10 Tips How to Choose the Right Tech Stack for Your Product

30 Dec 2019

Sneak Peek at Latest Tech Trends

 

It’s becoming a common practice to keep up with state-of-the-art tech trends for the innovative features they provide to software developers or end-users. Those IT-related solutions, based on Artificial Intelligence algorithms, or integrated with IoT devices, will eventually change the very essence of our world. 

All far-sighted companies tend to invest in the IT sector to strengthen global market positions and boost profits, as well as research and develop life-changing technology, streamlining various industries’ efficiency. It does not surprise the global IT spending reached mind-blowing $3.72 trillion back in 2018, and it grows each year exponentially.

Before going any further, let’s spare a moment and look at some top tech trends that usher in a new software development era, and which all the tech stacks, one way or another, are driven by:

It sounds logical that companies tend to choose the tech stacks that can leverage the potential of these emerging technologies. So, you’d better think twice before opting for the right technology stack for your product, to see if this software solution harnesses the power of tech innovations.

Development Toolkit Basics

 

So, deciding which construction toolkit you shall utilize for creating your project is the first step on a long road, defining a development strategy and, perhaps, the entire business fate. This choice is especially tough for small-size companies or startups since they have small seed funding and cannot opt for cost-intensive approaches. Not to mention those non-tech-savvy business owners with insufficient knowledge of the web development process that may be confused about where to start from.

What is a tech stack anyway? Bluntly put, it’s a set of technologies, frameworks, databases, programming languages, and software tools that are used to build a website, web, or mobile app. Such a development process is comprised of two elements or sides:

  • The client-side, also known as the front-end. The front-end is a part of an application users see and interact with, whether that be a website, web, or mobile app. 
  • The server-side, also known as the back-end. The back-end is a heart, an engine behind the scenes, which gives life and power to software, to front-end.

 

Front-End Key Points

As was mentioned above, front-end is everything a user can see on a screen, and you can say it’s like a book cover. Here are three the most commonly used front end tech stack components:

  • HTML or hypertext markup language determines the structure of information presented on a web page or in a mobile app.
  • CSS or carcass style sheet describes the formatting of an HTML-written document and defines how exactly end-users will see it on their screens. CSS language is used for annotating text and embed tags in styled electronic documents.
  • JavaScript (JS) is a programming language that is primarily utilized for creating dynamic and interactive elements, enhancing the overall user experience.

For enhanced results and simplified coding process, experts also utilize frameworks, specific for each programming language. Here are some popular ones for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript:

  • Bootstrap and Foundation for HTML and CSS
  • React, Angular, Vue, Backbone for JavaScript

 

 

Back-end Key Points

As the flip side of the coin, the back-end is what designing the application itself, remaining hidden from a simple user. Strictly speaking, it’s an umbrella term for procedures including programming the entire business logic, working with databases, server-side hosting, and deployments. 

The back-end has the following working mechanism – server accepts requests from a browser, processes them in compliance with a particular logic, then uses a database, if required, and sends a relevant answer. In other words, this process is called CRUD – create, read, update, demand.

The whole structure of the back-end is way more complicated, compared to the front-end technology. First of all, there are many languages with the related frameworks to choose from. As layered workflow environments, web frameworks can significantly simplify the whole programming process when developing a programming ecosystem. We can list a few back-end programming languages:

  • Ruby (Ruby on Rails)
  • Python (Django, Flask, Pylons)
  • PHP (Laravel)
  • Java (Spring)
  • Scala (Play)
  • Node.js
  • Go
  • Dart

For accepting and processing requests from users, your solution will require a server. We have two in mind:

  • Apache
  • Nginx

For storing the data, a back-end side needs a functioning database. Here are the most commonly used:

  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • MongoDB
  • Redis
  • Elasticsearch

On top of everything else, experts can enjoy the benefits of full stack sets, designed for various goals, based on applied programming language, framework, database, customer expectations, preferable environment, to name a few. Here are some of the most popular tech stacks in this development sector:

  • LAMP is one of the most popular back-end stacks and is an abbreviation for such technologies as Linux (OS), Apache (Server), MySQL (Database), PHP (Language). It’s a low-performance stack with quite a poor scalability, which is mainly used to run PHP applications.
  • MEAN stack stands for MongoDB (Database), Express.js (Framework), Angular.js, and Node.js (Back-end platforms). This JavaScript-related tech stack is commonly used to create e-commerce dynamic websites and web apps.
  • MERN stack is comprised of MongoDB (Database), Express.js (Framework), React/Redux (Library), Node.js (Platform). It’s primarily used for building high-end single-page apps.

 

Most Popular Programming languages

Source: Stack OverFlow
Source: Stack OverFlow

How to choose the right tech stack: 10 Steps to follow

 

With that said, we hope you have a common understanding of web development stacks and structure now, so it’s time for you to learn some helpful hints on how to pick a tech stack for your product.

1. Insufficient Knowledge. In case you are an experienced professional in web development with years of practice and a few successful products, you have preferences in choosing the right tech stack for your job. But this approach doesn’t work well for non-tech-savvy specialists, and may only cause issues in the future when selecting wrong components for a development toolkit. We recommend you opt for expert advice not to get cornered.

2. Previous Success. It’s highly unlikely a technology stack you adopted in your previous project can serve you all the time. As technology advance, there are new tools to choose from. Moreover, those frameworks, databases, and other components you utilized before might be outdated or unsuitable for a new app.

3. Product Size. Depending on the complexity, all projects can be classified into three major categories, which will affect your choice of tech stack. Small-size projects like landing pages, portfolios, and other simple web products can be built with open-source platforms. Medium-size projects like online e-commerce stores are created through frameworks. And finally, large-size projects like social media platforms have a lot of functions and are designed with the help of various toolsets.

4. TTM. Time to Market or simply TTM is exceptionally crucial for startups when a product has to be developed as soon as possible to enter the global market. In such a case, it would be wise to start with an MVP-based project. The whole point here is to create a demo-version asap and check the feedback from end-users to make sure your product is high-demand. For example, Ruby on Rails can help you to accomplish that goal.

5. Experts Availability. Once you opt for a development toolkit, you’ll require experts to perform all coding work anyway. In case you chose a rare and non-frequently-used technology with a tiny number of professionals within that particular sector, be ready to dip into your pocket. We recommend you to read tech-related forums to be on top of things and be aware of modern trends, as well as popular tech stacks within user communities, to avoid winding up with egg on your face.

6. Take the Scalability into Account. The technology does not stand still, so make sure the tools you prefer for your tech stack are decently scalable. No doubt, you wish your product to be accessible and widely used. There are two core types of scalability – horizontal and vertical. The first one means your solution can work on multiple devices and handle a lot of requests, in case the total number of users starts to grow up. The second type means you will be able to add new features, elements, and functions in the future without damaging the origin structure.

7. Security Measures. Sure thing, you’ve heard of cybercriminals and their hacker attacks, which are the biggest threat for any company. As the research says, annual expenses are expected to reach $2.1 trillion in 2019 as of data breaches. Although there are no 100% protection measures, companies put their best efforts to end up with robust security algorithms. Make sure to adopt the latest tools and follow the best security practices and guidelines.

8. Offer and Demand. Before designing a product, it’s vital to perform market research and acquire information on customers’ requirements and needs. Otherwise, you risk spending your time and money on a useless and unwanted project that will likely make you bankrupt.

9. Follow Trends. Don’t hesitate to follow the latest web development trends and keep track of the events to create an innovative solution that can be integrated with other platforms and systems. Besides, if a large development community supports your tech stack tools, you will always get expert help, in case you end up with a significant issue.

10. Functionality and Infrastructure. It’s vital to define your target audience, it’s age, needs, interests, and more, so you can help to solve annoying pain points, dominating the competitors. The web development tools will vary in functionality, based on the final features your product will provide to end-users, so you’ll have to choose wisely.

Summary

 

To wrap it up, the entire web development ecosystem is very complicated and multilevel. It takes years to acquire robust skills and knowledge to create genuinely state-of-the-art technology that can revolutionize a business infrastructure and provide a life-changing solution both for employees and customers.

 

Here, at ByteAnt, we undertake to adopt the most efficient technology stacks and built a competitive product fitting your company’s needs and requirements. If you have any questions left, we are ready to provide a piece of expert advice. Please, feel free to drop us a line at any time.

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About the Author
Valeriy is CEO of ByteAnt with over 15 years of experience in software development always focusing and embracing new technologies IoT and SaaS. Besides leading the ByteAnt, Valeriy is a public speaker on tech talks, events, and meetups; mentor and marathon runner.
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