When founders (especially the non-technical founders) are at the phase where they have to build a product, they frequently ask these questions:
1. What programming language are we going to use?: Java or Python
2. What will be a perfect frontend function? React or Angular
3. What about my database: MySQL or MongoDB
4. Are we going to self-host the app or go with Amazon AWS, or Google Cloud?
Founders always need this clarity before development so they can be fully abreast of what their entire development process entails and what technology stack is best suitable to build their desired product.
However, there’s usually quite a lot of confusion when these conversations are being had because some of the tech jargon might not be easily comprehensible to some of these founders. Especially the non-technical ones.
For this reason, I have decided to write this article so founders can easily identify critical areas of their products and business as a whole that will determine the most suitable tech stack they need.
But first, lets, look at it the benefits of choosing the right tech stack:
1. Choosing the right tech stack will ensure that the base performance of your product or software is solid.
2. The right tech stack will enable your developers to be a lot more effective.
3. The codebase will be a lot easier to maintain. Also reduces the possibility of accruing technical debt.
4. Easy documentation that will allow for quick fixes of common bugs and performance issues.
Factors To Consider Before Choosing a Tech Stack For your Startup
1. Stage of your Startup:
The type of technology stack you use plays a critical role at every stage of your startup. If you’re new in the market, your primary goal must be to launch an MVP as quickly as possible. Any language/framework that lets you build a working prototype in the shortest possible time frame should be a perfect fit. We use Flutter for our founders. It is a cross-functional framework that allows the development of Andriod and iOS with the same codebase. It is great for startups that need to launch a solid MVP that can compete against entrenched competing products.
2. Key Project requirement:
Before selecting any tech stack, ensure that you understand the core requirements of the project. Does your app require real-time functionality, such as Google Maps tracker, chatbot, or live chat? When you are very clear on the core functionalities of your app, you can then decide the best tech stack for these functions. (You might need to do some research)
3. Resource Availability
The availability of developers who will create your product is a major influential factor that determines your startup’s technology stack. Be sure the developers you choose are willing and able to work within your selected tech stack. Choose a tech stack that has a dynamic developer ecosystem. Widely used programming languages will thrive in the near future and as a business owner, it is easy for you to onboard new developers to your team.
4. Development and maintenance cost
Tech stack influences the cost of development. The major costs you need to look out for are:
a. Cost of hiring a developer: Developers must be skilled professionals and the cost of hiring them differs based on the technologies they work with.
b. Cost of maintenance: The development of an app doesn’t end at deploying the app to the respective app stores. Ensure that you factor in maintenance and upgrade costs. Consider utilizing open source technologies because they are cheaper and can be updated and changed without any restrictions.
5. Time to go to market:
Going to market is perhaps the most important phase for all startups. The faster you build and launch your application, the more exposure you’ll get. The less time you spend developing initially, the more time you get to learn from the feedback of the users.
Here is a list of the common issues you must consider while choosing a suitable tech stack:
a. Third-party integration: Make sure the technology stack you choose allows third-party integrations, to integrate the features you need into your web or mobile application without ruining the product.
b. Developer capability: To turn your idea into a great mobile application, you need to have an experienced team of developers that can use the tools you choose and work with you in the long term.
c. Testing: Make useful decisions based on how easy it is to run tests on your chosen platform. No software is developed perfectly the first time. The chosen tech stack should easily allow you to fix bugs and tweak features without eating up a lot of time.
6. Scalability and security
Products require a well-defined scalability process that works effectively on both the scenarios either vertically or horizontally.
a. Vertical scalability: Allows you add more features on top of the core value proposition of your product.
b. Horizontal scenario: Allows you handle increased volume of users and transactions on the platform.
As for security, always ensure your application is developed keeping the best practices of security and threat mitigation in mind. Run security tests to eliminate the common security threats.
At WePrototype Technologies we build MVP’s for founders with Flutter. It is used to develop cross platform applications for Android,& iOS, from a single codebase. It is great framework for building MVP’s and it highly scalable.