You may be familiar with the term “tech stack”, or perhaps it’s a novel phrase to you.
While the individual parts of “Technology Stack” may seem straightforward, the concept takes on a more complex meaning when contextualized in software development.
We’ll delve deeper into the meaning of the term and explore the potential benefits for you and your company.
Put Simply, What Does “Technology Stack” Mean?
When developing and deploying an application or solution, a company or development team chooses a combination of programs, tools, frameworks, libraries, and programming languages collectively referred to as a “tech stack”.
Designing a software technology stack is highly dependent on the specific application being developed and the hardware it’s intended to run on. Multiple factors such as the latest trends, available tools/frameworks, and requisite programming languages for each layer of the solution all help shape the final composition of the tech stack.
It’s clear that the tech stacks for mobile, web, and desktop applications are distinct. Here, we’ll specifically compare web and mobile app tech stacks.
App Tech Stack Compatibility Challenges Between Web and Mobile Platforms
Mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, are commonly used for developing both web and mobile applications, but the means by which the app is accessed is the differentiating factor.
Mobile app users typically download apps from their device’s app store. It’s important to consider the operating system and hardware of the target audience when deciding which technologies to incorporate in the tech stack for the app. This may require extensive modifications to the stack if another operating system or hardware is in question.
Web apps require no downloading or installing, as they can be accessed via web browsers directly. However, the construction of the web app tech stack has unique considerations to mobile app stacks. Web apps must be compatible with various browsers and support the necessary technologies to function across multiple devices.
Compatibility constraints are less pressing for web apps since most tools and frameworks operate smoothly on all leading browsers. However, this may not always be the case. Some tools or libraries may have limitations or quirks that could negatively affect the user experience, contingent on the browser being utilized. Therefore, developers should be cautious when selecting the tech stack for their projects.
The Importance of Technology Stacks
It’s critical not to undervalue the role of technology stacks. Creating a clear pipeline will enable all team members involved in the project to better comprehend how their individual contributions impact the end result.
An efficiently constructed tech stack can decrease issues like incompatibility and inefficiency between different project components. With a good understanding of the different layers and their interactions, developers can predict and prepare for possible issues due to communication and interaction.
A Guide to Selecting a Project Technology Stack
Choosing the right project technology stack involves considering multiple factors. To make the best decision for your requirements, we will examine the most important considerations.
The scope of the project should be identified at the outset, as this is the primary factor to consider when choosing a tech platform. The technologies employed must be tailored to the unique needs of each project, taking into account the devices and platforms involved.
Next, consider the limitations of both your team and the project as a whole. This includes factors such as:
- Considering the budget is crucial for any project as it can determine its success or failure. Technology expenses are often unavoidable, particularly when specialized hardware or custom software is required. The budget will determine the management of other project aspects.
- Thoughtful selection of appropriate technology is vital for a successful project launch. While certain technologies may be indispensable, they may also limit options. Using alternative open-source libraries and technologies may further reduce project costs.
- The complexity of potential technological solutions is directly linked to the amount of time available. Although simplicity is desirable, larger projects may necessitate complexity, as explained in our post about Salesforce positions.
Other factors to consider include:
- The project scope will dictate the type and level of technology necessary to handle the data and information required for completion. It is prudent to consider whether scaling up or down will be required before or after deployment, as having necessary tools and frameworks in place will make this process more straightforward.
- Whenever feasible, it is recommended to leverage the technologies and tools with which your team is already proficient. This will save time and resources on training and circumvent delays and budget overruns. Where viable, it is also wise to choose a widely accepted technology or language that has adequate training resources and recruiting options available.
Choosing the best technology stack for a given project requires considering a variety of factors. While there is no single, one-size-fits-all solution, several technology platforms have grown in popularity due to their adaptability and seamless integration.
Top Technology Stacks for 2023
After understanding the definition and function of a technology stack, we can now examine some of the most common technology stacks used for website development today.
The acronym “LAMP” represents the four elements of a web application technology stack:
- Linux (Operating System)
- Apache (HTTP Server)
- MySQL (Relational Database Management System)
- PHP (Programming Language)
LAMP remains a highly favoured technology stack for its established reliability, speed and flexibility. Its extensive testing and refinement over time have made it a trusted and efficient solution.
As every layer of this system uses open-source software, it is a cost-effective option.
This technology stack allows for easy integration with other frameworks and languages. It can support alternative operating systems, relational databases (such as MariaDB), and programming languages (such as Perl and Python).
The LAMP acronym represents the Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP web application technology stack. A four-part stack for web app development and deployment is similarly referred to as MEAN.
- MongoDB (NoSQL Database)
- Express.js (Backend Web Framework)
- Angular.js (Frontend Web Framework)
Aside from being renowned for its adaptability and scalability, the MEAN stack benefits from various prevalent and extensively used tools and plugins, making it possible to develop highly extensible applications expeditiously.
React is a popular framework used for creating interactive user interfaces, and is well-known for its potent and versatile toolkit.
Vue.js is a frontend web framework that can be substituted for Angular.js in MEAN.
Vue.js has gained substantial popularity for its ease of use, low resource utilization, and outstanding web application performance.
“Ruby on Rails”
Ruby on Rails is a free and open-source software system used for creating dynamic web applications using the Ruby programming language.
Although Ruby has diverse applications, it is closely associated with web application development, primarily due to the prevalence of popular frameworks like Ruby on Rails.
As it offers full support for the following, Ruby on Rails is a comprehensive web application development framework:
- Ruby (Programming Language)
- SQLite (Relational Database Management)
- Trifecta of HyperText Markup Language, Cascading Style Sheets, and Java (Frontend)
An interesting attribute of the framework is the flexibility to transfer data using either JSON or XML.
Django is a Python-based free and open-source web framework that is available for use.
Python has gained popularity, in part, due to its ease of use and accessibility for beginners in coding. Python is commonly used for scripting, as well as in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing.
By default, Django utilizes:
- Python (Programming Language)
- SQLite (Relational Database Management)
- The combination of HyperText Markup Language, Cascading Style Sheets, and Java (Frontend)
Django offers official support for multiple Relational Databases, and also supports additional databases via third-party backends.
ASP.NET is a web application technology stack offered by Microsoft, which incorporates open-source libraries, including those developed by Microsoft, to ensure effective and efficient interaction across all stack tiers.
By default, ASP.NET utilizes:
- C# (Programming Language)
- Microsoft-developed and distributed Server Database Management System (Relational Database Management)
- Frontend combination of HyperText Markup Language, Cascading Style Sheets, and Java
Developers can take advantage of ASP.NET’s tools and pre-built templates to organize their code in a logical and structured manner. One of the design patterns available is the Model View Controller (MVC) pattern, which is included with the platform and can be used right away.
Internet Information Services (IIS), provided by Microsoft, is the most widely used web server for ASP.NET web applications. Microsoft also offers Azure hosting services, which are designed to seamlessly integrate with other Microsoft products.
Originally intended for aiding the development of user interface applications for mobile platforms like iOS and Android, Google’s open-source framework, Flutter, has expanded its capabilities to allow developers to create desktop and online apps from a single source file.
In order to create a Flutter web app, developers will mainly work with the Flutter Framework, which incorporates:
- Dart (Programming Language)
- Stupid Engine Fuss
The Flutter Engine consists of significant libraries that are crucial for development, including animation, graphics, and file and network input/output. Moreover, its robust plugin architecture enables developers to create and distribute their own plugins for greater efficiency.
The technology stack of Flutter is highly adaptable, making it compatible with a broad range of backend solutions.
A component of the framework,
- MongoDB (NoSQL Database)
This is not a comprehensive or conclusive list; the most suitable solution for each distinct project can be identified within the multitude of new technologies and frameworks that are being created regularly.
Choosing a technology stack based solely on its popularity can be a risky decision, as several factors need to be considered. The advantages and disadvantages of each stack and how they will impact the project’s development should be carefully weighed. Investing time in this task from the outset will aid in avoiding possible problems in the future.
Evaluating the capabilities of the team working on the project and conducting research to identify the best solution for the application being developed are vital. Although most of the available options are likely to be of similar quality, it could be advantageous to select a middleware that offers uncomplicated compatibility.
To sum up, if you are uncertain about which technology stack to select, do not be hesitant to seek the advice of our experienced staff. They can assist you in making the most appropriate decision, or at the very least, guide you in the correct direction.
You can be assured that when you receive the top 3-5 CVs from Works, they will all be from suitable candidates who meet the technical requirements of your project. Our recruitment specialists are dedicated to finding the ideal remote developer for you and assessing their competence across all pertinent technologies.