Written by Dan Parry
Finding the right tools to build your new start-up is essential. The foundations on which your company will be built need to be reliable, flexible and scalable.
It can be overwhelming to make the right choice, there seems to be new libraries and frameworks popping up every week, so the right stack now might not be the best stack tomorrow. But there are some key things to consider when getting started choosing your new startup’s tech stack.
Your team will likely be small and made up of a few fullstack developers wearing many hats; Agile teams get products built quickly and time is money in the startup game. So plan smart. Fast, cost effective solutions that can grow with your product are the key.
Go with what you know. While new technologies can be powerful, having a team of experienced developers using tech they are familiar with can save you a lot of time and cost associated with introducing a new language on day one.
On the other hand, spending some time researching new solutions can bring new powerful tools, always be on the lookout for new tech but don't use it for the sake of it.
If you can, use the same language on the front and as the backend, this will make your developers lives much easier. At the beginning, try to avoid languages like Go, Rust and C++. While they are efficient, they can be slow to develop and expensive to develop with.
Your user base will inevitably grow as your platform becomes more popular and your startup begins to take off, so you need to make sure the infrastructure and architecture you choose is able to scale with you.
Absorbing planned growth is one thing, but the flexibility to keep up with sudden and unexpected scaling is the real test. If your startup becomes an overnight success and your user base triples, you need to be able to take the new traffic on board. Make sure you prioritise scalability in platform architecture and you'll thank yourself later.
Consider languages like Python and Ruby when planning your architecture, as they are great scaling languages and they have great community support.
The cloud service provider you choose to host your platform will also play a huge role in your ability to scale. Make sure that the service you choose is capable of handling reverse proxies, load balancing, multi-tenancy support, and other crucial scaling processes. It should also provide stable uptime - every time your service is down, you stand to lose users.
Cost efficiency is on the mind of all new startup founders, but technology costs money and development costs are unavoidable. Your best friends here are open-source technologies. Being available to the public means you can use them for free.
There is much higher availability of developers for hire that can write in a popular, open-source language, so this will reduce the need for specialist skills in your hiring process. More competition in the market can also mean lower wage prices - but hiring cheap isn't always the smart move so this is an area that requires some careful consideration.
Plan for tomorrow's costs today - Any technology you choose to include in your stack needs to be easily maintainable in the future. A simple and fast solution today can cost you down the line if not properly vetted.
Free tokens from cloud service providers for example are a great way to get you started, but consider how the invoice might look when the tokens run out. Are your tools sustainable in the long term or are you creating a headache for tomorrow?
Time is money and money is time. You want to get up and running as quickly as possible and to do that you need to pick tools for your stack that are easy to use, implement and maintain.
Finding holistic services that can streamline large parts of your development process is a great way to go and can even save you the cost of an extra team member.
Speed to market is vital to startup endeavours for a number of reasons. Budget limitations are the most obvious of these, when the runway runs out and the money dries up, it's game over, so getting a product generating revenue is make or break.
Someone may also get there faster. While it's possible you're the only one in your space providing a solution, it's only a matter of time before someone else comes along and does it better, so getting their first is essential.
Find tools that don't require weeks of configuration and months of continued maintenance.
With your time and budget needs in mind, you don't need to reinvent the wheel when choosing your tech stack. Here are some common stacks you can look into before starting your project:
MEAN - Mongo, Express, Angular & Node
Used to build dynamic websites and web based applications. MEAN is also open source, which means if you come across any issues while using it, there is a huge community to lean on.
MERN - Mongo, Express, React & Node
Another great open source stack, MERN uses React as the front-end framework, which is a lot more flexible and easy to use than Angular in our opinion. Great for full-stack web applications
RAD - React Native & Django
Commonly regarded as the best stack for Web, Mobile and Desktop development, RAD stack is used by many big name companies. It's scalable, easy to modify and open source.
Choosing the right tools for your tech stack will make or break the development process of your product and ultimately the success of your startup. Find a balance of new technologies and what you know to work. Speed and cost are key elements but don't always take the fastest and cheapest option.
There is a wealth of options on the market nowadays so put some time into research. Find the tools that will help you build quickly and scale easily.
PS: If you're looking for a Cloud provider that can save your team the hassle of setting up AWS, Azure, or Heroku, check out Codesphere, the most intuitive cloud provider on the market.
What tech stack do you use? Let us know down below!