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Tech Stack Essentials: Choosing the Best for Your Project Success

There isn't such a thing as the perfect tech stack! However, you'll learn how to build your ideal stack with this handy guide.
Daniel Zacharias

Eugenio de Tomaso

August 10, 2023
Building perfect tech stack for development projects

In today’s world of web development, choosing a tech stack feels like navigating through an impenetrable maze with no vision. Over my years as someone who works in this industry, I’ve discovered something that might be able to help you find your way! Are you ready to hear it? 

Here it is — searching for the “ideal” tech stack is not feasible, simply because there isn’t a perfect one! This may seem counterintuitive but bear with me.

By the time you read through this guide, you’ll understand why and gain the fundamental information to develop your own efficient tech-stack-navigating-system. I guarantee it!

Project requirements: The first step in selecting your tech stack

There’s a smart saying from my mentor that always comes into my head when I think of choosing a tech stack: “Every project is a one-of-a-kind adventure, only manageable by an appropriate platform.”

It isn’t about using flashy, new technologies, popular in today’s market, but rather knowing what precisely your venture needs.

Are you asking yourself, “What tech stack should I use for my project?” It’s important to consider the specifics of your product beforehand. Does it require real-time features? Is there a lot of data involved? Would it handle high traffic well? Answering these questions will act as a roadmap when selecting tech stacks.

You also need to contemplate what size your project might become in the future — don’t just choose something that works currently but won’t be suitable if things take off! After all, you don’t want to have to go through an arduous process migrating tech stacks later on down the line when more people begin using your app or system.

Choosing the right front-end tech 

When it comes to the front-end field, React, Vue, and Angular are leaders in the industry, each having accumulated a fan base of its own.

React is probably one of the most famous among developers for fast performance, since its virtual DOM is coupled by a comprehensive ecosystem available. Vue stands out thanks to its simplicity as well as its integration capabilities, which makes it ideal when meeting tight deadlines becomes necessary. For its part, Google’s Angular provides an impressive framework reducing any further requirements towards third party libraries.

But choosing a front-end language isn’t just about reviewing features only. When it comes to the front of your tech stack, performance and user experience are the most important things you should consider. Sure, a tech might have impressive features but if it doesn’t provide a smooth user experience in practice then all of those features will be meaningless.

For instance:

  • React’s virtual DOM has helped alleviate many issues with data-intensive applications by providing smoother experiences for users.
  • Vue is a great choice when dealing with smaller or medium sized projects because its syntax is relatively easier compared to other frameworks.
  • Angular makes more sense when developing large scale enterprise level applications due to its two way binding feature which allows developers intuitive code writing capabilities which helps save time as well as making the development process less complicated overall.

Selecting the best back-end tech 

Back-end technologies such as Node.js, Django, and Ruby on Rails usually take center stage during discussions about choosing a tech stack.

JavaScript’s poster child (Node.js) offers a non-blocking I/O model, making it an excellent bet for real-time applications. Python’s framework, Django, excels with its simplicity and offers vast scientific computing libraries. Ruby on Rails is also favored by startups due to its convention over configuration policy which enables fast development processes.

But selecting the back-end tech goes further than merely evaluating features. Notably, scalability and security are two fundamental building blocks in every strong tech stack out there. Using a back-end technology might seem like an easy thing to do, but if it doesn’t scale well or has security vulnerabilities, then that could cause major issues down the road.

For instance:

  • Node.js is great for tech stacks that need to handle thousands of concurrent connections on one server.
  • Django is perfect when you require your application to interface with scientific computing tools and data analysis whilst still needing strong safety measures such as protection from SQL injection, cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, and clickjacking.
  • Ruby on Rails comes with several useful features built right in. Things like routing, migrations and views are already included so there’s no extra setup required!

The database dilemma: Tech stack with or without SQL?

“Should I pick SQL or NoSQL?” — It’s a question every tech lead struggles with when selecting a tech stack.

When it comes to databases, the tech stack standard is MySQL and PostgreSQL. These are dependable systems which observe ACID compliance — this means that transactions run smoothly and safely on them. Alternatively, Non-relational (NoSQL) solutions such as MongoDB and Cassandra offer scalability along with flexibility. Great thing about them is that data structures don’t necessarily need to be well defined in order for the system to function properly if a large amount of data is involved.

In reality, though, there isn’t any universal answer here but rather what works best for your individual situation. Ultimately it all depends on the actual use case at hand!

The influence of data structure and size on your project will determine the tech stack you use.

For instance:

  • SQL can have remarkable outcomes when working with orderly and stationary information, requesting a predetermined framework, executing intricate inquiry techniques.
  • NoSQL is ideal for an immense amount of unstructured data that need high throughputs as well as adaptable schemas.

DevOps: The silent guardian of your tech stack

DevOps probably isn’t the initial thing to think about while picking a tech stack, but it’s like a secret protector guaranteeing everything keeps running productively without issue – which should never be underestimated!

CI/CD, or Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery can have a tremendous effect on how well your tech stack functions. By streamlining code changes into applications in an automated way, you end up cutting down chances of errors while speeding up development time.

Room for one more? The role of cloud computing in your tech stack 

When it comes to making sure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes with any tech stack, cloud computing services like AWS (Amazon Web Services), Google Cloud Platform or Microsoft Azure are often what hold all the strings together. Depending on which service provider you choose for your project could make all the difference when optimizing existing resources and planning new ones!

AWS, for example, is well-known for its vast array of services making it a great option to consider when you need something powerful and reliable. On the other hand, Google Cloud’s strong AI and machine learning features make it ideal if your project requires advanced data processing. Azure from Microsoft has smooth integration with other Microsoft products so organizations that are already heavily invested in MS tech may find this their go-to choice.

For instance:

  • If what you need is IoT integration plus analytics components and ML capabilities then AWS could be right up your alley.
  • GCP (Google Cloud Platform) checks all the boxes when scalability, flexibility and Big Data solutions top your list of requirements.
  • Azure should get serious consideration especially if hybrid cloud strategies or enterprise grade functionality tops off the must haves on your wishlist, as well as seamless compatibility with existing MS technologies.

Bonus: My top tech stacks

LAMP stack

We all know and love it. It’s the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) an open-source tech stack that’s been around as long as the WWW! It really shines when you need a traditional relational database and server-side rendering for your project.

Serverless stack

Serverless stack is more of an architectural pattern where developers don’t have to worry at all about managing servers or capacity planning. Instead cloud providers manage machine resource allocation on their own dynamically.

Serverless applications hold a lot of appeal, specifically for developers. One great bonus is you can finally concentrate on writing the code without being concerned with what’s happening behind-the-scenes. These apps are event driven – they only operate in response to triggers or events and you just cover for the computing time utilized.

Ruby on Rails stack

Rails (also known as Ruby on Rails) is an open source platform used when creating applications.It’s written using Ruby programming language and follows Model View Controller architecture pattern. 

Rails is known for its convention over configuration philosophy, which means it makes assumptions about what’s the best way to do something rather than requiring the developer to specify it each time. This approach significantly speeds up your development time and makes the code more readable and easier to maintain.

Mastering the art of tech stack: A recap

Picking a technology set isn’t something that’s fixed. It changes as your project advances and new technologies come along.

From analyzing project needs to picking front-end and back-end tools, dealing with database issues, recognizing the role DevOps and cloud computing play in setting up one’s tech stack all confirms one steady fact — there is no single solution when it comes to this matter!

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