Before getting any code written, you need to select the tech stack for your app, which is often no easy task, especially for a business owner with a non-technical background. There are a multitude of options in the market and choosing the wrong language or framework might cause serious consequences.
A tech stack is a set of technologies used to build a web or mobile app. It is a combination of programming languages, frameworks, libraries, patterns, servers, UI/UX solutions, software, and tools used by developers.
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.
How to Choose a Tech Stack?
Apps have two software components: client-side and server-side, also known as front-end and back-end. Each layer of an app is built using the above-mentioned features, creating a stack.
Front-End Tech 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.
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.
In its turn, 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. 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.
Back-End Tech Stack
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. Java and .Net are the typical examples of back-end stacks, however, there is a host of other programming languages and frameworks to choose from: PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python, C++, C#, etc
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.
5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Tech Stack
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 projects require more advanced technologies capable of delivering more sophisticated functionalities.
Social networks like Facebook, online marketplaces like Amazon, ERP systems, and other complex systems are developed with a large variety of programming languages and frameworks as multiple functions, integrations, and more security and sophistication is needed, hence, the technology stack must be of a high level.
3. Time to Market
A minimum viable product is a great option when you need to launch your project as soon as possible. You may want to begin with ready-made solutions to minimize the time you spend preparing for market entry. For instance, you can save much time by using the Ruby on Rails framework that provides access to a set of basic libraries.
You can add functionality to your app via third-party integrations and avoid having to write the code from scratch and thus save time on searching for developers. On top of that, well-documented technologies can greatly facilitate the development of some features.
If you plan for rapid growth, don’t forget that the tech stack you use should have the potential to scale sufficiently. Not every tech stack may have enough potential to scale sufficiently. You may either scale vertically by adding new features to your app or scale horizontally by adding more physical machines or processing units to your server.
It is crucial to ensure that the app is built with the best practices of security and threat mitigation in mind. To eliminate common security threats, you may need to run security tests both on the client and server sides. Not all technologies are equally secure so you need to carefully consider your choice before starting the development process.
Different mobile and web apps require different development tools. Unfortunately, there is no uniform effective technology stack. When choosing a technology stack for app development, you first need to rely on the requirements of your project. Sometimes, time-proven technologies may not be enough, because you need to get realistic and understand the pros and cons of each. Our development team of skilled and professional developers can help you assess the requirements of your project and suggest the best tools to develop a scalable and highly functional app that will beat the competition. Get in touch with us.