There are many ways to build a software product, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
This guide is here to help you decide how to choose a tech stack by highlighting the essential factors to consider when selecting the technology stack for a web or mobile development project. We will cover:
At Syndicode, we approach tech stack selection with great care, and our clients reap the benefits. MedYouCate, SwiftComply, and Instalinks are just some of the projects that have benefited from our tech stack consulting and subsequent development services.
A tech stack, short for “technology stack,” combines software tools and technologies used to build and run software applications. It comprises programming languages, frameworks, libraries, databases, and other software tools and technologies stacked together for use by development teams.
Deciding how to choose a tech stack is a crucial step for any software project. Your decision should be based on a thorough assessment of your project’s needs, your team’s skills, and the current market conditions.
The specific functionality and features your project requires will often dictate the choice of technology. For example, if the project involves building a real-time chat application, you’ll need technologies like WebSockets to make it work effectively.
Moreover, some programming languages and frameworks are better suited for handling performance and scalability demands. Thus, microservices architecture, containerization (such as Docker), and cloud services can efficiently handle high workloads and scale horizontally.
On the other hand, if your project is small, simple, and unlikely to undergo frequent changes, monolithic architecture and a simple language like PHP can be a cost-effective option for both development and maintenance.
It’s generally a good idea to make the most of your software development team’s existing knowledge and skills. When developers work with technologies they are already familiar with, it results in higher productivity, efficient coding, and better decision-making.
However, sometimes projects require new technologies or frameworks due to specific needs or industry trends. In such cases, consider engaging external specialists to work alongside your core team.
This way, you will allow your team members to learn and gain expertise in the new tech stack. The key here is to ensure that the new technology aligns well with what your team is already comfortable with. This approach minimizes the learning curve and keeps your team motivated.
Alternatively, you can outsource your entire project to a reputable software development partner that specializes in creating applications similar to yours.
Staying ahead of the curve by embracing a trending technology can give your project a competitive edge. This can translate into innovative features, an enhanced user experience, or improved security.
Moreover, when you opt for a web development tech stack in high demand, you increase your chances of finding skilled developers who are well-versed in that particular stack. Conversely, selecting an outdated or niche technology may pose challenges in recruiting and retaining talent.
Additionally, market trends impact the availability of third-party integrations and libraries. Choosing a popular tech stack often means you’ll have access to a wider range of tools and services that can streamline the development process.
Selecting the relevant web development stack is a critical decision that can significantly impact your project’s success, development efficiency, costs, security, and long-term sustainability. To make an informed and practical choice, follow these steps:
Chances are, your business already has some IT infrastructure in place unless you’re just starting out. It’s a good idea to take a closer look at the tech tools you’re using and how a new software project fits into the picture.
To do this, gather your development team and list the technologies and components you currently have.
The next move is to evaluate your tech stack by answering these questions:
It’s a smart decision to get an external IT consultant to provide a fresh perspective on how you can enhance your tech setup with minimal effort.
Once you’ve identified the strengths and weaknesses of your current tech tools and have a plan for improvement or switching to a new tech setup, you’re ready to move forward.
First, take a look at the skills within your current team. What frameworks and programming languages are they good at? It’s usually wise to let your development specialist decide how to choose the tech stack. Working with familiar technologies gives you better control over the development process.
If you decide to outsource the development work, we recommend choosing a development partner based on your comfort level in working with them and leaving the question of how to select a technology stack up to them.
Here’s a list of key factors to consider when selecting a software development company:
Read also: Why is quality assurance important?
Review the unique needs of your project and assess how they align with the vendor’s skills and the considered tech stack. If your current technology setup doesn’t fully meet the project’s requirements, you may consider expanding it with new components, libraries, or modules.
Additionally, you might discover other technologies, frameworks, or libraries that work well with your current tech setup and can help address gaps.
Alternatively, you can decide to migrate to a new tech stack.
When evaluating project requirements, consider the following:
The more widely used a tech stack is, the easier it is to find developers. Here’s the catch, though: some tech stacks have only gained popularity in recent years, which means that most developers working with them are relatively new to the field.
This isn’t necessarily a drawback, as not all projects require the expertise of a senior developer. In addition, junior developers usually charge less for their services. But you must be absolutely certain that your project is simple enough for a junior team to handle.
Otherwise, you risk missing deadlines and implementing unconventional solutions for something that could be done simply.
Here’s how to assess the popularity of a tech stack:
To ensure the chosen tech stack is the right fit, build a minimum viable product (MVP) or a prototype to test its capabilities. Here’s a basic framework to help you efficiently evaluate the suitability of the new tech stack without dedicating too much time and resources:
Most software applications follow a client-server model. In this setup, user devices connect to central servers over a network to communicate rather than talk directly to each other. These applications typically consist of two parts: the client-side (or front-end) and the server-side (or back-end), with different technology stacks involved in their development.
These tech stacks can be divided into three main categories:
There is also a middleware layer. This is software that connects the back-end and front-end of an application. It facilitates data parsing, communication, and management between the application and the server or database.
Middleware includes things like application servers, web servers, content management systems, and other tools that support application development. Since this layer isn’t directly involved with building the application business logic, we won’t delve into it in this blog post.
However, while MEAN, MERN, and LAMP are established tech stacks, they might not be the ideal choice for every project. Your development team may need to create a unique tech stack tailored to the specific requirements of your software solution.
Now, let’s see how to choose a tech stack for each application layer.
Angular, React, and Vue.js are the top popular technologies for building interactive web pages. They all have vibrant ecosystems with active communities, extensive documentation, and various third-party libraries and tools. Their component-based structure promotes code reusability, maintainability, and a structured way of building user interfaces, making them the best tech stack candidates for web apps.
Here’s a closer look at what makes each technology stand out:
As we said earlier, tech stacks for mobile development are technically front-end since there isn’t much difference between tools used to create the backend layer for web and mobile software.
Yet, front-end development for mobile is additionally categorized into native, hybrid, and cross-platform development. The tech stacks for each of these categories vary in objectives, features, required resources, and budgets. Let’s take a closer look at them:
Native app development tech stacks
Native app development involves creating apps for a specific platform, such as iOS or Android, using the official software kits (SDKs).
Hybrid app development tech stacks
Hybrid apps are built using web technologies wrapped within a native container. Two popular tech stacks for hybrid development are:
Cross-platform development tech stacks
Cross-platform development tools enable developers to write code once and deploy it across multiple platforms. The top popular tech stacks in this category are:
Xamarin (C#) relies on the C# language and the Xamarin.Forms framework. It offers robust integration with Visual Studio and provides access to native APIs and device features. However, developers may need to write platform-specific code for some features.
When building the data access layer of software, most developers opt for Ruby on Rails, Node.js, and Django. These three technologies have gained popularity because they adhere to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern, which makes development more straightforward. They are also open-source and compatible with various operating systems. Additionally, each of them boasts a thriving community.
Let’s delve into the distinct advantages and drawbacks of each technology:
When a team uses a standardized tech stack with the same programming languages, frameworks, and tools, it fosters collaboration, knowledge sharing, and mutual support among team members. This, in turn, improves teamwork as developers can understand and contribute to each other’s code more effectively.
Additionally, a consistent tech stack often results in well-documented best practices and coding guidelines. These documents serve as references, helping the team stick to coding conventions and make informed decisions.
A well-chosen tech stack includes technologies that boost your application’s efficiency and speed. It can efficiently handle a growing user base and increasing data loads. Moreover, a good technology stack comprises tools and technologies that receive regular updates, further enhancing your product’s performance.
A uniform tech stack that your development team is familiar with ensures efficient work and faster code development than learning new technologies. This reduces labor costs related to development.
Furthermore, the relevant tech stack often includes technologies with active developer communities and robust support. It means developers can easily find solutions when issues arise, lowering troubleshooting and maintenance costs.
Lastly, modern tech stacks often come with automation tools for deployment, testing, and monitoring, leading to more time and cost savings.
Deciding how to choose the appropriate tech stack is crucial to creating a sustainable and prosperous product that can adapt and expand in sync with its users. Many of today’s technology giants attribute a significant portion of their achievements to making the right tech stack choices.
To illustrate this, let’s examine the cases of Netflix and Airbnb as well as one of Syndicode’s clients:
This tech stack offers Netflix several benefits that would be more challenging to achieve with other technologies, considering the company’s needs and resources.
Thus, the modular architecture simplified large user base maintenance and scaling. A combination of Java, Spring Boot, and Node.js for web application development enables seamless streaming on a global scale. React and Redux on the front end create a rich and interactive user experience vital for engaging users.
Finally, diverse databases efficiently handle various data types, from user profiles to content recommendations.
This unique combination of technologies offers the company a dynamic and interactive UI critical for user-friendliness. The company is also known for its frequent feature updates, made possible thanks to developer-friendly Ruby on Rails and Node.js environments.
The chosen databases, in turn, allow Airbnb to collect, analyze, and gain insights from large volumes of data, helping make data-driven decisions.
Harvest Inn is an Australian travel planning platform that serves as a hub for campervan stay options. It makes it easier for users to plan their journeys comfortably while ensuring compliance with local laws.
Syndicode developed the platform from scratch, with our team assisting the client in choosing the right tech stack. As a result, the platform was built using the following technologies:
The resulting product was launched within a short timeframe, meeting the client’s requirements. It is secure, easy to maintain, and scalable.
Thanks to the use of mature technologies, the client has flexibility in choosing a development partner, whether they opt to continue working with Syndicode or explore other options.
The cost of a tech stack can vary significantly based on multiple components. Here are some of the factors that contribute to the overall cost of a basic web application:
|Factor||Sample provider||Expense per factor|
|Hosting||AWS EC2 instances|
(2 m5.xlarge instances)
|Data storage||Amazon S3 and RDS||$300–919.04/month|
|Content Delivery Network||Amazon CloudFront||Starting at $0.11 per GB|
|Operating Systems||Included in AWS costs|
|Database Software (RDS)||Included in AWS costs|
|Development team||Starting at $2,000/developer/month|
|Third-party libraries and tools||Starting at $0.0/month|
|Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) costs|
|Subscription services||Slack, Trello, etc.||Starting at $0.0/month|
|Security tools||Starting at $30/month|
|Penetration testing||Starting at $500 per scan|
|Maintenance and support|
|Upgrades and patches||Varies based on the frequency of updates and complexity|
|Technical support||Starting at $30/hour|
|Data storage||AWS S3||$0.023/GB|
|Data transfer||AWS S3||Starting at $0.0|
|Licensing and compliance|
|Intellectual property licensing||Starting at a 5% royalty rate|
|Compliance costs||Varies based on industry regulations and data protection requirements|
|Training and certification||Varies based on business needs and the number of team members|
|Monitoring and analytics||Amazon CloudWatch||Starting at $0.65/GB|
|Scaling and redundancy||Varies based on configuration|
|Domain Registration||Starting at $5/year|
|SSL Certificates||Starting at $8/year|
|Consulting services||Starting at $30/hour|
To choose a suitable technology stack for web development, it’s essential to consider several factors:
Evaluate factors like compatible programming languages, frameworks, and database options when deciding.
If you require guidance from an independent software development company, Syndicode can provide a tech stack assessment tailored to your project’s unique requirements and your team’s expertise. Our specialists excel in various technologies and have a proven track record of creating customized software solutions that align with our client’s business objectives.
Feel free to reach out to us through the contact form to describe your needs, and we will respond with suitable options in less than 24 hours.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of which combination of languages and frameworks forming a stack is the best because the choice of a web development tech stack depends on many factors. When deciding how to select a technology stack, you should consider your project requirements, team expertise, budget, industry, and trends. Moreover, it’s worth comparing different tech stacks, assessing their scalability and community, and consulting with experts or experienced software developers.
A typical technology stack consists of two main components: the client-side (front-end) and the server-side (back-end). The front end includes a programming language and a development framework. The back-end additionally encompasses databases and supplementary technologies, such as libraries, containerization tools, and hosting platforms. In addition, a software development project’s tech stack may include testing frameworks, DevOps and CI/CD tools, and analytics. It’s important to pick the right components that best suit your project’s needs and align with your team’s skills.
Yes, it is possible to migrate to a new tech stack, but it can be resource-intensive, time-consuming, and may come with associated risks. It’s essential to have a well-defined plan, engage experienced developers, and thoroughly test the application at each migration stage to minimize disruptions. Additionally, consider creating backups and rollback plans in case unexpected issues arise during migration. Basically, migrating to a different technology stack means redeveloping an application using other technologies.
Choosing the wrong tech stack for a software project can lead to development delays, higher costs, poor software performance, limited scalability, security vulnerabilities, vendor lock-in, and maintenance challenges. To mitigate these risks, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research, assess project requirements, and carefully consider the pros and cons of different tech stack options before making a decision. Additionally, involving experienced developers and conducting pilot projects or prototypes can help validate the suitability of the chosen tech stack for your project.
To keep your software adaptable, scalable, and up-to-date in the ever-changing technology and business needs, opt for a tech stack that can easily adjust and grow as your requirements change. Look into open-source options and cross-platform frameworks. This will help you avoid getting stuck with one specific vendor and allow your software to handle more users and data when needed. Consider adopting an API-first approach to simplify connecting your software with external services and technologies as required. Keep up with industry trends and emerging solutions. You can follow relevant news sources and participate in developer communities. Regularly update your project’s technology stack with the latest releases, security fixes, and bug patches. If it’s time to move to a new stack, create a detailed plan for the migration. Before making major changes, consider running pilot projects or prototypes to confirm your chosen technology or approach.