Citizen Developers and DIY Apps: BBC News Feature


In a BBC News feature, the global news organization discusses do-it-yourself (DIY) business applications and the rise of ‘citizen developers’. TrackVia’s online application platform, and our customer DirecTV, were featured.

Here are a few highlights from the BBC News article:

  • More and more young employees are entering the workforce. These new citizen developers grew up with technology, and the idea of building their own business applications is completely natural.
  • In 2009, Gartner predicted that 25% of business applications will be created by workers outside the IT department — citizen developers.
  • Citizen developers are motivated to build their own applications because they don’t want to wait months, or even years, for their IT department to develop or procure the tools they need to become more productive.
  • TrackVia CEO, Pete Khanna, stated, “Most companies make an investment in the business software they think their staff need, and then individual departments are left to fend for themselves.”


Citizen developer spotlight


  • TrackVia’s online application platform is used by citizen developer, John McGarvey of DirecTV. John is a resource manager for the satellite television provider and used TrackVia’s simple, drag-and-drop interface to create an application to track the company’s numerous third-party contractors.
  • McGarvey stated the company could have chosen an off-the-shelf software solution, but it still would not have been tailored to their unique business, and it likely would have forced DirecTV to change some of their internal processes (something the company did not want to do).
  • After learning that it could take up to two years for his IT department to develop a solution in-house, John McGarvey decided to build a solution himself. DirecTV’s IT team took a look at TrackVia from a security perspective and gave their stamp of approval.
  • In a matter of hours, McGarvey built his own custom application. In the BBC News article, McGarvey stated, “I don’t have any particular coding skills, but to build my applications I didn’t need any.”
  • Result: McGarvey and his department are now more productive and their custom TrackVia application costs much less than the off-the-shelf software they previously used.

To read the full BBC News article: Go here