How to make a mobile application without the help of programmers

Don’t you have the right programmer to do the job efficiently? So why don’t you do it by yourself? It is a solution that is not as impractical as it looks, and why they are choosing increasingly more people with very little – or no – ability to program.

For people who grew up with video games, smart phones, tablets and consoles like PlayStation, the idea of an electronic application if there is nothing available that suits the needs you have, is natural, according to Ian Finley, Analyst Company specializing in technology research firm Gartner.

“It’s a generational thing. Many representatives of the baby boom (the period after the Second World War in which the birth rate increased in some countries) are retiring and being replaced by younger people who have used computers school has handled tools for blogs and simply not afraid of technology”, says Finley.

The concept that employees do not resort to the technology department of your company and develop its own software is not entirely new In 2009, Gartner predicted that you for 2014, 25% of new electronic business applications will be designed by people who were not part of the technical team. He referred to them as “programmers’ citizens”.

Prediction may have not come true, but Finley believes this group definitely growing. “The development of apps made by the user itself has taken longer than we had planned to take off, but is about two or three years that no matter what we predicted”, says Finley.

What drives these people is the knowledge that could be more productive if they had the right tools, explains Finley. He adds, “They do not want to wait for the IT department to develop software for your needs, so they decide to do it themselves”.


Thanks to the proliferation of platforms for the development of applications offered from cyberspace (which is known as the cloud and the cloud is translated) by well-known companies such as and other less familiar as TrackVia and Mendix, the “citizen developers” can work without resorting to expensive tools.

But what kind of applications can create?

Peter Khanna, CEO of TrackVia, says most are used by groups of employees whose numbers range from five to 25, and are specified to meet specific needs unknown to members of the engineering department.

“Most companies invest in the software business needs staffs who believe, but then every department has to fend for himself”, says Khanna.

mobile application

He says that customers tend to develop applications that allow them to track down persons, assets or projects, instead of using spreadsheets. Also tools customized for advertising, for the Department of human resources, or to meet specific requirements of an industry where commercial alternatives do not exist.

Most companies invest in the software business needs staff who believe, but then every department has to fend for himself, “says Peter Khanna, director of TrackVia.

For example, John McGarvey, manager of the California-based company DirecTV, a provider of satellite TV services, TrackVia used to develop an application that tracks the many contractors that the company has.

Notes that DirecTV has tested products on the market, but none was suitable. “The programs tend to operate in a specific way, so you have to modify the working methodology to match that performance. Otherwise, you must reconfigure the application to suit your processes”.


Faced with the possibility of waiting for two years for the technology department to develop a program according to their requirements, McGarvey decided that the obvious solution was to do what he needed.

Before you begin, technicians analyzed DirecTV platform featuring TrackVia in cyberspace, from the point of view of business management and risks. They also considered the security of information that would be stored in the “cloud”.

After he was authorized to use TrackVia, loaded the information from their worksheets in the developed system and its application in a matter of hours, using an interface that allowed drag and drop items and is hosted in a browser.

“I have no programming skills, but to develop what he wanted, did not need any”, says McGarvey. From that moment, and for two months, spent one hour a week perfecting the interface so that it could be used. Currently they use about 20 members of his department.

McGarvey believes that this group is far more productive because of your efforts as “citizen developer”. Additionally, he did cost much less than the tool that had been using previously.


To avoid security risks and violation of regulations that may arise in a company because of the activities of these individuals, Finley believes technology departments should organize programs for those willing to carry out these initiatives.

These programs should provide tools work and also approved an option for technicians in the company can monitor the work of the “citizen developers” applications are doing and the information they are using and storing.

Providing this service is extra work for the team that handles the technology side of the company, but long term, we avoid having to purchase or develop software that staff need.

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