Back to Catalogue

Choosing the best tech stacks for modern engineering teams

We’ll touch on the most popular tech stacks and their key components, as well as essential factors to provide insight into how to select the appropriate software stack for your project.

5 May, 2023
post image

Just like selecting the right frontend development services is crucial to create a seamless user experience and maintain code quality, the right tech stack is a key decision for modern engineering teams. With so many options available, the process can be overwhelming. The right choice can mean the difference between a successful project and a costly failure.

Read on, and we’ll touch on the most popular tech stacks and their key components, as well as essential factors like time-to-market, project requirements, or cost-effectiveness, to provide insight into how to select the appropriate software stack for your project.

Defining a technology stack

A technology stack refers to the collection of tools, frameworks, programming languages, and libraries used to develop a web application. It typically comprises both the frontend and backend components of an application, including the web server, database, and any other required software or services.

The primary goal of a tech stack is to create an efficient, scalable, and maintainable web application that meets the project's needs. An appropriate and suitable technology stack should balance performance, functionality, and ease of development, providing a solid foundation for your successful web application.

By the way, don’t forget to visit our blog to find out more helpful engineering info, for example, the best practices for debugging in Node.js, including using debugging tools and logging techniques, or the importance of a scalable Node.js architecture in modern tech stacks and how it can help improve the overall performance of your web application.

Let our dedicated team step in!

We will help you cover every aspect of your product development.

Estimate cost

Key components of a technology stack

The critical components of a technology stack are the building blocks that make up the architecture of a web application. They can be broadly classified into two categories: frontend and backend. The frontend components are responsible for the presentation and user interface of the application and include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

On the other hand, the backend components are in charge of processing data and handling the application's logic. They include the web server, database management system, and server-side programming language.

Other components, such as caching mechanisms, load balancers, and message queues, may also be included depending on the application’s specific needs.

From tried and true options like LAMP to newer, innovative stacks such as MERN and MEVN, below are the most popular tech stacks used by modern engineering teams.

Exploring MERN and MEVN stacks

MERN and MEVN are two popular tech stacks commonly used for building modern web applications. MERN is an acronym for MongoDB, Express.js, React, and Node.js, while MEVN stands for MongoDB, Express.js, Vue.js, and Node.js.

These full-stack JavaScript frameworks allow developers to build scalable and efficient web applications using a single language, making it easier to maintain code and collaborate within the development team.

MERN vs MEVN stacks
MERN vs MEVN stacks

Delving into MERN

MERN is widely used for building web applications that require real-time data processing and high performance.

MongoDB is a NoSQL database known for its flexibility and scalability, while Express.js is a lightweight web application framework for Node.js that provides a simple and flexible way to build web applications.

Lastly, React is a powerful JavaScript library for building user interfaces, and Node.js is a runtime environment that allows developers to run JavaScript code on the server side.

Examining MEVN

MEVN is another modern web development stack that is gaining popularity due to its simplicity and flexibility, allowing developers to leverage the power of the JavaScript ecosystem to create web applications that are easy to build, maintain, and scale.

Like MERN, MEVN is also a full-stack JavaScript framework that includes MongoDB, Express.js, and Node.js, but it uses a progressive JavaScript framework Vue.js instead of React for the front-end, making it an excellent choice for building lightweight and performant web applications.

The LAMP stack

The LAMP stack is a time-tested and reliable choice for building web applications requiring dynamic content and database interaction. LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

Linux is a free and open-source operating system, Apache is a web server software, MySQL is a database management system, and PHP is a server-side scripting language widely used for web development.

The LAMP stack gives developers a cost-effective and reliable way to build web apps that can be easily deployed on various operating systems. It is also highly customizable, allowing the integration of multiple libraries, frameworks, and tools to meet specific needs.

WAMP and MAMP Stacks

WAMP and MAMP stacks are similar to the LAMP stack but specifically designed for Windows and macOS operating systems, respectively.

WAMP stands for Windows, Apache, MySQL, and PHP and uses the Apache web server software and the MySQL database management system, along with the PHP server-side scripting language. Using it helps easily build and deploy web applications on Windows-based machines.

Like WAMP, MAMP also uses Apache software, MySQL system, and PHP, but for Apple devices, and is a popular choice among macOS users due to its ease of use and flexibility. Both stacks are fully customizable and support various web development frameworks and tools.

Ruby on Rails as a tech stack

Ruby on Rails, commonly called just "Rails," is a popular web application framework built on top of the Ruby programming language that follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern. It has been used to build a wide range of web applications, from small-scale projects to large-scale, high-traffic sites such as GitHub, Airbnb, and Shopify.

Rails is known for its "convention over configuration" approach, which encourages developers to follow a set of conventions rather than configuring everything manually. It also includes built-in features like automatic database migrations, scaffolding for generating boilerplate code, and an easy-to-use templating engine.

Utilizing Angular and Node.js

Angular is a popular front-end framework developed by Google that also follows the MVC architectural pattern and provides developers with a range of features such as data binding, dependency injection, and component-based architecture.

Node.js, on the other hand, is a server-side JavaScript runtime built on top of the Chrome V8 JavaScript engine, known for its non-blocking I/O model, which makes it efficient for handling a large number of concurrent connections.

When used together, Angular helps build the front-end of the application, while Node.js is used for the back-end API and server-side logic. This allows for seamless communication between the client side and the server side of the application, amping up the responsiveness.

Optimizing your startup team during a downturn: come out on top by taking action today

Combining ASP.NET Core with React

Combining these two is another popular full-stack choice for building apps that require high performance and scalability. ASP.NET Core is an open-source, cross-platform web framework that allows developers to build web applications using the .NET framework. It's known for its high performance and scalability, as well as its ability to run on Windows, Linux, and macOS.

React is a popular front-end library developed by Facebook that allows developers to build reusable UI components for web applications. It uses a declarative approach to building UI components, which makes it easy to write and maintain complex user interfaces.

Integrating Django, Vue.js, and Python

Integrating the flexibility of Django, the simplicity of Vue.js, and the power of Python is another winning combination for building complex and easy-to-use web applications while following industry-standard best practices.

Django is a high-level Python web framework that allows developers to build web applications quickly and efficiently. It provides a range of built-in features, such as an ORM, an automatic admin interface, and an authentication system.

Vue.js, on the other hand, is a progressive front-end framework that allows developers to build dynamic, interactive user interfaces for web applications. It's known for its simplicity, flexibility, and performance. Python, as the underlying language, provides developers with the flexibility and power to build complex applications.


Selecting the appropriate software stack for your needs

Now look at the key factors you must consider when choosing the proper software stack for your needs.

Evaluating the available talent pool

Evaluating the available talent pool involves assessing the skills and expertise of your team members or potential hires to determine which technologies they are proficient in and whether they can effectively contribute to the development process.

This process may involve conducting technical interviews, reviewing resumes and portfolios, and evaluating past projects to determine the proficiency of candidates with specific technologies or tools.

You’ll also want to consider the training and development opportunities available to upskill team members and ensure they are equipped to work with the selected technology stack.

Considering time-to-market factors

When considering time-to-market factors, you need to weigh the benefits of using a particular software stack against the potential impact on the speed and efficiency of the development process.

Assess the availability of pre-built components, libraries, and tools to help speed up the development and evaluate the level of community support and documentation for the chosen technology.

Don’t forget to consider the level of complexity of the chosen stack and whether it aligns with the skills and expertise of your team members.

Analyzing project requirements and scalability

This next step involves evaluating the specific needs of your project and ensuring that the chosen stack can effectively meet those needs both in the short and long term using factors like performance requirements, data storage and retrieval needs, and the ability to scale the application as user demand grows.

It's important to consider both the current and future needs of your project, as selecting a stack that cannot effectively scale or meet evolving requirements can result in costly and time-consuming migrations in the future.

Opting for a cost-effective tech stack

Opting for a cost-effective tech stack means assessing the financial implications of selecting a particular software stack for your project by evaluating factors such as licensing costs, hosting fees, and the cost of developer resources needed to implement and maintain the technology.

A balance between cost and functionality is vital. Selecting a stack based solely on cost without considering its ability to meet project requirements can result in costly and time-consuming development efforts in the long run.

Additionally, it's important to consider the potential cost savings that can be achieved by selecting a stack that offers pre-built components and libraries, reducing the need for custom development efforts.

Let our dedicated team step in!

We will help you cover every aspect of your product development.

Estimate cost

Finding the ideal tech stack for your project

To summarize our technology stack guide, selecting the ideal stack for your project involves evaluating a range of factors, including project requirements, scalability, available talent pool, time-to-market factors, and cost-effectiveness.

Today’s most popular options are MERN, MEVN, LAMP, WAMP, MAMP, Ruby on Rails, Angular and Node.js, ASP.NET Core with React, and Django, Vue.js, and Python.

By defining the key components of each technology stack and exploring how they can benefit your project, as well as following our list of crucial factors, you can ensure that the selected tech stack is aligned with your specific needs and can effectively support your business goals.

call to action image

Design packages for your startup

Ideal for early-stage product UIs and websites.

See pricing

CEO and Founder of Merge

My mission is to help startups build software, experiment with new features, and bring their product vision to life.

My mission is to help startups build software, experiment with new features, and bring their product vision to life.

You may interested in

Let’s take this to your inbox

Join our newsletter for expert tips on growth, product design, conversion tactics, and the latest in tech.

Need help with product design or development?

Book a call
Estimate light