5 Steps for Choosing a Technology Stack for Your Project
Before starting any software development project it is essential to choose the right technology stack for it, which is often no easy task. The projects might be of different size and complexity, including 3d party integrations, etc. They can be web, mobile, cross-platform and even desktop applications. Some projects require user-friendly and interactive UI while others are aimed to perform fast but be easy to use. It all depends on the goals your business is pursuing. So before getting any code written, you need to thoroughly consider your project requirements. There are a multitude of programming languages, technologies, frameworks and tools in the market and choosing the wrong stack might cause serious consequences for the project and even business. Poor performance, security, scalability and bad UI are to name a few.
What is a Technology Stack?
A tech stack is a set of technologies used to build a software project. It is a combination of programming languages, frameworks, libraries, 3d party software and tools used by developers.
Applications have two software components: client-side and server-side, also known as front-end and back-end. Each layer of an application is built using the above-mentioned features, creating a stack.
- The front-end is the interface that enables users to interact with the app. Its main function is to provide access and enjoyable user experience.
- Back-end ensures that all features are responding to user requests function properly. It includes programming languages, server-side frameworks, operating systems, databases, and APIs. Business logic, hosting, deployments are also involved in the back-end.
- Middleware isn’t a development tool; it functions as a hidden translation layer connecting front-end and back-end. For ease of communication, middleware combines two or more frameworks, apps, or components. It comprises app servers, web servers, content management systems, and other related tools that support app development and delivery.
The table below shows the layers included in a common tech stack.
Some Popular Tech Stacks
The tech stack may vary depending on the project size and its complexity and other factors. So how to decide on a technology stack?
Below are a few of the common tech stacks to choose from:
How to Choose a Tech Stack?
Different projects might require different development stacks. Time-proven technologies may not be the right choice for some projects, while new cutting-edge technologies might not have the needed functionality or enough support.
Let’s have a look at the most popular technologies used for various types of projects.
For Web Application Development
HTML is used for content creation and placement. All the positioning and ordering of page contents is done using HTML.
While HTML structures content, CSS is used for formatting structured content. This mainly includes the implementation of fonts, colors, layout elements, background material, and so on.
For Mobile App Development
Mobile technologies can be categorized as native, hybrid, or cross-platform. Native app development is based on the use of native programming languages such as Java and Kotlin for Android, Objective-C, and Swift for iOS.
In its turn, for cross-platform development – React Native, Xamarin, and Flutter are of main use.
The use of a native mobile app development approach is much more preferable today as it allows more control and easier hardware access.
Anyway, the chosen technology should enhance the performance of an application — while allowing your development team to maintain the product’s codebase and iterate faster.
5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Tech Stack
In reality, there are a few key factors to consider when choosing a tech stack for your project, in order to quickly narrow down the number of options.
1. Personal Requirements
You need to choose a technology based on the problem you want to solve. Some things are better done in one language than another; for example, Java is great for large-scale projects with complex business logic and platform-independent code that has to run reliably.
Apps should be built with users’ needs in mind. Think about who will be using your app and how to provide them with great user experience and performance. If you want to enter the market quickly, you can start with a ready-made environment in which you can deploy your code and apps before improving performance with your own infrastructure. It is irrational to spend much time and money when you have a small user base, but once you reach the appropriate size threshold you may start thinking about performance.
2. Scope of Project
Small-scale projects are generally faster to deliver and not necessarily require advanced technologies and frameworks. You might need to quickly build up a minimum viable product (MVP), present it to the customer, and get valuable feedback. You might use simple tools and open-source platforms to reach that goal.
For mid-size projects, there is a greater level of technological involvement. Depending on the requirements, they may need a combination of several programming languages and frameworks. Such proj