The phrase Tech Stack may sound like a peculiar jargon for non-technical individuals, but for people in tech domain its quite common workaday term.
For those living off the tech field, Tech Stack is a set of most essential technologies (tools, framework and software) that power web/mobile application and its entire ecosystem and drive the product success.
When spoken in terms of web or mobile application development, a fully blown, mature tech stack comprises of programming languages and software that enable developers to write application.
We are first going to briefly glimpse into the importance of Tech stack before taking a plunge into the depth of the subject.
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Importance of considering the perfect Tech Stack
As your entire mobile or web app is built using the power of technology, it is important to learn and acquire enough knowledge about the tech stack.
However, for a person who is into ideation and conceptualization, the job gets a little cumbersome and daunting. But you must know that these technologies are going to determine the future of your web and mobile app structure.
For instance, the choice of cloud technology where your app is migrated from the local storage has a lot to do with the operations and high-volume traffic of the server system.
Furthermore, the application development tech stack will also affect the security level and scalability of app functionality.
When you mull over the different user expectations and think about urgency of delivering flawless app performance, you will realize how important it is to invest in Tech stack that powers your app.
Hence, getting in involved in the extensive brainstorming for deciding on tech stack before the production work is highly considerable since making any changes later will impose intimidating risks related to cost and time.
1) Backend server-side technology
Backend technologies contribute to creating a skeleton for your web or mobile app and stay invisible to users. What users see as visual interface of any app is the result of the powerful involvement of backend technologies.
The set of backend Techs usually includes frameworks, languages, operating systems and servers. What you choose as your backend building is crucial to what you want to deliver.
“LAMP” is quite popular abbreviation in the world of web development understood as a combination of Linux OS, Apache HTTP server, MySQL database system, and PHP programing language. The backend stack can also involve Ruby on Rails framework instead of PHP core.
The Tech stack choice for backend has nowadays been upgraded to MEAN which is another backend tech acronym for MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js. They are especially handy for creating MVPs.
2) Front end (client side) technology
Front end technologies are used to build the visual presentation (client side) of your app that users directly interact with. Users see and depend on the tools and elements exhibited on the screen to get things done.
Front end tech stack is simple and more straightforward than back end stack, and it helps convert your application into a readable form.
Most common front end interface technologies are:
- HTML: Defines information structure
- CSS: Adds style to the content elements (font, colors, layouts, etc)
You can also consider contemporary frameworks such as Angular JS, Backbone.js, and ReactJS.
Front end technologies for smartphone apps:
- Objective-C/SWIFT for iOS apps
- Java for Android apps
Apart from major app development frameworks, you can also opt for certain development-focused software that helps expedite the process efficiency and ensures coordination among developers. It will be great to integrate time tracking and project management tools.
3) How to make the right choice for Tech Stack?
Finally, it all boils down to how you choose your app development Tech Stack. Here is what you should focus on:
a) The purpose of Application
It is easy to find developers pocking technologies that they have experience with or knowledge about. However, one must primarily focus on application purpose to determine what technology suite will create an optimal, project-friendly tech stack.
The factors that play central role here is the application niche such as banking, social media, game or ecommerce. Ask yourself: Is it desktop app or a mobile app? Is it targeting millions of daily users or resolving security concerns?
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Each purpose requires its own unique set of approach and skills for including programming languages and tools.
b) Price vs Flexibility
For project handlers, the confusion between the price and flexibility of tech usage often poses a crux during the discussion. PHP is a commonly used open source structure unlike other solutions and enables affordable code writers.
Other languages may ask you to buy its premium libraries and readymade platforms which will demand more finance.
The price will be easily compensated with flexibility if you seek technology that allows future changes in app functionality. Hence, if your app is focused on evolving features, it is better to choose the extensible language which may add to your upkeep.
c) Business scale and objective
The scale and stage of your business will be another contributor to determining a comprehensive tech stack. For beginners, it is pivotal to launch the MVP in shortest while possible.
Choose the language or framework or CMS that allows you to build a functional app prototype as quickly as you need. That said, WordPress would be perfect for a landing pages or blogging websites and saves you a lot of programming hassle.
Java and PHP sound appropriate if your business space is as sophisticated as banking and commerce.
d) Project scope and length
What are your detailed project requirements? Does it entail real-time live functionality such as a modern-day chatbot? Or does it require developing a GPS-based functionality as found in food order service?
In such cases, concurrent stack like Node supports best. WordPress and Drupal best suits blogging whereas Angular and React helps develop best UI with complex interactions. Remember that any wrong selection will lead to an unpleasant loss.
e) Resources and talent
Apart from choosing the right Tech stack that best goes with your business objective, it is equally important to discover finest developers who are versed and familiar with technologies you practice.
What would influence your decision about tech stack is making sure you hire web/mobile app development experts who can work within your Tech stack. Don’t select the technology that targets only a specific type of projects.
Choose a frequently used tools and frameworks preferred by wide community of developers so that you can easily hire a team of app developers.
4) Cost of development and post-development process
As we discussed above, what you stuff in your Tech stack will influence development cost. Additionally, it would also affect the cost of hiring the right talent.
What kind of skills and experience developers possess for a given technology will drive cost decisions as much as how much maintenance the application requires after MVP development. Think of maintenance and product improvement cost along with development cost.
5) Implement analytics
To better manage the entire tech stack in place, developers also need an efficient, well-synchronized product analytics.
These analytics software bring together available data sources across the whole stack and provide information on the real-time activities and minute tracking data.
Using this, developers can easily identify ongoing issues with user experience and fix them quickly.
6) Timeframe constraints
You would amply appreciate the Tech Stack that optimizes development timeframe so that you will have enough space for marketing the app. Faster you finish the development, the more time you will gain for post-launch marketing and implementing user feedback.
The leading factor that impacts the development cycle is integrating third-party apps. The Tech stack you choose should facilitate swift integration of features in your web or mobile application using third-party APIs.
Aside from integration, also check your technologies for the amount of ease for running tests on the given platform. Having a tech stack that facilitates rapid bug testing, fixes and feature improvements will give you advantage of saving a lot of time.
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7) Create a Powerful Technology Stack
Deciding on Technology Stack requires you to imagine all the wild technical possibilities typically woven in web and mobile app development process.
From project managers and designers to developers and testers, everybody should unite together in an agile fashion to build a powerful Tech stack because this crucial decision can directly affect company’s performance.
To make things faster, dynamic and more controlled, you need to spare some time and talk to a team of experienced developers about your requirements and business priorities. They will suggest software testing tools and software you need to turn your idea into a mature mobile or web app.