Choosing which tech stack to use is probably the most important decision you’ll face when building software. Why? Because a tech stack ensures that the software website or app you are developing will run efficiently. It directly impacts its speed but also its ability to change and transform in the future.
If you are in the process of creating a reliable software application or website, likely you’ve done some research on what the best tools, frameworks, tech stacks are. All this information not only gives you headaches, but it also makes you feel overwhelmed and pressured when making the right decision. Fortunately, there is a simple solution. The trick is to identify your project’s main needs and then analyze what tool suits the project better.
In the case of seeking the best tech stack for your project, you’ll find numerous options to choose from. However, when you know your main need and why you need a tech stack, your options are likely to be reduced. This article will take a more in-depth look into what a tech stack is, how it impacts software projects, and the best models you can choose for your next software project.
What is a Tech Stack?
Before diving deep into the best tech stack tools is fundamental to understand why you need a tech stack in the first place.
Let’s imagine that your project is to build a web application. For that, you will need a back-end server where all the information is processed and passed to the database. And you will need a front-end server that consists of what your users see and interact with when they visit your web app.
The collection of all languages and tools used on the back end or front-end, along with other tools to create the web application, is known as the technology stack..
Think of a tech stack as you think of a banana split. You can’t make a banana split just by thinking of it; you need all the ingredients! The bananas, different ice cream flavors, cherries, whipped cream, chocolate, etc. Put them all together, and voilà, you have your dessert.
Tech stack works similarly; it’s made up of the tools and technologies you need to build the software.
Popular Tech Stack Models
Using the right tech stack for your software product is fundamental for your application’s success and profitability. There are companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Uber that have their own tech stacks. While you can make deeper research finding the best tools and technologies for building yours, you can also cut this slow and lengthy process and choose a tech stack that is already built and ready to be used.
There are many programming languages, tools, and technologies that work perfectly together and help developers build software successfully.
These are the 4 best tech stack models to consider:
In case you’re wondering, the name is an acronym that stands for:
Express.js – Back end web app framework.
AngularJS – Front-end web application framework. It runs your JS code in the user’s browser allowing your UI to be interactive.
MEAN’s main features:
- MEAN is backed up by a strong community of developers. Therefore, if you face a roadblock, you’ll easily find a solution.
- The applications of the MEAN stack are suitable for cloud hosting since they are flexible and scalable.
- MEAN is one of the fastest open source stacks for developing frameworks, and it contains many tools and plugins that help developers reduce time and optimize their workflow.
- Supports the MVC (Model View Controller) architecture to make the development process more efficient.
One of the biggest benefits developers experience when using MERN is that they can create powerful web applications characterized by having interactive UIs. This, in terms of business, is highly relevant because having a website with good UI performance is what makes users attracted to your website, making them possible customers.
MERN’s main features:
- It’s perfect for full-stack developers because it follows the traditional 3-tier architectural pattern, including the front-end display tier (React.js), application tier (Express.js and Node.js), and database tier (MongoDB).
- MERN comes with a pre-built extensive suite of testing tools.
- Using MERN allows you to use code on browsers and servers simultaneously.
Yes, MEVN is exactly like MEAN and MERN, only that instead of using Angular or ReactJS, it uses Vue.js.
Over the past years, Vue.js has gained popularity because it incorporates both Angular and React’s best features. Therefore, with the MEVN stack, you have a lightweight solution that offers great performance and a rich set of tools to create a website application. Vue.js is mostly used in front-end web development, and it has two-way data binding that allows seamless front-end development and interactive, server-side applications.
To sum it up, the MEVN stack contains software components that are used to design both front-end and back-end development to improve your website or application functionality.
MEVN’s main benefits:
- It’s easy to learn, and it delivers a clear programming style.
- MEVN is the best tech stack for full-stack developers using mainly Vue.js
- MEVN’s is used to design efficient front-end and back-end components and significantly improve your web application performance.
The LAMP tech stack is known to be the classic of stacks. It has been popular because it offers technologies that allow you to build web apps in a fast and stable manner.
The LAMP acronym stands for:
Linux – Operating system
Apache – HTTP server
MySQL – Relational database management
PHP – Programming language
The LAMP was one of the first open-source software stacks; it was created in 1998, and despite its years, it’s still one of the most popular stacks to deliver web apps. It offers stability and simplicity, making it suitable and a common choice for developers who want to build easy and effecitve web applications.
LAMPs main features:
- It can run on any operating system.
- LAMP can manage dynamic pages updating the content every time it’s loaded.
- Because LAMP is open-source and non-proprietary, you can choose the components you need depending on your project.
- It offers a robust platform that is suitable for creating and maintaining large scale apps.
- LAMP offers thousands of libraries, modules, and add-ons.
Now that we have covered some popular choices out there available for you, the question is, what do I choose?
How to Choose a Tech Stack?
All the tech stacks explained above are useful and contain great features. However, its effectiveness relies on what you use them for. For example, if you are developing a web application where you want to focus mostly on the user interface (UI), MERN is likely the right tech stack for you.
Suppose you chose a tech stack without having a strategic approach or without even analyzing your project. In that case, you have a higher risk of having performance failures or errors that will lead you to start your project again, wasting your time and money.
Before making a fast decision, analyze your project, and understand what the main purpose is. This will help you make a wise decision regarding the tools and technologies you need for your website or application. Here are 3 factors that will help you decide which is the right tech stack for your project:
First, you must think big. Scalability is one of the factors that may be a rocket launcher for you.
Ask yourself some questions that are relevant to your project. For example:
How big will your project grow?
Why do I want to build this project?
Is it a long-term project?
Will I survive in the market?
This is fundamental. You might be wondering that asking those kinds of questions might be even utopic because you haven’t even started the project, so it’s better to start small and then go big. However, it’s the other way around. Yes, you start small, but you need to have a goal in mind. If you build software that is not scalable when your business grows, it might fail with time because you didn’t prepare for that growth.
Besides thinking of your business growth, it’s always relevant to keep in mind your project’s audience. Who will the project serve? Think about your end-user; is your project going to be B2B or B2C?
When thinking of the audience, other facts start to appear. For example, it’s equally important to consider the best technologies that make your users have the best experience possible, tools that will generate great feedback. Along with this aspect, you have to consider the budget; how much are you willing to pay for these tools?
Speed is also another factor that becomes fundamental, and that matters to most users. Imagine for a moment that your web app has an audience of business entrepreneurs. Not to generalize, but most of them have a trillion things to do daily, so if you develop a slow app, they won’t stand it. They will wait for three seconds and then delete it because it was way too slow.
There is no way you’re going online as a banking app without considering your users’ security and data protection.
You can build the security on your own or look for a library or framework that does the job. Think about firewalls, DOS safety protocols, malware intrusion, and many other important aspects. Search for a security framework that does the job for you.
You have now identified critical points that you must think of. The next step is to look for technologies that suit your needs in scalability, end-user, and security. When you have already figured out these aspects, and other essential criteria for your project, then you can choose between these top tech stacks to build your project successfully.
Regardless of the tech stack, you choose for your app, you should be invested in how your project will manifest in real-time.
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