Modern tech every reliable web development team should be familiar with. How to make sure the team is a fit for your project.
Arguably the most important thing to consider when developing a top-notch application is the technology stack. To a great extent, the tech stack can either make or break a software product.As a refresher, a technology stack (sometimes referred to as a solutions stack or a data ecosystem), is a collection of all the technology services used to build, run, and manage an application. It is a combination of programming languages, frameworks, and tools that a developer would need to interface with the application. A tech stack gives you an idea about an application’s strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and areas of improvement for each coding language.For example, if an application is built on PHP, a good developer would know that this language has a large codebase which can be a challenge to debug. PHP is a popular coding language in web apps, but is notoriously inefficient. Knowing the importance of the stacks is particularly useful when building a development team. Great developers should be familiar with the frameworks and languages of a tech stack, or at least be willing to learn these. If they do not have such knowledge, they are most likely not a good fit for your project.
Applications always have two main components: the user side (commonly known as the front-end), and the server-side (known as back-end). Both components usually differ in the technology needed to make them. One is responsible for the user interface that is to attract customers for use and the other is responsible for all the application logic needed for its operation.
Back-end programming is server-side and is not visible to the users. It powers the front-end and creates the logic of apps and websites. It also stores and manages data. Let us go through the most commonly used programming languages used for back-end development.
There are many things to consider when it comes to choosing the right programming language, and here are some of the most popular ones:
Web frameworks support the development of web apps, such as web services, resources, and APIs. They are basically libraries that help develop applications faster and smarter. Some of the more popular ones your development team should know are:
In web development and applications, data is everything. By extension, so are databases. Developers want their data to be raw information, unprocessed and unsettled — as this gives them control on how to process and style it. That means storing these packets of information is crucial.Here are some of the most popular databases for web development:
A web server is a computer machine that stores the software of the web server and other components that are used for a website. This server is connected with the internet, performs data communication and exchange with devices connected to the internet. There are many advantages of using a Web Server, including server-side scripting for dynamic pages, specifying default documents, Configuring log files and website or directory security and much more.There are various solutions offering the creation of your own web server. One of them is Apache, which is one of the most used software for web servers. The main advantages include:
NGINX is another popular solution. It is an open-source web server that can also run on major operating systems. The main advantages include:
API documentation is a technical content deliverable, containing instructions about how to effectively use and integrate with an API. You can use Swagger that takes the manual work out of API documentation, with a range of solutions for generating, visualizing, and maintaining API docs. Another example is RAML thanks to which documentation can be generated quickly and on the fly. What is more, with parsers for nearly every language you can even create your own custom docs and interactive scripts. If you document your API you improve user adoption, increase awareness, save support time and costs.
The front-end is everything the clients (users) see on their screens and is also where all interactions happen. It provides configuration, optimization, and operation for everything on the interface. The main front-end technologies are:
HTML is the language for describing the structure of Web pages. HTML gives authors the means to:
With HTML, authors describe the structure of pages using markup. The elements of the language label pieces of content such as “paragraph,” “list,” “table,” and so on.
CSS is the language for describing the presentation of Web pages, including colors, layout, and fonts. It allows one to adapt the presentation to different types of devices, such as large screens, small screens, or printers. CSS is independent of HTML and can be used with any XML-based markup language. The separation of HTML from CSS makes it easier to maintain sites, share style sheets across pages, and tailor pages to different environments. This is referred to as the separation of structure from presentation.
Every finished product has to go through a series of rigorous testing before being ready for the public. Software is no different.When it comes to software development, this is the stage where prototyping proves to be crucial. Throughout the development process, improvements and upgrades continue to pop up, which means you need to quickly integrate it into the design and development.
DevsData and other companies offering software development services emphasize the need for rapid prototyping, especially for front-end mockups. They explain that this stage of the innovation cycle greatly helps in:
A great tool for rapid prototyping that you or your team can use is MockFlow. It is a cloud-based wireframe mockup solution ideal for all developers, designers, UI/UX professionals, and marketers. Clients can use it to make detailed mockups or wireframes to show designers and vice versa, while developers can use it to show clients the framework throughout the development process.
Knowing and having adequate web development tools and technology are just half the battle – you also need the right people. However, finding the best professionals can be tricky. Below we present some factors to keep in mind:
Before making any personnel changes on your web development team or before hiring a solutions provider, you first need to make clear what exactly you want for a project. Define the needs, requirements, and goals to find out if you have the people who can handle it. When it comes to website changes, for example, most tasks will fall under two areas: design and functionality/coding. Design can include anything from making a new logo to overhauling entire page layouts. Functionality may include adding new features like a shopping cart, image sliders, or updating the website’s management panel.
Design and coding are two different skills. You can either find a specialist for each job (i.e., hire someone to handle the design and hire someone else to do the coding) or hire a generalist who can do both. This decision will depend on the scale and timeline of the project.When hiring developers, make sure they have a solid knowledge of technology stacks — meaning they can work with the ones you currently have, but they are also flexible to expand their repertoire in case a project requires it.
Check also how they handle projects and how they fit with your company’s current project management methodology. Some developers are more used to using the Waterfall methodology, while others are more adept to the newer ones like Agile, Scrum, PRiSM, or some other methods. You will want to employ developers who can follow an effective method of working while being able to adapt to other project management techniques as needed.
Moreover, check how well they do with integration with 3rd party services and APIs. Different projects will have a unique technology stack; be sure the team you are building or will be working with knows how to integrate different technologies together, depending on what is best for your needs.
Not every web development agency has exactly the same set of skills and capabilities. Some are more adept at designs, some with coding using Java or Python, while others are experts in other areas. As such, you will want to look at the past experience of the professionals or the team you are considering for a project. Ask for three most recent gigs they have handled and check if those were similar to yours. Go in detail about the exciting and challenging parts of each of their projects.Exemplary questions you can ask:
Answers and insights into these questions will showcase the experience, expertise, and attitude of the development agency. If the agency is enthusiastic and sufficiently explains its past projects, then that is plus points to their advantage. Their answers will also tell you a lot about how well they address concerns and problems.
Narrow down the talent pool to two or three candidate teams and ask if they work on a small (better if paid) test project. Think of it as an internship, audition, or an extended consultation with them. This not only gives these candidates a chance to showcase their skills and capabilities, but it also gives you an opportunity to work with them directly and build a good working relationship.The results and the way the candidates handled the project should give you a better feel as to who is the best fit for your requirements. The test is also particularly useful if you are looking for long-term developers with whom you would want to continue working in the future. Set aside a small budget for this test project so you can pay the candidates and get a “real life” assessment of how they work.
Choosing the right digital tools to build software is just as important as choosing the right people to manage and make the most out of it. As technology continues to grow and evolve, so will the tools and technologies that every skilled developer should know. The important thing to take into account when building a web development team is that aside from their current skills and know-how, your team members should be eager to learn and embrace new technologies. Having the right tools and technology and a reliable team behind your project guarantees your web development venture to be a success.
“I interviewed about a dozen different firms. DevsData LLC is truly exceptional – their backend developers are some of the best I’ve ever worked with. I’ve worked with a lot of very well-qualified developers, locally in San Francisco, and remotely, so that is not a compliment I offer lightly. Their depth of knowledge and their ability to get things done quickly."
CEO OF ORANGE CHARGER LLC;
MENTOR AT YCOMBINATOR