18: Choosing a Tech Stack

There are a lot of factors tech managers need to consider when inheriting or choosing a technology stack. We talk about how we chose specific stacks in the past (or didn't) and why we're using a brand new one for a side project.

Links
Notes
  • We've started a new podcast! Check out This Old App and subscribe!
  • We chose the Node, Express, Firebase stack for a new project we're working on
  • The first question most CTOs ask is "What pieces of a stack do we have already?"
  • The old phrase "Nobody gets fired for IBM" later became "Nobody gets fired for choosing Microsoft"
  • Open source stacks come with some risk.
  • The people maintaining libraries in an open source stack can just quit, and you can't do anything about it.
  • A big part of choosing a stack is the development community that comes along with it.
  • Regional development and proximity of developers for a stack can be a factor for what people choose.
  • Your personal laptop is part of the stack. You need to be able to use the stack of choice from anywhere.
  • Where you can source developers or the best hires available can drive a big part of the tech stack decision.
  • A tech leader should make a tech stack choice based on what the team members know, not what they personally know.
  • It's a bit selfish to force a company to switch tech stacks simply because a new CTO knows a different stack.
  • Python has really taken off because the data analysis piece is such a strong part of the stack
  • The lack of stability of stack development can be an issue, such as the issues with Python 2/3 or Node.js/io.js.
  • A big part of your choice is whether the companies maintaining the stack have a financial incentive to do so.
Closing

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