Each project and app are unique and have their own set of requirements and problems to solve for.
Before writing any code, you must choose the tech stack for your app, which is not always a simple process, especially for a non-technical business owner. There are several alternatives on the market, and selecting the right language and framework are key to having a successful app development long term.
A tech stack is a collection of technologies used to create a website or mobile app. It is a collection of programming languages, frameworks, libraries, patterns, servers, UI/UX solutions, software, and developer tools. Basically, everything that makes your app tick.
While this may seem like a daunting task at first, by focusing on key factors, the choices become much more manageable. Here are our top 5 tips to get starting with your tech stack with a focus on Ruby on Rails.
The first question to always ask when starting out, what problem are we solving, and who are we solving it for? Thus, to help find the right choice, apps should be designed with the needs of the users in mind. Understand who will be using your app and how to deliver an impressive user experience and performance to them. If you need to get into the market fast, you may start with a ready-made environment where you can deploy your code and apps before optimizing performance with your own infrastructure. Spending a lot of effort and money while you have a tiny user base does not make sense, but once you reach the right size barrier, you can start thinking about performance.
There are different types of requirements, these are business requirements, solution requirements and stakeholder requirements. Business requirements are the foundation to make a product happen and should align with the long-term future of the project. Solution requirements are product-focused and ensure that the end result is satisfactory to what the product should do. Lastly, stakeholder requirements are there to solve for specific needs of a user or entity.
Small-scale projects are typically completed quickly and do not necessitate the use of sophisticated technologies and frameworks. You may need to create a minimal viable product (MVP) fast, discuss it with the stakeholders, and receive useful feedback. To get started with a small product, using a combination of basic tools and open-source platforms may be more than sufficient.
There is a higher level of technology engagement in mid-size projects. They may require a combination of different programming languages and frameworks, depending on the requirements. Here looking at the length of the initial product cycle, launch and post-launch maintenance should all be considered.
Whether you plan to expand quickly or prefer a slow and steady approach, scalability is always an important factor in getting the right tech. Not every technology stack has the ability to scale enough. You may grow your app vertically by adding new features, or horizontally by adding more physical computers or processing units to your server. From the start, it should be clear whether the tech in question can handle your future ambitions.
The pitfall to avoid is that scaling is not just about technology, it is also about how fast you can iterate on your product and how fast your team can be scaled up or down. Scaling is as much a human problem to solve, as it is technologically.
It is critical to ensure that the app is developed with the finest security and threat mitigation techniques in mind. To eliminate typical security risks, security testing on both the client and server sides should be required. While all modern technologies follow industry best practices, it is still important to understand their strengths and weaknesses. As well as their updating cycles and what this may mean for your future development.
For example in Ruby on Rails private gems can be developed to run your application with an additional authentication mechanism in place. These can be hosted locally or deployed using a secure platform like Artifactory, Gemfury or GitLab.
The success of any good product is timing to market. When you need to start your project as quickly as possible, a minimal viable product is the best way to start. To reduce the time spent preparing for market entry, you may wish to start with ready-made solutions. For example, adopting the Ruby on Rails framework, which offers access to a set of fundamental libraries, can save you a significant amount of time compared to developing the entire solution in house.
Third-party add-ons allow you to add functionality to your app on the fly, without having to build the code from scratch, saving hundreds of developer hours that can be spent elsewhere. Furthermore, well-documented technology can considerably simplify the creation of specific functionalities.
Each project and app are unique and have their own set of requirements and problems to solve for. There is no one-stop-shop solution for having the right tech stack at the start. That means finding and building the right tech infrastructure that fits your (user-) requirements, sort and long term. Don’t fall for the mistake of using a certain tech simply because the name is familiar, or it was used in the past. Instead, create your vision and find the best tech fit for you.
Our development team of qualified and experienced developers can assist you in assessing the needs of your project and helping you find the best fit for your product success. Getting in touch with us is only a few clicks away.