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.
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- SQL Server
- Microsoft Office
- LAMP = Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP
- Ruby on Rails
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- 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.
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