron
I'm using Microsoft Teams/SharePoint, Forms, Power Automate, PowerApps, Power BI, and the common data service to experiment with work intake, pushing approved items from one list to another, and reporting/dashboards. Data and format of the data have been the biggest issues, so far. I did have to instantiate an array variable to pass list data from the form to the SharePoint list, but other than that it's been 'point and click' so far.

We already had the necessary MS licenses for me to work on this, or I might have looked into other platforms.
Hi Anton, I would suggest you to give it a try to a few options for you to build a fair idea of the capabilities of what is available. Most of the low code/no code platforms offer free trials.

Having a solid idea of what is available to use is the recommendation I could give.
Hello Anton - You are asking great questions on how to get started. Kiron is correct, before picking a tool it’s helpful to have the case identified and evaluated to determine with Citizen Development is the right solution. In Citizen Development: The Handbook for Creators and Change Makers - https://www.pmi.org/citizen-developer - PMI walks you through this process, along with other frameworks to ensure you are set-up to properly implement and scale CD. There is also a blog on suitability assessments here: https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-pos...they-important-

Anton, I feel your pain but I can help you get started in the right direction. I can help you get a clear idea how you differentiate the Low-Code/No-Code from the Buzzword or Hype. This Low-Code/ No-Code movement depending on the Company marketing target, it may be a Buzzword because everyone want to hear it, or a hype trends because everyone want to go with it and don't really understand the Company marketing strategy behind it. I love when someone want a FREE Software, that my motivation, FREE AT LAST. I am bringing FREE LOW-CODE/NO-CODE to you, ready? Terms Definition: 1) No-Code platform help user create an app/web app without any coding this will lead to fast prototyping your app and lead to acceptance decision in the company when they have a tangible app that they can test drive so they can focus on providing resources to launch the app. One example is the Google Cloud is called now a Google Workspace Marketplace. Google Workspace has tone of apps you can start discovering if they are Low-Code or No-Code but one for sure I have used is Google Sites and Google Data Studio which is No-Code if you want to focus on just creating Website Go with Google Sites but if you want to build Dashboard go with Google Data Studio, For Microsoft Power BI Desktop to build Dashboard and Report is Free but to share your report in the Cloud you need to pay $9/user/month. Google Sites will help you create Website faster in just 20 min when you get the hang of it, Data Studio help you create Dashboard in few hours depending on your project. My organization the State of Colorado, Department of Transportation were looking for a team member who can assist to maintain a Plone Python-based CMS Division Internal Website and I was asked by my manager to look into it. Due to the finding Plone-Python-based documentation issue, I wanted to explore building the Internal Website with the Google Sites. After 3 hours of learning my way around, I was able to build a stunning website for my team as a prototype and the team adopted that Google Sites was the best way to go. I built 8 Units websites under the Division, plus the Division website in 3 to 4 months as well as supporting and working on other Dashboard development. As you were looking for a free tool, there you got it. If you have a free Gmail then you got all the Free Google app, Low-Code/No-Code. But you can get your own Google Workspace for $6/month so cheap even a middle school student can afford. Just Joking...I wanted to put a smile on your learning (LOL) Let me tell you why I got my own Google Workspace for $6/month, I used to buy the website template between $200 to $500 just to cut down time on building website and $300 to $500 for Web Hosting per year, with Google Sites, my site in already stored in the Cloud so I eliminate the hosting cost and reduced time in building website, cut off all the tools to transfer files like FileZilla, test the website over and over until I am satisfied, cut off the Editor tools like Notepad / UltraEdit time consumption. The benefits is huge as a web developer and Administrator. I just need to buy domain and point to Google Sites Bem "Hello World". But from someone who just getting started, Web Development is so easy these days...I love the experience of digging deep into bunch of code try to figure out what will happen...so much frustruction if the manager is watching on your shoulder and fun at the same time...(LOL) Note: I can confirm that this is no a hype or a Marketing buzzword, this is a true No-Code app that give you everything you need to solve the IT Backlog, shorter project acceptance time for go ahead to solve your problem and is either Free or $6 for all the apps that means Google Sites is at least $0.10 per month. You can't beat that. I am not fun of bureaucracy so I am not patient with Business bureaucracy, they are so slow especially working in government institution but I get more free time to write this piece of information while they are slowing things out (LOL). If you want to do more sophisticated things then you need to use the tag Code function where you can use any HTML/ DHTML/ CSS/ JavaScript to add to your web app. 2) Low-Code platform. This type of platform are sophisticated app and I believe they are called Low-Code from Developer perceptive. If you have been building web application using for example Oracle Developer Suite v6i/ v9i/ v10/ v11g and you are told to use Oracle Low-Code platform or Microsoft Power BI Low-Code platform, yes you will understand that this is a true Low-Code platform because you are coming from High-Code platform where your coding is intensive like Oracle Developer Suite or Microsoft Visual Basic. But it is not a click, drug and drop app. You have some of that functionality but this is still have a learning curve from someone who never build an app before. But if you are determined to build Enterprise app this is the way to go. I did take training from Oracle in Atlanta Georgia just to make sure I understood the tool from Oracle perceptive the cost was $5000 per course but my training Online already gave me an edge. There are great resources on YouTube and now I will focus on putting some of my learning resources out there in the future. For Low-Code platform you will need the basics of everything: Understanding of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) phases because you will be building Software, Database Development Life Cycle (DDLC) phases because you will be building Database where you will store your data before building an app, Data modeling concept using Entity Relational Diagram (ERD) for linking your data, querying or reporting on your data, basic understanding of Client/Server why not? because you need to understand how your database updating data, manipulating data and storing data from collecting data in the app front-end (Client) to pass that on to the Database back-end (Server) etc... that's why the technology is called Client/Server. From Company point of view, this is low version from High-Coding or intensive coding. You will need also to understand the basics of SQL language the Universal and most important language in the world of Data, the basics of PL/SQL to build Packages and Functions or extends apps to Oracle platforms like CRM. ERP etc..., you will need to understand the difference between Packages and Functions so you can reduce your coding as well by just calling the Package or Function to pass the value or use available package so you don't waste time creating your own packages when someone already created it. So you need basic concepts besides the Software tool itself. So NOT ALL LOW-CODE/NO-CODE ARE CREATED EQUAL...this is another topic for next time. This lead us to Oracle Application Express (APEX) one of the most popular Free web app in the Oracle World, the most innovative Database tool on the planet and APEX reside in Oracle Database the most secured Database and preferred by big Institutions including Government and Education, big Corporations and especially from Fortune 50 to Fortune 500. APEX has all of the benefits, you can build millions of app based on the concept of APEX the way APEX was created, many small consulting businesses have been created behind this product, it is innovative, it is free, and Oracle market is huge for you to start your own startup if you wish. If you develop an innovative tool and Oracle like it and integrate that into their product, you will be getting a license fee for life...Listen what I am saying to you...with APEX you can build anything. IF YOU CAN THINK IT, YOU CAN BUILD IT. with APEX any Citizen Development will be the right solution. 1) I rebuilt from scratch a Degree and Major Authorized (DMA) app using APEX 4.2 for the Board of Regents of The University System of Georgia (USG). the DMA app collect all the degree major and minor from 38 Universities and Colleges under the USG. I also built the HelpDesk Dashboard to report tasks that are completed, pending, or not completed. 2) Before I joined the USG, an Oracle consultant, created a Data Collection App using Oracle APEX 4.0, to collect billion of data from 38 Universities and Colleges Banner Systems located at each institution to transfer data to the Data Warehouse staging area 4 times a year to report data to the Department of Education as well as the Governor Office in Georgia. 3) I extended the Data Collection App and add the Error Relief Request Module to send a notification to an institution representative when the Data is Collected and completed. You can download any Oracle Database and it comes Free but you pay the database license or you can download the Free Oracle Database Express at www.Oracle.com if learning to install Database software is a waste of your time, you can test drive Oracle Application Express (Oracle APEX) in the Cloud at https://apex.oracle.com/en/ once you finish your test drive, you can  just reply to my post. Happy Learning Citizen Development to become Google Sites Citizen Developer / Oracle APEX Citizen Developer...


Anton, a few suggestions to get started:

1. I would create a working prototype to demo the benefits to top management, business leaders and users within the organization.
2. Conduct a couple of 1 hour hands-on workshop for anyone interested
3. Create a template to gather use-cases, filter it and prioritize it for LC/NO secure development
4. Assist citizen developers with the LC/NO development
5. Deploy and monitor, fine-tune as necessary
6. Showcase of pilot use cases by selected users

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