“Tech stack” is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days. But unless you work in software development, you may not be familiar with its true meaning. As a non-technical professional, understanding tech stacks—along with how to choose the right one—can help increase productivity, facilitate better customer experiences, and improve strategies and operations for your business. So what are tech stacks?
A technology stack—also referred to as a solutions stack—is a collection of software services that power application development. These distinct, yet cooperative solutions are strategically “stacked” on top of each other to build websites, web applications, and mobile apps. Think of it like a sandwich, where each ingredient represents a different software solution. Whether it be the turkey, lettuce, cheese, or pickles, each ingredient plays its own role in making the sandwich tasty, nutritious, and presentable for the consumer.
All tech stacks consist of two equally important components: The client-side and the server-side. The client-side—or front end—refers to anything that the end-user interacts with. Front-end developers are responsible for building smooth and engaging user experiences (UX) and user interfaces (UI) and therefore focus on things like page design, formatting, site navigation, and so on. The two main principles of a front-end stack are:
The server-side—or back end of the stack—consists of various elements that users never see or interact with, but are crucial to a site or app’s functionality. Back-end developers work with these “behind-the-scenes” solutions to ensure that business operations run smoothly and effectively. Here are the main elements of a back-end stack:
As a starting point, developers often use proven tech stack models. Many businesses rely on these models, so there’s a lot of knowledge around them on online development forums. Let’s take a look at the two most popular tech stack examples.
This tech stack is known for its simplicity, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Each solution is free and open-source and can be easily modified to fit your business’ particular needs. For example, you could use Python as the programming language instead of PHP, or Microsoft Windows as the OS instead of Linux.
Before getting started on your desktop site, web app, or mobile app, it’s crucial that you choose the right tech stack for the job. If you realize that a different stack model might be more fitting halfway through the project, making that transition will cost you significant time, money, and effort. This is why it’s so important to partner with web development experts—like the team here at Codal—when taking on complex software application projects.
It’s also important to note that your chosen tech stack will play a huge role in the types of engineers you end up hiring. There are many different technologies out there, so developers tend to specialize in specific areas. These technical areas of focus include desktop sites, mobile apps, graphics, databases, quality assurance, CRM, and others.
Simply put, a well-chosen, well-built tech stack helps ensure long-term efficiency and scalability for your growing business.
With so many available options, figuring out how to evaluate tech stacks can be tough. But with the right software development team behind you, your business can adopt a mix of solutions that aligns perfectly with the project goals and requirements. Before making this critical decision, these are the most important factors to keep in mind:
Building a cost-effective, scalable, and secure technology stack requires high-level knowledge of various complex technologies, from servers to databases, to programming languages and frameworks. But as long as you understand the objectives and demands of the final product, a good web development partner can guide the process, allowing you to focus on running your business.
Codal has over a decade of experience building and updating tech stacks for organizations across all industries. We’ve designed and developed websites, web applications, mobile apps, internal business portals, and many other digital products—each with its own custom-made solutions stack. Once we understand the problems your business is looking to solve, we’ll determine the right tech stack for the project, then integrate the applicable technologies, perform tests, conduct any necessary training with your staff, and put together a plan for ongoing maintenance.
Ready to get started? Get in touch with Codal today!