Choosing the right technology stack for your project
Building a new software product? Make sure you are choosing the most appropriate tech stack and for the right reasons!
Selecting the right technology stack for your software development project is akin to selecting materials and tools you will use when building a house. Your decision will determine your product's features, its cost, and its future - its scalability, flexibility, and interoperability. In other words - it is a very important decision that should never be made in haste!
There are many programming languages, databases, development frameworks and other tools that are used by software developers around the world and each of them has its strengths and weaknesses. Every popular programming language today has a strong developer community behind it, convinced that their technology of choice is the best. Just google "what is the best web development technology" and see for yourself.
So how should one make the right decision?
First, you should never choose your tech stack based solely on any one of the following factors: personal preference, industry trends, decisions made by other companies or even other departments within your organization. Ultimately, you are building a unique product with its own set of requirements and your specific business model. At the very least, you should consider those unique features and see how the proposed technology will be able to support them.
Second, keep in mind that every technology has its intended purpose. For example, consider the case of SQL vs NoSQL database. There are diehard supporters of both approaches who sometimes fail to see the negative impact their decisions might have on the product they are developing. When building a transaction-oriented system that requires ACID compliance, you must use a SQL database, such as MySQL or PostgreSQL. On the other hand, if developing a data store for articles, documents, social media posts, or other unstructured data, a NoSQL solution, such as MongoDB or Google Datastore make more sense. The key here is to understand your goals well and to make an objective decision that will help develop the best product possible.
Finally, do not forget that your decision will affect the overall cost of your project. Developer's salary may vary based on their specialization. Some technologies may require integration with third-party tools to make up for lacking features, which may incur unexpected costs. Finally, hosting costs will also differ depending on the selected tech stack.
In conclusion, when planning a new software project, think carefully about what technology it will use and why. If you do not have the necessary technical expertise, consider hiring a consultant with experience in different technologies who will be able to offer an objective advise. If you are interviewing a prospective vendor, ask for their opinion about what your tech stack should be and ask them to justify their recommendation. (Hint: their justification should not be "because this is what we know and prefer.")