As a modern company, the software you use is the foundation for everything you do. So you want to make sure it is solid enough to build your business on, but at the same time flexible enough to scale up, innovate or expand. So how do you pick the right tech stack? Marek Gajda, CTO at The Software House has years of experience building tech stacks for the most innovative companies and is here to help with solid tips.
What is a tech stack?
When you build your company, you’re going to have to choose specific technologies that will become important for you in the long term. That’s your technology stack. It refers to all the major technologies that make up your software that your organisation relies on for its bottom line. When your product includes a web application or mobile application, it will likely need a frontend framework, a backend programming language or framework, a database, and an infrastructure provider. All of that is carefully chosen software.
When you create or transform that software, you have a lot to think about. You have important decisions to make on the technologies that your business idea will rely on. Decisions that are going to influence your application’s performance and scalability. But also the development speed (including time-to-market) and the ability to find the right developers to take care of your software. And while it is not impossible to change a tech stack in the future, it is also hard work that you’d rather avoid. So you want to be sure that you’ll have talented developers available to maintain and upgrade your software.
What to look for in a tech stack?
Picking the right tech for your company can be daunting, but you don’t have to go at it alone. Marek Gajda, CTO at The Software House has dozens of custom software projects under his belt, as well as a clear eye on the market as proven by the report The State of Frontend 2020. So what advice does he have to make sure you pick the right tech for your company? Make sure you focus on the right stuff. Starting with:
1: What you want to build
Not every technology is suitable for your use case. Some of the most popular choices for backend technologies for the web are Java, Python, .NET, Ruby, PHP and Node.js. Those last two are often compared and weighed against each other.. PHP has been around for a long time and established itself as the most popular backend language on the web. As the older and more battle-proven technology, it shines in projects that do not require developers to reinvent the wheel. Such as eCommerce stores, CRM, CMS, warehouse systems or any other business system based on forms and databases.
Meanwhile, the Node.js platform is considered the new kid on the block, gaining the support of a vast community and many innovative companies. When you’re looking to make a very innovative and interactive project, Node.js may be the better choice. It’s a modern technology which attracts like-minded developers. It is up-to-date with all the latest trends and proved especially useful for modern software solutions used in, for example, fintech.
2: What the current tech trends are
Technologies come and go, and it is important to keep up. The longer you stick to old ones, the harder it will be to develop your software. For example, in the latest State of Frontend 2020 report, you can see how fast the trends in the frontend development are changing. Some trends seem to be pretty solid, though. React is the most popular framework with more developers using it (74%) than Angular and Vue.js combined. It’s a clear forecast that React will still reign supreme in the near future. This means that choosing React for the frontend part of your tech stack sounds like a very future-proof decision.
3: If there are talented developers available
4:What the developers’ own ambitions are
Good software companies let their developers grow their skills in any way they see fit. If you let your talented developers develop, they may come up with awesome innovations that will help realise new apps and new features faster. And if you don’t employ software developers in-house but rather outsource it, choose a vendor that makes sure their developers have the possibility to improve their skills and have time to think about innovations.
For example, one of our developers had the ambition to create his own end-to-end testing framework because the existing ones were not fitting our needs and were cumbersome. We dedicated some time and resources for this challenge, and that’s how Kakunin was born. This tool drastically improved test automation in our entire organisation, not only in this one project it was meant to run.
5: The evolution of the tech stack
In the world of technology, nothing is set in stone. Once chosen, your tech stack may still change. Sometimes they must be revolutionary, such as switching from outdated legacy technology. However, most of the time they have a more evolutionary character. Nevertheless, you work with technology now, and things constantly change. So don’t get scared when you hear someone say: “Well, we need to update our tech stack a bit.”
For more information on choosing the right tech stack, please visit The Software House’s Technology Radar where you can check out which solutions we use daily and which we avoid.