Scaling is something every startup founder thinks about from time to time, but very few give it as much consideration as they should when building a tech stack. This might not be problematic in the moment, but it can have long-term, negative ramifications down the road.
What is a Scalable Tech Stack?
A tech stack is simply a combination of different programming languages and software products that are used to create an application or other technical product. In an application scenario, there are two components of the tech stack. There’s the server-side and client-side – also known as the back-end tech stack and front-end tech stack.
The back-end refers to the business framework that you and your team interact with. The front-end is the visual part of the application or product that users see and interact with.
A “scalable” tech stack simply refers to a tech stack that’s able to grow with your business over time as your needs increase and expand. This adaptability and flexibility gives you some continuity when everything else seems to be changing.
3 Tips for Building a Scalable Tech Stack
“Selecting a tech stack is often a hard decision for founders to navigate. The options are overwhelming if you are non-technical, and they come with a fear that committing to the wrong language or framework will have serious consequences down the road,” explains Gil Edelman, who has held the title of CTO for two different startups. “In reality, there are only a few key factors to consider during the decision process, and you can quickly narrow the options down to a manageable set of technology choices.”
As you work on building a scalable tech stack for your startup, here are some important things you need to consider:
1. Invest in Reliable Solutions
There’s something to be said for using the latest, greatest technologies, but as flashy as they are, they aren’t always proven. In other words, you don’t know how a new tool is going to respond when you need to scale up in six months – there simply isn’t a track record to show you what this looks like.
Reliable products from brands you trust – such as Juniper – make it possible to aggressively pursue business growth without worrying about the technical side. Keep this in mind as you build out your tech stack.
2. Consider Your Team
“Shortage of engineering talent is a major challenge for early stage startups. As a result, the availability of engineering team members will play a role in determining the right tech stack for your company,” Edelman notes. “Certain tech stacks attract different types of candidates and will influence your company culture.”
It would be nice if this weren’t an issue, but unfortunately, it is in most situations. People matter more than specific technologies, so don’t put yourself in a position where you’re unable to hire the right team.
3. Don’t Ignore the Present
Scalability is awesome, but it’s pointless if you aren’t able to establish your business and create a strong product up front. In fact, scalability only matters if you’re able to get your business to a point where it can scale. This means you need to focus on the present first and the future second. You should be able to do both, but don’t compromise the present at the expense of the future. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Always Think One Step Ahead
You must always think one step ahead. Getting a startup off the ground is only part of the equation. In order to be successful for years to come, you also have to scale without compromising the core business. Prioritize scalability at all levels and you’ll have a much stronger foundation upon which to build.