How to Choose the Right Technology Stack for Your Project?
The success of any IT product directly depends on how well and competently the tools for its creation are selected. This set of tools is called a tech stack. Tech stack affects product development, its cost, complexity, and duration. In this article, you will learn what a technology stack is and how to choose it correctly.
What Is a Technology Stack & Popular Examples
A technology stack is a set of tools for developing a certain application. As a rule, the stack consists of programming languages, frameworks, libraries and software used to build an application that meets business requirements. Tech stack can include different development tools depending on the application platform (web, mobile, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Windows, etc.).
Take a web application as an example. Web application has two parts: client and server. The client side displays what the users can see on the screen. The most important elements of the technology stack on the client side are:
- HTML that displays content in the browser
- CSS that helps to style the content
Frameworks like Bootstrap or React.js are based on these technologies.
The server side of the application is not visible to the end user, it provides data for the client side. As for the server side, we must take into account the choice of:
- a backend programming language such as Java or C#,
- frameworks like Spring or .NET,
- a database such as PostgreSQL or MongoDB,
- a server such as Apache or Nginx, or choose a serverless architecture.
When you plan your application’s technology stack, you must consider the server side and the client side.
Examples of Modern Technology Stacks
The choice of technology stack is influenced by project size and complexity, product functionality, project timeline and other requirements. Project requirements often coincide, that’s why the development community formed tech stacks with a stable set of tools. Some of them have become so popular that they have got acronyms:
LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl/Python. It’s an open-source web development stack for building web applications. LAMP reduces development time and is flexible enough to build applications for different platforms (WAPM – Windows, MAMP – MacOS and other).
How to Choose a Technology Stack for Web Development
The choice of technology for the implementation of the project is the key to high-quality development. On the one hand, you can save money and get a working application by reducing the stack. On the other hand, you can increase the duration of development and complicate this process. Therefore, when choosing, consider the following:
- The size and type of the project. The larger your product is, the more tools you will need to develop it. For example, small projects as a personal blog don’t require sophisticated development tools compared to heavyweight project management software.
- The complexity of the project. It directly affects the technology stack and determines how many tools will be involved and how many specialists will be required. Compare the numbers, Walmart Labs uses 19 technologies to support their website, while Instargam uses only 6.
- Development speed. If you need to build an MVP to show it to stakeholders, tech stack for your project should include frameworks that speed up code writing.
- The cost of specialists. If your tech stack is complex, it’s more likely you’ll need to fire narrow specialists, who usually cost more.
- The availability of specialists. You may not simply and quickly find a specialist for every task. For example, fewer people work with Angular than with React. If you need to find the right fit for your project, contact Talentica.
- The availability of ready-made solutions. Some frameworks have ready-made templates, which allows you to reduce development time and the cost of development.
- Security requirements. A banking app and a calendar with company events need different levels of protection.
- Cross-platform flexibility. Are you going to use the product on smartphones and computers? Make sure the framework allows you to develop a cross-platform solution.
- The ability to integrate with other solutions. Often, the expansion of functionality occurs through integrations via API. When assembling a stack of technologies, you should consider this possibility.
Choosing Mobile App Stack
Mobile applications have similar requirements when it comes to the development process. The app size and complexity, required time to market and budget affect tech stack. However, you should first decide what type of application you want (native, hybrid or cross-platform).
- Native mobile development targets specific operating systems such as Android and iOS. Each of them requires a different tech stack. Thus, Android apps are built on Java or Kotlin with the help of Android SDK and Android integrated development environment (IDE). The iOS tech stack includes Objective-C or Swift, XCode IDE and iOS SDK.
- Hybrid mobile development leverages the benefits of native programming and web development to provide cross-platform compatibility. Hybrid apps are quick to develop. The tech stack includes Apache Cordova and Ionic frameworks.
- Cross-platform mobile development provides applications for different mobile operating systems. Developers write code once and then reuse it to build the app for another platform.
Tech stack includes React Native and Xamarin frameworks.
The choice of technical stack should reflect the experience of the team. It will be pointless to choose tools that the selected developers do not own. You also need to consider questions such as how large the ecosystem of tools is and whether it can be easily integrated with other third-party tools. Ideally, you need a flexible technical stack that does not limit you to working with a narrow set of modules. Other important aspects to consider include goals and objectives of the product, scalability, safety and complexity.
Industry Giants and Their Teck Stacks
Moreover, the Meta developer’s community contributes to software development by building custom development tools. To scale interactive query execution, Meta engineers invented Presto, a unique distributed SQL query engine optimized for on-demand analysis. It is used by thousands of employees who perform more than 30,000 queries daily using many pluggable backend data stores such as Hive, HBase and Scribe.
Airbnb helps more than 100 million users view nearly 2 million bookings, and their ability to correctly suggest new travel experiences to these users is critical to the company’s growth. The number of technologies used for Airbnb’s website is 86. They mainly rely on Hive and Apache Spark, as well as Meta Presto.
Pinterest provides 100 million monthly active users with over 10 billion page views each month. In 2015, they expanded their data team to over 250 engineers. Its infrastructure comprises 14 technologies including Apache Kafka, Storm, Hadoop, HBase, and Redshift.
The choice of technology for the implementation of the project is a responsible step. The quality of the product and its capabilities depend on what tools are used. Therefore, we pay special attention to the selection of tools. Your task is to select the optimal technological stack that will give you the most valuable product at the minimum cost of time and money.