Alpha Software Blog

"Write-Your-Own-Apps" (by Citizen Developers) Is the Next Big Trend

Citizen Developers will soon be writing their own apps. Is it time for a bring-your-own-apps world? How about a write-your-own-apps world full of citizen developers?

Get Ready: Citizen Developers will soon be writing their own apps.

By now it’s well-known that we live in a bring-your own-device (BYOD) world in which many companies let their employees use the mobile devices of their choosing, rather than forcing them to standardize on a single piece of mobile hardware. And now comes the next natural evolution: BYOA, bring your own apps.

With BYOA, employees use apps of their own choosing that do work that in that the past the company and its technology might do, such as coordinating work hours with other employees and answering questions the human relations department would typically be asked.

The trend was first spotted by the Wall Street Journal in its article, “Apps Empower Workers, Ease Scheduling.” The piece highlights the use of the Shyft app by thousands of employees at chains including Starbucks and Gap Inc.’s Old Navy. The app lets co-workers see their own schedules and that of other employees, and let them swap shifts. The article points out that employees use other apps to do things that unions previously used to do, such as helping employees file claims for wage theft, or explain labor rights. For example, the Android app WorkIt, created by OUR Walmart, which advocates for higher pay and benefits for Walmart employees, offers information about workers’ right. As in the earliest days of BYOD, some companies welcome the use of BYOA apps, others ignore them, and still others discourage their use. Starbucks essentially ignores Shyft’s existence, while Buffalo Wild Wings told the Journal that it encourages franchisees “to use tools that are most effective for them.” And Walmart, according to the article, has discouraged its employees from downloading WorkIt.

How about WYOA?

Given that companies are starting to allow employees to use their own apps at work, it brings up the next question: How about WYOA, write your own apps?

These days, you don’t need to be a professional developer to write apps --- you can be a line-of-business employee, tech analyst, or just someone who wants to give it a try. These employees taking a crack at developing apps are now being called "citizen developers." A WYOA world would be even more effective for employees and companies than a BYOA world, because citizen developers would create apps that are finely tuned for their specific jobs and businesses.

Alpha Anywhere is a perfect tool for citizen developers who want to write their own apps. It’s a low-code, rapid app development and deployment environment for building native-quality, cross platform web and mobile business applications. With Alpha Anywhere, developers of all skill levels can quickly become proficient in building mobile applications that run across all devices.Learn more about how you can easily build your own mobile apps with Alpha Anywhere. To see why low-code development speeds app creation and deployment for both citizen developers and experienced developers, watch this video. If you’d like to  learn how to build mobile apps with Alpha Anywhere.

Learn to become a citizen developer and write your own apps.

Prev Post Image
Open Sesame! See How to Use Other Mobile Apps with Cordova-Open
Next Post Image
TED Talk: “A Problem That Changed The World”-Alpha's CTO Dan Bricklin

About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.