If you have no idea what a Tech Stack is or how it is going to benefit you, do not worry. You soon will!
A Tech Stack is basically the stack of technology you will use in each part of your project. It’s like preparing everything you need to put in your suitcase for a holiday. Let’s take a closer look!
What is a Tech Stack?
A Tech Stack is the set of tools that are needed in order to build and power an application. It is a mixture of software apps, frameworks, and programming language. As well as the set of tools used, it is also the link that combines the operations.
It can be broken down into the front-end, the side that the client sees and the back-end, the server.
Understanding the Back-end
It is crucial to know that the back-end is the ins and outs of an application. It has to run smoothly, particularly if there are aspects other than just HTML. In terms of structure, the back-end is made up of:
- Frameworks- Swift, Objective-C, Django
- Databases- MongoDB, MySQL
- Server providers- Apache, Nginx
Each part is interlinked and works with each other. You can’t just add a part because it is funky, this will affect the running of the program. Choose back-end solutions that are commonly used. If one day somebody else works on your program and has no idea about the programming language you use, you might have to start all over again.
Understanding the Front-end
Considering this is the part that app users will see, you have to design a front-end stack that is convenient, accessible and clear. There are typically two main parts to front-end stack:
- HTML- structures and puts content in the right place
- CSS- the presentation, including backgrounds, colors, and font size and style
What you need to know about Stack Technology
Never take Stack Tech for granted- it is what defines how your app will be. Because of how closely they are linked, you must choose each tool with a lot of thought and listen to developers’ advice. A developer may even be able to show you new technology that is more suitable for you.
New ideas are great if you are just beginning your project. If you have started, you will have to explain to the developer exactly what tech stacks you have used. There are advantages and disadvantages to each technology used. Now we will have a look at how to make your tech stack powerful.
How to make the most out of your Tech Stack
A clearly defined platform
You need to know precisely what your project is going to be able to do so that tech stack documentation can be prepared. You need to know if you are going to make a web application or mobile application, both have different tech stacks. You know how different an Android is to an iPhone, so are their tech stacks.
A good place to start is by knowing about your target audience is. Are they more inclined to pick up their mobile or switch on their desktop? This has to be decided early on so that you can decide on the correct platform to use, whether that is a single platform or multiple.
If you have decided on an MVP, the best option is a single platform. It will be more economical.
Defining the requirements for MVP
Regarding mobile and web applications, MVP is the most important thing. MVP is like a way to proof run of your project, testing its viability and what its competition is like in the real world.
MVPs are your starting point, start with a set of tools that will allow you to achieve your goals. Stacks will normally grow from this. Even though you are just starting out, you still need to have a long-term plan in place that will be built into the configuration from the outset.
While scalability can be adjusted throughout the process, you need to have the foundations before you can make the changes. There are two forms of scalability:
- Vertical scalability- adding more elements to your app
- Horizontal scalability- being able to run more on a device
They are equally important. Imagine an e-commerce tech stack. Scalability is about keeping both the flexibility and the mastery of the operations.
Is your team an expert in technology?
Behind every good app, there is an excellent team! If your team is struggling to use various technologies, it is absurd to think of a non-tech-savvy person using it. This is more relevant if there is a technology that your team is not used to. An excellent way to resolve this problem is to outsource a team extension.
If you hire a team or just one contractor, make sure that communication and collaboration are above excellent!
At the end of the day, the performance of your project is what really matters. You can get performance stats from the business requirement and from seeing what the technology is able to do. It is all very well if the product is concept-wise (it reaches the right target audience), but if it isn’t functioning to the full extent, what is the point?
Performance requirements are related to the speed the system reacts and the number of requests it can process at a certain rate. You need to choose an option that will fulfill the performance requirements for your project. If along the way you don’t feel like it is working, don’t be afraid to move on to alternatives.
As with any type of project, you need a budget for your tech stack. Here is where things get a bit more complicated. Software development can cost more than you would think. Here is a break down of potential costs:
- Hosting costs for keeping the product
- The salaries of developers
- Licenses and technology education
- Cost for maintaining your project
Keep a close eye on each element of your budget and resist the urge to spend more unless it is absolutely necessary. The fact that software development is so fast-paced, on occasion, it is difficult not to spend in order to keep up.
Examples of Tech Stacks in the Real World
Below you can see two examples of tech stacks. It is not advisable to just copy these. Remember that a tech stack has to be specific to the project.
Spotify tech stack:
- Google BigQuery
- Google Cloud Dataflow
- Amazon S3
- Google Cloud Bigtable
Slack tech stack:
- Apache HTTP Server
- Android SDK
Hopefully, now you not only understand what a tech stack is but also the importance of selecting tech stacks that are suitable for a certain project. There are numerous options but don’t get overwhelmed or side-tracked by them. Stick to your plan!