Technology November 25, 2020 Last updated November 25th, 2020 252 Reads share

How To Choose Technologies For Software Development

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When working on a web or mobile application, clients always want to see the endgame. To meet clients’ expectations, developers make their best to choose the most viable way to make things happen. But application performance depends on a gamut of aspects with a technology stack being at the forefront.

The cherry-picked tech stack is a jumping-off point for the speed and timeline of the development. In this article, we will provide a look under the covers of the tech stack itself and the staple technologies that power popular services.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

A Few Words on a Tech Stack

A Tech Stack is a synthesis of software tools and programming languages that power a web or mobile application. Applications, in their turn, include two software elements. The first one is client-side and server-side which is also known as front-end, and the second one refers to the back-end. Each layer of the app takes in the features of the one below it. Jointly, they create building blocks that form a stack.

Web Tech Stacks vs Mobile Apps Tech Stacks

Web applications rely on Internet access, which means that you don’t have to download them. This type of tech stack is backed up by the resources offered by the system. To be specific, a browser provides the main driving force for web app tech stacks. Therefore, you’ll need to combine front-end and back-end technologies to build a web app.

Mobile apps are exclusively made for a specific mobile platform, which means that they cannot be reproduced to another platform. To access a mobile application, you have to download it from the store. So if you need to develop a mobile app, you should choose a technology depending on the platform you aim for. For example, if you are building something specific for Apple products, Swift is the language to seek.

Now that we’ve got to grips with the basics, let’s move on to our next part.

Tech Stack for Web Project Development

Back-End Technologies Stack

Choosing the backend tech stack is the first and core aspect, as the backend is what makes the site operate smoothly, updates added easily, and changes made effortlessly.

From the structural standpoint, the backend is a combination of the following components:

  • Programming languages (Ruby, PHP, Python, and others);
  • Frameworks (Laravel, CakePHP, Django, Ruby on Rail, etc.);
  • Databases (MySQL, Couchbase and others);
  • Server providers (Apache Usergrid, Aws Amplify, etc.).

The aforementioned elements fuse together and operate a harmonized workflow.

Front-End Technology Stack

The front end is responsible for the look and feel of the application. Enabled by the backend, this part of the application makes the first impression and enthralls the user. The front end layer aims at making the interface user-friendly and intuitive.

The client-side (front-end) development is fueled by HTML, CSS, and JavaScript so that a user can see and interact with web applications. HTML’s focal area is structure, whereas CSS is responsible for style and layout.

JavaScript can update and change both HTML and CSS. This lightweight programming language brings life to a page by making it more dynamic.

Tiny Guide To Choose a Perfect Mobile App Tech Stack

When we are talking about the perfect tech stack for your mobile app, we usually talk in the context of a particular platform. Let us remind you, that there are three options, including:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Cross-platform Technologies

Now let’s break down each platform-oriented technology.

iOS App Development Tech Stack

To build a native app for the iOS platform, you can consider Objective-C and Swift which are the go-to programming languages to build iOS apps. Mobile app programmers also have IDEs at their disposal, including Jet brains AppCode and Apple’s Xcode.

Objective-C

Objective-C is a greybeard programming language used for writing software for OS X and iOS. Created in the mid-1980s, this superset of C language enjoys stable popularity among mobile app developers. Objective C is well-known for plenty of third-party libraries and massive community support.

Swift

Swift is a relatively new general-purpose programming language that came on stage in 2014. This powerful and intuitive code boasts major benefits including superior safety, lightning-fast operation, easy code maintenance, and speedy app development.

Xcode

Xcode is the IDE heart of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS development. The language has undergone many significant changes over the years. Today, it includes editors, compilers, and other software tools that work together to help you navigate through the full-cycle development process.

AppCode

AppCode is another IDE for Swift, Objective-C, C, C++, and JavaScript development built on JetBrains’ IntelliJ IDEA platform. Thanks to a deep understanding of the code structure, AppCode helps to cope with routine tasks and save time when writing a program. AppCode provides more than 60 code reviews in Objective-C, C, and C++, as well as a range of reviews for other supported languages.

Android App Development Tech Stack

Java

Java is the dominant platform and the official language for Android development.

Created long after C and C++, this programming language takes the best from those robust languages while eliminating some of their pitfalls. Java’s stable popularity owns to its object-oriented and secure nature

Kotlin

Kotlin ranks second among the most in-demand Android development languages. This is a general-purpose, statically typed, and open-source programming language that was first created for the Java Virtual Machine. Kotlin compares favorably with other languages thanks to interoperability, safety, clarity, and tooling support. But the main differentiator is that a Kotlin class necessitates less code, which helps cut down the amount of boilerplate code. This allows developers to say goodbye to findViewByIds.

Android Studio

Android Studio offers lightning-fast tools for crafting best-in-class apps that are comparable with every type of Android device. Being the official Android IDE from Google, it provides a comprehensive toolbox for creating an app, including an intelligent code editor, Android emulator, code templates, and others.

Hybrid Mobile App Technologies

React Native

React Native is a popular JavaScript-based mobile app framework that builds a hierarchy of UI components to write the JavaScript code. Initially geared towards iOS, it was quickly followed up with Android support, before going public in 2015. It provides an array of elements for both iOS and Android platforms to build natively-rendered production-ready mobile apps. By opting for React Native, companies can write code just once and use it to fuel both platforms. This results in enormous time and resource savings.

Now let us simplify the decision-making by enlisting the tech stacks used by worldly-known services.

What’s Their Tech Stack

When bringing your brilliant idea to life, you can’t just copy-paste someone’s creation. However, sometimes it is useful to do a competitor analysis and incorporate the best features. With that being said, we’ve enlisted some tech stacks used by leading services and solutions.

Dropbox Tech Stack

The file exchange service is built on the following technologies:

  • Python
  • NGINX
  • MySQL
  • Amazon S3
  • Amazon CloudFront
  • Memcached
  • Rust

Some other products that make up Dropbox’s tech stack include:

  • Marketing: Postmark, AddThis, and others
  • Analytics: App Annie, Google Analytics, Inspectlet, etc.
  • Finance: Abacus
  • Productivity: Asana, Boomerang for Gmail, Slack, EventBoard, and others.

Airbnb Tech Stack

This prominent marketplace has made great functionalities and features achievable by relying on the technologies listed below:

  • Ruby
  • Ruby On Rails
  • React
  • Moment.js
  • HTML5
  • JavaScript
  • React js, and others.

Uber Tech Stack

Uber makes its transportation as reliable as running water thanks to the following technologies:

  • Node.js
  • JavaScript
  • Express.js
  • Gulp.js
  • Swift
  • Java
  • Objective-C

Netflix Tech Stack

The world’s leading Internet television network is backed up by robust technologies, including:

  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • Kotlin
  • Swift
  • Reactjs
  • Hadoop
  • Spinnaker

Yelp Tech Stack

To make your own app like Yelp you’ll need the following frameworks:

  • Linux Ubuntu
  • Apache
  • MySQL, the Percona fork
  • Python/PHP
  • jQuery
  • React
  • Nginx
  • BugSnag, and others.

Zillow Tech Stack

Being at the forefront of innovation, Zillow blazes the trail with the help of the following technologies:

  • Python
  • Java
  • SQL Server backend
  • Mongo
  • Linux

Spotify Tech Stack

This digital music, podcast, and video streaming is fueled by the following technologies:

  • Python
  • Nginx
  • Java
  • Bootstrap
  • PostgreSQL
  • Amazon S3
  • Amazon CloudFront
  • Kafka
  • Cassandra
  • Hadoop
  • SQL

Snapchat Tech Stack

This app caught fire due to its quickly vanishing image feature. A piece of its tech stack includes:

  • CloudFront
  • Route 53
  • Bootstrap
  • Apache Spark
  • GoDaddy Domain Registration
  • jQuery
  • Lodash
  • Google Compute Engine
  • HTML5
  • Python
  • Nginx
  • Socket
  • SQLite
  • Semantic UI
  • Cocoa Touch (iOS)
  • Immutable.js and others.

Everything You Need To Know Before Choosing a Tech Stack

Well-Defined Minimum Viable Product

MVP which is the most pared-down version of a product is one of the basic principles in the mobile & web application development process. The main aim is to get a bare-bone version of the solution out into the hands of the real users to prove its viability and chart out a plan for further improvements. As a result, you test the worth of your business idea without hemorrhaging financial resources. MVP is also a surefire method to gauge public attention and separate the wheat from the chaff.

Scalability Requirements

The app architecture must be scalable since this requirement is paramount for further success. Scalability is what guarantees that your app won’t crush under the increased load. For instance, if the audience becomes bigger, your tech stack should back up the app to handle this surge.

There are two types of scalability — horizontal and vertical.

  • Horizontal – determines the capacity to run on different devices and handle a growing number of users.
  • Vertical scalability is accountable for the ability to enrich the application with new highlights in the future..

Performance Requirements

Performance features differ greatly based on the necessary response time and number of requests of a platform.

The influence of pre-defined performance requirements is apparent in the Ad Tech Stack. Since the whole system is to keep tabs on multiple events at a light speed, it must lean on the most steadfast option.

Budget

While calculating development cost, there are many factors chipping in. The talent pool and tools, as well as the principle technology and maintenance cost, are just a few points that should be included in your budget.

However, most intensive expenses typically include:

  • Developer Salaries: Web developers are well-versed specialists that price their services high. Note, that a feature-rich app will cost you more; therefore, the coder’s compensation will be even higher.
  • App Maintenance Cost: You should allocate around 20% of the initial development cost to maintain software. Why do you even need it? Every app requires updates to keep users happy.

The trick is to even things out, dodge bloating and overspending whenever you can.

Conclusion

Web app development is like building a house – there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes. And just like contractors, you need several construction materials or tech stacks to build operative and eye-pleasing mobile or web applications.

We hope that with this tiny guide you are now better equipped to choose the right tools and technologies that will help you drive disruptive innovation on a competitive landscape.

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Tom Evans

Tom Evans

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