How to Choose the Right Tech Stack for Your Web or Mobile Project
We made software for 50+ companies, and we know how important it is to choose the right technology stack. The need to find a cost-effective and reliable solution can be overwhelming for many business owners, as not every company can afford such a costly mistake. Fear not! In this article, we'll walk you through the process of picking the perfect tech stack for your business.
Key points of this article:
What is a Tech Stack?
A technology stack, often referred to as a "tech stack," is the foundation of any web or mobile application. Think of it as the digital toolbox from which developers select programming languages, technologies, and frameworks to build and run your software application.
All components are stacked on top of each other to create a complete software solution. This structure makes them heavily dependent on each other.
Choosing the right tech stack brings numerous benefits to your product. It ensures efficient development, scalability, and performance. As long as changing stack technologies can be time-consuming and costly, it's important to make the right decision. However, change is often necessary, and it's important to make sure your system is ready for transformation. A good example of this is the growing trend of migrating mobile applications from Objective-C to Swift.
A correctly chosen tech stack enables seamless integration with third-party systems and provides a solid foundation for future enhancements and expansions.
Typical Application Tech Stack Structure
A tech stack consists of three main components: the front-end, the back-end, and the database. The frontend is responsible for the user interface and user experience, the backend handles the server-side logic and data processing, and the database stores and retrieves data.
Backend technology stack is responsible for business logic, server-side processing, and integration with databases and external services. It encompasses programming languages, frameworks, databases, web servers and cloud infrastructures.
For a simple web application, a typical technology stack might look like this:
Back-End: Node.js, Express.js
Mobile technology stack includes programming languages (Java/Kotlin for Android and Swift/Objective-C for iOS), development studios (Android Studio, Xcode) and UI frameworks (e.g. Jetpack Compose, Android UI for Android and UIKit, SwiftUI for iOS).
Developers also can choose hybrid app development to create cross-platform applications that run on multiple devices with a single codebase.
Innovation or Time-Tested Decisions?
When choosing a tech stack, you may face a critical decision: opt for a custom stack of technologies or stick with tried-and-true solutions. Firstly, let's take a look at some popular tech stacks with proven reliability and companies that use them:
Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP
Popular and time-tested choice for web development, particularly for dynamic websites and web applications. It offers stability, scalability, and a vast developer community.
MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, Node.js
Has gained popularity for its ability to build modern and scalable web applications. It enables real-time apps and facilitates the development of rich and interactive user interfaces.
MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, Node.js
It is optimized for smooth and rapid web development making it an ideal choice for start-ups due to its cost-effective and open-source nature.
Ruby on Rails (RoR) Stack
Known for its developer-friendly framework and productivity. Great for rapid web development, startups, and projects where convention over configuration is preferred.
Java Spring Stack
It will be useful for enterprise-level applications, large-scale systems, and projects that require robust security and scalability.
How to Choose? Top 5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Tech Stack
The development stack for a startup networking platform will be different from the stack for an enterprise-level CRM system. So you need to narrow down your options by considering these top five criteria when choosing a stack:
Define Your Project Requirements:
Before diving into the world of tech stacks, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your project requirements. Identify the core functionalities, scalability needs, performance expectations, and future expansion plans. Having a concrete vision of your project goals will significantly narrow down your tech stack options and ensure you select a solution that meets your specific needs.
Tip: conduct a thorough discovery phase to define project requirements. It sets the stage for informed decision-making and effective project planning.
Consider the Ecosystem:
Each tech stack comes with its own ecosystem of libraries, frameworks, and community support. Evaluate the strength and maturity of the ecosystem to ensure long-term stability and ongoing maintenance of your project. Additionally, check for community forums, developer resources, and active user communities, as these can greatly contribute to the development process and address any challenges that may arise.
Tip: Choosing a popular technology makes it easier for you to find a development team with the skills needed.
Most popular technologies among experienced developers (source: Stack Overflow)
Evaluate Scalability and Performance:
Consider the potential growth of your project and evaluate if the chosen tech stack can handle increasing demands. Look for frameworks that provide scalability features such as load balancing, caching, and support for horizontal scaling.
Tip: Try to find real-world projects created using the technology stack you need. This will help you evaluate its ability to cope with the requirements of your project.
Keep Developer Expertise in Mind:
Consider the skills and expertise of your development team or the developers you plan to hire. Opting for a tech stack that your team is familiar with can save time and resources during the development process.
Tip: Consider investing in hiring a development team experienced in the chosen tech stack to ensure a smooth development cycle.
Analyze Cost and Time-to-Market:
Consider your budget and time constraints when selecting a tech stack. Some technologies might require licensing fees, while others may offer open-source alternatives. Assess the cost of development, maintenance, and infrastructure required to support your tech stack choice. Additionally, evaluate the time-to-market by considering the learning curve associated with the chosen stack, development speed, and availability of developers.
Tip: You can turn to some ready-made tools to reduce costs. But keep in mind that they are less flexible and reliable. So it is worth consulting an experienced solution architect before making a decision.
Finding the Golden Mean Between Cost and Quality
Balancing cost and quality is a delicate dance. It's essential to invest wisely in your tech stack to ensure feasible maintenance and future growth. Prioritize features and functionalities based on your project's goals and budget constraints.
For instance, imagine you're developing a mobile app for a startup with limited initial funding. Your project's goal is to create a user-friendly, feature-rich app to compete in a crowded market. To strike the right balance between cost and quality, you might choose to prioritize core features that provide the most value to your target audience. You opt for a tech stack that includes proven, cost-effective tools and frameworks, enabling you to develop the app efficiently without breaking the bank.
As your app gains traction and secures additional funding, you revisit your tech stack.
How to Choose a Custom Tech Stack for My Business?
While it may be tempting to follow the tech stack choices of competitors or popular companies, it's important to consider your project's unique requirements. A solution that works for others may not be the best fit for your product. Engaging with a competent solution architect allows you to:
Understand your project's specific needs and objectives.
Get expert advice on selecting the most suitable tech stack and avoid potential pitfalls.
Ensure scalability, performance, and long-term maintainability.
Leverage the solution architect's experience and industry knowledge to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the curve.
Struggling to Pick the Perfect Tech Stack? We Can Help Build a System Specifically for Your Project.
Selecting the right tech stack may be challenging. That's why we're here to help.
At Design Key, our team of experienced solution architects and developers can assist you in choosing the right tech stack for your project. By considering your project's needs, goals, and budget, we can craft a customized tech stack. Book a call today and let's start building a system tailored specifically for your project's success.