What is a tech stack? Learn all about the concept of choosing a tech stack and how it impacts your software development.
The success of software development relies heavily on the quality of the tools you use. Using the right tech stack can dramatically improve development efficiency. Developers can leverage pre-built libraries, frameworks, and tools to accelerate development, reducing the time and cost of creating software. Additionally, scaling is much easier with the right combination of base technologies.
However, when a team doesn’t plan out its tech stack properly, it can easily become the primary reason for project failure. This is why it’s important to fully understand the purpose and impact of choosing the right tech stack.
In this entry, we’ll break down key components of a tech stack and how to leverage it for your software development project. We’ll start by defining what a tech stack is and how teams use it.
What Is A Tech Stack?
So, what is a tech stack in software development?
A tech stack is a collection of tools, programming languages, and technologies that collaborate to create digital products like websites, mobile apps, and web apps. In simpler terms, it refers to the set of tools used to build and run a software product.
Tech stacks are typically made up of the frontend (client-side) and the backend (server-side).
Frontend Tech Stack
The frontend tech stack is the application’s client side. Anything that a user may view or interact with on a screen is referred to as client-side. The frontend stack’s primary objective is to provide an excellent user experience, a seamless user interface, and simple internal structures.
Backend Tech Stack
The backend tech stack operates on the server side of the development. It refers to a website’s or app’s hidden code and background operations. It powers up the system and plays a crucial part in its performance.
Teams usually decide on a tech stack based on project requirements, their tool expertise, and the given budget. Some of the most popular, tried-and-tested tech stacks are LAMP, ASP.NET, and MEAN. These tech stacks are carefully studied, maximizing and complementing the potential of each tool in the set.
Nowadays, development teams have several tools and platforms to choose from. But having a lot of choices doesn’t guarantee the best outcome. Choosing an appropriate tech stack can be difficult, especially for smaller businesses with limited budgets and resources.
Tips on Choosing A Tech Stack
Now that we’ve established the importance of having a tech stack, here are some tips on choosing your own toolset for development. Consider the following variables when researching technologies to use:
- Redundancy—Identify IT software programs that perform the same or similar duties. Combining redundant technologies can assist in lowering expenses and increasing efficiency.
- Compatibility—Look for software applications that are incompatible with other systems in your firm. Identifying these programs can help increase system integration and eliminate compatibility difficulties.
- Age—Identify outdated software packages that are no longer supported by vendors. Consolidating these programs can decrease security concerns and keep your systems up-to-date.
- Business criticality—Look for software applications that are vital to the operation of your organization. Consolidating these apps can increase system reliability and lower the chance of downtime.
- User adoption—Determine which software applications are being used successfully by employees. Consolidating these applications can help to boost user adoption and streamline procedures.
- Cost—Look for software that is not expensive to maintain, or that requires frequent updates. Consolidating these programs can help save money and make maintenance easier.
Take time to research and assess if your tech stack contains the necessary tools to complete the project. Also, factor in if your software development team is equipped with the knowledge and experience to use it. Bottomline—you need a reliable team who can help you make the right decisions for your project.
Tech Stack: Why It’s Important
In today’s volatile economy, businesses don’t have the luxury to splurge and try out different kinds of technology. If anything, companies are more careful about choosing the tools they’ll invest in. Development toolkits can quickly become expensive when they’re not properly used and are constantly changing.
Here are some of the ways a tech stack can affect the entire development process.
Commercial software subscription rates can range from $10 to $10,000 or more per month, especially for larger enterprises. If there are functional redundancies between these solutions, thousands of dollars will be lost. Likewise, the upfront cost to acquire these tools may take up a big chunk of the development budget. Hence, you’re left with less elbow room in buying more tools in the future.
Tool Training and Onboarding
There are additional expenses for deploying and onboarding new tools and training your team to be experts in them. This typically takes months and might cost two to three times the price of the gadget itself. As mentioned, the upfront cost of making tools usable for a project will take a hefty amount.
Human brains are not designed for continual context change, and organizations are losing productivity hours as a result. Toggling between tools, tasks, logins, and dashboards is time practically squandered, with more time required to get back on a cognitively productive track. This is why it’s important to stick with the decided tech stack from the beginning.
The more programs you have, the more there is to protect. There is also a greater likelihood of things falling through the cracks. Third-party software vulnerability is one of the most expensive vectors of a data breach. This has the potential to have disastrous security consequences.
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