Digital Transformation In The Education Industry: E-Learning Revolution

Just like many other traditional industries, education has been shifting to a digital-first dimension for quite a while. Seemingly approaching its pinnacle since COVID, digital transformation in the education industry is only picking up speed right now, and we can watch an actual e-learning revolution happen right in front of our eyes.   

How big is the progress so far and what opportunities are there in the e-learning niche? Let’s find it out. 

Accelerated online learning

In April 2020, almost 90% of enrolled students around the world were affected by quarantines. Nationwide closure of schools was recorded across almost 200 countries, affecting about 1.6 billion people – a staggering audience to think about when we talk about digital transformation in the education industry. 

Here’s a map to grasp the scale of the COVID impact on the global education system:

Global Schools Closure Due to COVID as of Oct 2020

*by Ourworldindata

This year’s contact limitations didn’t allow many options for schools but to rethink the standard model of knowledge distribution and adapt to the challenges of the new world. Remote schooling has become the new norm on all levels – from early education and tutoring to higher education, professional growth courses, and non-academic training. 

Naturally, such a great demand requires a lot more than an outstanding supply of hardware. This is less of a problem since most households and learning facilities in the developed countries have access to a wide range of tech. The real challenge is to develop appropriate software tools allowing schools and students to fulfill regular activities without sacrificing education quality. 

The e-learning revolution

Speaking about the types of digital solutions helping students learn at distance – the list is virtually bottomless. 

Right now we’re seeing major efforts at improving web classes, automating student and work assessment, and digitalizing course materials via smart textbooks, rich video content, slide show presentations, and much more. In this regard, Kognity and Lix Technologies are two startups leading the race at the moment.

Secondly, improving general education accessibility and support within the sector, especially for college and university students, is another major focus point right now, with Graduway and Teacherly delivering some great results already.

Various administrative tools for conducting the educational process online are also being developed lately. They include digitalized school payments and fee collection software, student attendance tracking, and education monitoring applications. And don’t forget about language adaptation and designing a new learning model for students with limited abilities.  

Meanwhile, the task of digitalizing is rather simplified for adult and post-degree learning – where online courses have already been adopted well before the pandemic. 

All this being the case, digital learning remains unsaturated product-wise, as the demand for niche solutions exceeds the current market supply. 

Edtech investments and initiatives

Given the timing of COVID and further uncertainty about quarantines and travel restrictions – entrepreneurs see a high time to put both their time and resources into the development of edtech businesses and startups. 

In fact, experts predict edtech investments to reach $7.5T in 2020, growing an estimated 15% in a single year, and over 4 times since 2014

Global digital transformation investments in the education industry over years.

Right now, the UK remains the largest hub when it comes to digital transformation in the education industry, receiving almost 40% of Europe’s investments in the sector.   

Speaking of which… 

While businesses are the main drivers of progress in edTech adoption, governments also play a part in the process. In this regard, Estonia’s legislators show a good example by not only supporting internal edtech market but freely sharing the developed tools and technologies with the rest of the world.

Notably, a lot of digital education initiatives are occurring in third-world countries, where the pandemic has hit the already crisis-affected regions. 

Like that, international humanitarian organizations and private foundations are backing versatile tech solutions in cooperation with ministries of education. Right now they are helping students and families in places like Sudan, Uganda, Lebanon, Jordan, Chad, Bangladesh, as well as Kenya, and multiple African countries access affordable education and continue learning.   

To get a glimpse of the variety of current edtech projects, check EdTechHub’s list of the most relevant startups in the sector. 

Final word

The global education system is undergoing a major transformation on all levels. Both schools and universities, as well as non-academic educational institutions, are switching to a digital-first approach. This means an increased demand for niche software development and technology maintenance. 

Online learning is becoming the new norm, and the trend does not seem to be reversing anytime soon. Therefore, investing in custom e-learning solutions is decisively a winning business move right now. 

Need help or have questions regarding digital opportunities in the education sector? Contact our team to discuss it

Digital Transformation In Real Estate: Trends And IT Solutions

Unlike many other industries, real estate is booming in 2020/2021 and so is digital transformation within the industry.

As the pandemic hit businesses of all types, immovables seem to be the bullet-proof asset everyone is looking for in turbulent times. The real estate market is on fire, but the competition is fierce, too, so poor acquisition choices or property mismanagement can be financially fatal.

Now, what can resolve such issues better than software?

Real estate software development and IT services

Technology has helped to overcome challenges in almost every sphere of life, and real estate management is not an exception. More so, custom software has already proven to be a golden goose for the industry. 

Here’s who can benefit from custom property management solutions: 

  • Real estate agencies
  • Private and corporate facility owners 
  • Landlords and tenants
  • RE startups

Now, let’s look into what we can offer to each of these groups.  

1. Real estate agents and agencies 

Before anyone else, it’s real estate agencies and individual realtors who can benefit from custom digital products. Whether it’s a single-page business card or a fully-fledged digital platform with CRMs and admin dashboards – building up a strong online presence is the right move.

Here are some of the products and services businesses usually look for:

  • Web and mobile apps for realtors and agencies
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing tools
  • Facility search and listings 
  • Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and IDX integrations
  • Accounting and document turnover 
  • E-signature integration 

2. Private and corporate facility owners 

Managing property is not an easy task both in the private and corporate sectors. Especially owning multiple homes or offices, apartment buildings, warehouse spaces, etc – things get pretty messy without effective management. 

For businesses with many locations (like food chains, hotels & resorts, fitness clubs, multi-office companies) – having the following may be a lifesaver: 

  • Utility billing and energy management tools
  • Accounting and financial integration 
  • Document turnover software 
  • Customized reporting and data analytics
  • Maintenance work oversight

3. Landlords and tenants

Selling and buying property is just the tip of the Real Estate iceberg.

Another big chunk of the industry is renting & lease, which is even more intense and than trade. 

Landlords and tenants know it’s not easy to find a good place to stay at – on one side, and a reliable person or business to trust your property to – on the other.

Here’s how landlords and tenants can benefit from custom real estate software development: 

  • Applicants screening tools and lease management
  • Customized reporting
  • Accounting and document management 
  • Online payment functionalities
  • Reliable communication channels
  • Maintenance work oversight

4. Real estate startups

Given the state of the real estate industry, it does not take a college degree to see that it’s high time to occupy a niche in the industry. RE aggregators are gaining momentum but are usually limited to a particular city or area. Therefore, there’s plenty of opportunities to leverage the current market rise and find your spot under the sun while helping others find theirs. 

So, startups and individual entrepreneurs are another large group of clients looking for digital products in the real estate industry. Here are some of the popular options: 

  • Custom web and mobile apps 
  • Facility aggregators 
  • Property management software
  • Accounting and financial integration
  • CRM solutions
  • Real estate data analytics 

Disruptive innovation in real estate

Apart from everything mentioned above, it is possible to develop or integrate an AI-powered solution predicting property price fluctuations and investment potential (similar to one of our fintech projects – OxfordRisk).

The algorithm works based on evaluating key facility metrics like location and area, property type, and previously recorded trade prices. It then compares it against the market’s big data, estimating the property’s value over time.

Not only does it help to understand a property’s actual price and investment potential, but also to predict the best deal moment.

Final word

Real estate is booming worldwide.

Whether you own property, manage facilities, invest in real estate, or help others do the above-mentioned – there are great challenges and opportunities on the way.

Successfully meeting the first and seizing the second requires proactive action and leveraging the power of technology. 

Want to learn more about digital opportunities in real estate right now? Contact us to ask any questions! 

Microservice vs Monolithic: The Ultimate Software Architecture Guide

The global IT industry evolves rapidly in size, shape, and form, and so do the software development practices applied all along. Like any evolutionary process, this one strives to maintain efficiency while gaining capabilities. To keep the progress going, the traditional ways of doing things have to be replaced. 

For IT development, this means there is a point along the journey of software enhancement where we cannot continue to add structures upon structures of ever-increasing complexity, without sacrificing performance. 

Historically, this point fell on the edge of 2011-2012, when software experts from a prominent workshop in Venice came up with the term Microservices to define a new architectural style they have been exploring at the time. Dubbed the fine-grained SOA (service-oriented architecture where app components connect via a network), it wasn’t an entirely new approach to product design, but rather a refined way of building service-oriented applications.

Strictly speaking, microservices divide the bulk of a product’s functionality into independent chunks of software, while preserving the cohesiveness of the system. 

Here’s a general idea of the architectural difference when it comes to comparing microservices vs monolithic software:

microservices vs monolithic software architecture structural difference

Microservice vs Monolithic: Which software architecture is best? 

With just above half of the enterprises out there adopting the loosely coupled services approach, it’s a tough one to crack. 

The short answer is – well, it depends. 

Microservices are much like government decentralization, which gives power and responsibility to the regions while maintaining essential relations to keep the state solid. The opposite of that is centralized governance – where the decision-making is concentrated.      

Now, the choice of a suitable model is dictated by your needs and setup. 

A small project will hardly see the advantages of using microservices, just like a small state does not need decentralization. Bigger and more complex projects, on the other hand, may very well benefit from a more advanced design approach. 

MintyMint has built several microservice-based products, and we consider it a convenient and productive software model. One of the bright examples is 4friends – a crowdfunding platform for generating recurring donations.

That said, it is not all that simple when you dig deeper. There are many factors to consider when comparing microservices and monolithic architecture.

In-detail comparison

Comparing Microservices and Monolithic software architecture is not an easy task. We have to remain scientifically objective, after all.

For that reason, a point system seems just right. 

1. Performance

When it comes to the inherent performance of application architecture, there are two key indicators – network latency and data throughput. Latency represents the amount of time data takes to travel between two destinations.

network latency in a microservices software architecture system

Here’s how it works: 

To pass information, bytes convert into an electromagnetic signal. It then travels via wires or air and is reassembled back into bytes by the receiving party. Now, we can cut down the decoding time. But since the signal takes time to travel, data transfer will always have a slight delay. It is a natural consequence of the basic laws of physics.

In this regard, having a localized, single-core system is superior to a network of interconnected clients operating with each other, often at long physical distances. While the latency of a microservice call is minuscule (around 25ms), the more calls – the higher the delay. 

There are, of course, solutions that can minimize this gap, like running all calls in parallel or using a so-called fan-out pattern. In this case, the difference tends to zero as the calls increase. And still, Monolithics turn out slightly quicker every time. 

The same is true for absolute data throughput (the amount of data processed over time).

A close call in the first standing, but still a point goes to the Monolithic architecture.  

Moving on.

2. Resource usage & scalability

Now that we’ve touched on performance, let’s examine resources usage.

This is a tricky one. 

At first glance, microservices calls use more resources than the monolith ones when doing the same amount of work.

However, since microservices can allocate resources as needed, they use them a lot smarter, decreasing the memory and CPU load. In addition, the more instances performed – the greater this difference is in favor of loosely coupled services. 

Monolithic software can come ahead in individual cases (when a call transfers large amounts of data) but falls behind in all other scenarios. 

The same principle works when you need to upgrade the computing capabilities as the requirements increase. By managing resources more efficiently, decentralized software easily scales the power up and down, adding or removing cloud computing servers as needed. 

Clearly, a win for Microservices. 

3. Development complexity

Speaking about the complexity of the development process. 

While the good old monolithic apps call for greater skillsets from individual developers, microservices projects can be spread into smaller tasks between highly specialized devs. 

Here’s an illustration to help you understand why:

component structure difference between microservices and monolithic software architecture.

At that, the overall amount of work is in often considerably greater with Microservices.

Unlike single-core projects, assembling multiple modules may involve several source codes, frameworks, and coding languages for that matter.

Data synchronization also adds up to the complexity of running dispersed software as opposed to its locally-contained rival. Once again, some tools tackle the issues. Nevertheless, a monolithic architecture is innately more clear and transparent.   

Another point in favor of Monolithics. 

Are you still there? Great!

4. Deployment & reliability

One of the main reasons why companies prefer microservices are the stunning deployment opportunities it provides. 

Compared to the bulky structure of monolithic software, its counterpart is simple and flexible enough to have updates as frequently as desired. In fact, you don’t have to roll out the entire system after changing some of the functionality. All you need to do is redeploy that particular service. 

More so, modifying a microservice does not affect the dependent services. Therefore, it won’t threaten the entire system’s work should there be a program malfunction. Whereas even a minor code error can stall the entirety of software built with a monolithic approach. 

This boosts the software’s reliability, eliminating a whole bunch of critical operational issues.

Something like having more engines on a plane…

In addition, microservices are a lot easier to test. A limited number of features dedicated to each of the services substantially decreases the number of dependencies involved. This makes it much more simple to write and run tests. Therefore, you can release the product a lot earlier. 

In this one, Microservices come out ahead. 

So far the score is 2 – 2. 

5. Technological flexibility

This is where things get interesting. 

There are countless development technologies on the market. Some of them are quick, some – are easier to build. A part of them is better for billing, others are a good suit for data processing, or have better security… You name it. 

Microservices empower you to add all of it to the arsenal, taking the best from each technology. 

Distribution of different technlogies (Node, Python, Ruby, Java) in Microservices

It’s like having all of the superpowers at one’s disposal. 

Like that, a piece of software can be quick, rigid, capable, and secure all at the same time. It’s no wonder why the method is so popular among architects of complex IT projects like Netflix, Medium, and Uber.

This will, of course, require hiring a whole bunch of specialists to implement, as mentioned earlier. But hey, that development complexity point is already granted to Monolithics, so we can’t complain. 

Another win for microservices.

6. Team communication

Finally, team communication plays a key part in the process of IT product development, and it can be affected by software architecture choice.  

Here’s the thing: by dividing the software into smaller chunks, Microservices not only distribute the tasks but also the teams, decreasing the number of individual communication channels between devs. 

This goes in line with Amazon’s well-known “pizza rule”, which states that a team is too big and inefficient if it can’t be fed with two pizzas. 

You decide what’s right.

I sure wouldn’t be arguing with Amazon’s expertise in project management. 

So, the final round goes to the Microservices architecture, too, and the score is: Microservices – 4, Monolithics – 2

Monolithics, it was a fair battle…

Part 2: How do microservices work?

While it did seem like a logical conclusion, it wouldn’t be the ULTIMATE software architecture guide if we didn’t dig deeper into the subject.

So, let’s move on.

Now that we’ve explored how microservices are different from the traditional monolithic software, let’s examine the technology behind the revolutionary architecture.  

Just like monolithic apps, modular software can be built with a wide range of coding languages and frameworks. Therefore, most of the rules for choosing a tech stack apply here as well. That being the case, a microservices tech stack is effectively larger and much more versatile than that of traditional software. 

Loosely-coupled apps are very complex structure-wise. So, many aspects of the system’s cohesiveness have to be thought through before jumping into the whirlpool of the dev process. 

In our case, it is worthwhile to go over all of it gradually – one functionality at a time. So, let’s jump in!


First of all, any software has to run somewhere. 

There are three main hosting options to consider for microservices: 

  • Local server – a traditional enterprise computing model. Companies maintain equipment and software in a confined data center, having direct control over its operation. 
  • Public cloud – a rather modern approach. Here, shared computing resources are provided over the internet and are managed on the side of the cloud provider. We’ve already written about on-demand software recently. 
  • Private cloud – offers opportunities similar to the public cloud. In this case, though, companies own and manage remote server capacity in-house (for security or compliance reasons, mostly).
Microservices software architecture hosting models

It should be noted that there are also hybrid cloud-hosting solutions, but that is a topic for another blog post…

In most cases, public cloud hardware is the go-to choice for running microservices. It offers virtually unlimited processing capabilities on rather flexible terms. 

And while there is an array of remote infrastructure providers, the most popular of them are represented by: 

  • AWS (Amazon Web Services) 
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform 
  • Oracle Cloud
  • Pivotal   

VMs & container management 

Now, there are two principal ways of using cloud resources – virtual machines and containers (each containing individual functionality). 

Both use remote hardware to perform tasks. Now, VMs emulate entire systems along with the operational systems. Whereas containers share the OS and therefore have a lot of common functionality that needs not be executed separately. 

This saves a ton of resources, providing a tenfold launch-time difference and a major cut in RAM and CPU usage, in favor of containers, of course. Having less overhead and close to zero weight, it is a much more favorable environment for complex applications. 

However, while it’s very convenient to have individual containers for each of the services, it is another challenge to successfully manage it all. Crucial tasks like automation of deployment, scaling, and networking, add up to the complexity of running loosely coupled software. 

This is where container orchestration tools come in handy, effectively tackling these kinds of issues. 

In this regard, the most popular choices on the market are: 

  • Kubernetes
  • Docker 
  • Apache
  • Other solutions from major cloud providers like Amazon, Google, and Azure.   


We have already learned that microservices allow using different tech for individual software components. 

On one hand, this gives the flexibility to assign the best-fitting technology for tackling different tasks within the system. On the other, however, it requires establishing effective interaction between those app components. 

This is exactly what a service mesh is there for.

A dedicated infrastructure layer, it enables the services to interact with each other via local “sidecar” proxies instead of calling each other directly over the network. In essence, it is an interpreter between services that often “speak” different programming languages.

service mesh in a microservices software architecture

Service mesh facilitates horizontal (service to service) communication, as opposed to the API gateways that control vertical (client to server) networking. It is also different from container orchestration tools, which are responsible for resource management only. 

Some of the widely-applied service mesh solutions include: 

  • Istio
  • Linkerd
  • Consul
  • App Mesh


When designing modular apps, it is crucial to determine how program components will communicate with the system. 

Typically, this task is executed via APIs. 

API stands for Application Programming Interface. It enables communication between two systems (for example – your laptop and an app), determining the data transfer protocol. Something like a moderator of the client-to-service conversation who ensures that the message “gets through”. 

APIs operate via ‘requests’ and ‘responses’. When a system receives a request it returns a response. The destination of that response represents an endpoint – essentially, one end of a communicational channel between a server and an external device. 

Now, what comes down to one communication channel in a monolithic app, may generate an array of those in microservices. This is because splitting software into multiple pieces implies that a single client request may call for separate responses from the services, resulting in multiple endpoints. An API gateway sorts it all up by providing a single point of entry into the system…

Ok, I know that just spilled over the sane limit of tech terms per paragraph. 

Let’s break it down. 

API gateways

Imagine a typical blog page like this one. It contains a text field, a list of recommended articles, a comment section, a login form, a sharing functionality, etc.

In microservices, a separate module owns each of the described components’ data sets. So, when you open up that page you actually communicate with a set of micro-apps. 

If these calls were direct, your browser would have to send separate requests at all of those services (each with an individual web address) in order to assemble the page. For a number of reasons that furtherly exceed this article’s threshold for heavy terminology, such an option is inefficient. You may read about network latency here

Another option is to have a distributing entity to sort through multiple client requests and return a single, “comprehensive” response. Kind of like the packing assistant in a grocery store. You know, the one gathering your stuff while you talk to the cashier and check out – to save everyone time. 

That’s API getaways. 

API illustration in a microservices software architecture

Some of the best API Gateway solutions are provided by Amazon, Ambassador, Kong, Microsoft, Akamai, Mulesoft, Google, and Express.


Privacy issues accompany any IT product development process. 

At that, the nature of microservices poses an elevated threat of security breach, putting additional pressure on software architects.

More so, securing the containers in which microservices run joined the list of the industry’s main data-protection challenges in 2018. 

This is happening for two reasons. 

For first, it is a well-known fact that a system’s complexity is inversely proportional to its reliability. This is especially true when it comes to software vulnerabilities. Increased interaction between microservices comes hand in hand with additional communication channels – which means more points of potential penetration.  

To make things worse, microservice apps are often hosted along with third-party software, on the same physical server. Even the word combination “shared environments” does not sound too safe. Forget about the multitude of less obvious ways things can go wrong in a complex cloud infrastructure hosting disintegrated software.  

Luckily for IT enterprises, there are solutions for these issues, too: 

  • Twistlock
  • Tigeria
  • Aopreto
  • Aqua

Other middleware

Last but not least on the list of the main technologies behind microservices is the so-called middleware. These tools are responsible for additional coherence-related tasks like load-balancing, proxies, caching, and routing. While somewhat similar to the already mentioned gateways, it doesn’t expose microservices as an API does. 

In terms of microservices middleware, these are the market leaders: 

  • NGINX 
  • Envoy
  • Zuul
  • HA Proxy 

Final Word

Although there are no reasons for smaller teams and projects to give up the well-established and proven monolithic software architecture, Microservices are more progressive and seem to be staying around for the foreseeable future.

Yes, the approach is more resource-demanding and complex than traditional program development techniques. However, its benefits outweigh the cost, especially for big projects where software reliability and production speed play a key part. The array of technologies backing microservices-based apps is stunning. From design and implementation to deployment and maintenance – versatile program tools are there at one’s aid on every step of the microservices development process. 

How To Choose A Tech Stack: Top Coding Tools and Technologies

If there isn’t a team of developers gathered around yet but you do need to choose a tech stack for the product-to-be – you are at the right place.

In fact, many entrepreneurs struggle at this stage. 

A software’s technology stack determines its fate. If you choose it correctly, it ensures smooth development, high product quality, and happy clients. Otherwise – expect budget overspending and multiple production issues. So, the subject is extremely important.

Sounds too complicated? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on this one.

But first, let’s go over the basics.   

What is a technology stack?

Every product development project consists of several key stages such as:

  • concept
  • design
  • implementation
  • testing & integration
  • and maintenance.
a typical project's life cycle to consider when you choose a tech stack

A tech stack describes a number of core tools and technologies applied across that process.

Naturally, it depends a lot on the project’s goals and setup.

So, the first step to choose a tech stack for a product is to determine the device type you are developing for.

Top mobile development technologies

With mobile phones, your options narrow down to either of the two prevalent platforms (Android and iOS) or cross-platform development to get both.

Let’s look at them in detail.

Android development technologies

Android apps are traditionally powered by Java or Kotlin. 

Java is a classic coding language. It was the official language of Android apps before Kotlin took the stage. Now, Kotlin is the golden standard for building Android apps. A concise and streamlined version of Java, it is one of the main affections of mobile developers in 2020.

Brands like Pinterest, Netflix, Uber, and Trello rely on Kotlin. 

iOS development technologies

iOS development, on the other hand, runs on Swift and Objective-C.

Objective-C is a successor of the C programming language (one of the forefathers of software systems) and the backbone for Apple’s iOS and OS X. Swift is a successor of Objective-C developed by Apple.

These two are the technical foundation behind Hubspot, Lyft, Airbnb, Linked In, and Yahoo Weather iOS apps. 

Cross-platform mobile development technologies

Now, if you want to have your cake and eat it too, sort of speaking, then React Native and Xamarin are at your service. 

React Native allows you to create native, cross-platform mobile apps in a single environment. This is the tool we have used in most of our mobile projects. It saves a lot of time and effort by eliminating the need for writing separate sets of code for different platforms and is just very convenient.

Xamarin is a similar solution allowing you to share native interface code across multiple platforms including Android, iOS, and Windows.

Hybrid app development technologies

One more approach to building multi-platform mobile apps is hybrid development. It builds upon the duet of HTML5/CSS and JavaScript (later in this article), finished with auxiliary frameworks like Cordova, Sencha Touch 2, and Ionic. 

Mobile technologies – check. 

Web development tools and technologies

Web software development is much different from that of mobile apps. 

There are usually two parts of a web technology set: one on the client-side and one on the server-side. To provide a reference, there’s a house exterior with all of the eye-pleasing details and then there are the walls that hold everything up. Those are referred to as the frontend and backend of web applications, and together they make up a full-stack.

Here’s a fairly accurate representation of the software’s frontend and backend roles:

Front end web development technologies

We won’t go deep into the anatomy of a web page interface as there isn’t much insight to share. Just for the record, however, here’s a quick overview of the three building blocks of a front-end technology stack, which operate pyramid-wise: 

  • The founding father of web architecture and e-mailing – HTML (stands for Hypertext Markup Language). It serves the input of core page content & characteristics, describing internet pages structure-wise. 
  • On top of HTML goes CSS – Cascading Style Sheets. As its very name suggests, CSS is responsible for the design of web pages. It creates a visually appealing picture by influencing how the HTML code will look on the user screen.
  • Finally, renowned JavaScript takes the browsing experience to a radically new level by enabling interactive interfaces and highly personalized web applications.

Once again, the frontend is a wrapper responsible for everything users see on their screens.

Back end development technologies

Now, there’s much more to chew on when it comes to the server-side part of a software’s tech stack. This is where “ground” work is done, executing so-called CRUD operations (which stands for Create, Read, Update, and Demand). 

While these technologies vary a lot, some of the most relevant backend tech stack solutions to choose from in 2020 are:

JavaScript and TypeScript

A go-to choice for full-stack website development, JavaScript is a highly compatible coding language that has been topping the charts for quite a while. Traditionally considered a front-end development tool (as mentioned above), it has recently been adopted for server-side operations too, making it stand out in the crowd as a universal web engineering solution.

JavaScript is everpresent and backs a ton of prominent tech services including Yahoo, Amazon, and Wikipedia.

TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript designed to address the issues of large-scale application development associated with JavaScript without sacrificing the general program architecture provided by it. Although largely similar in nature and backward compatible, the two “scripts” are actually separate coding languages.


One of the top backend tools for web services and apps in 2020. It offers a pool of benefits from intuitive workflow and great libraries, to impressive productivity and powerful frameworks. It is also the #1 language for projects dealing with advanced technologies like Machine Learning and Big Data.

YouTube, Instagram, Dropbox, Reddit, and Spotify all make use of Python.


Another admired back-end language with one of the warmest user communities in the set. It is the foundation for the favored Rails framework and is perfect for small-scale projects and MVPs.

Ruby is associated with many tech startups as well as reputed industry names like Twitter, Airbnb, and Spotify. 


A powerful cross-platform coding language perfect for dynamic websites and applications. Although extremely popular, it has a mixed reputation among devs and is not recommended for new projects due to the risk of a large code debt (the cost of unnecessary rework).

All that said, PHP backs a lot of well-known services like WordPress and MailChimp.


Slightly less popular than its rivals, yet still a great choice for building both large networks and microservices. Go provides rather wide development capabilities (similar to the C family) along with high operational speed.

Built by Google, Go is one of its core technologies.

Traditional backend coding languages

Other server-side coding languages worth a word include:

  • C – a true forefather of coding, who at 48 years old remains among the most prevalent programming languages. C powers a lion’s share of modern OS’s like Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS.
  • Java – a common choice of developers for a long time now. It is the classic solution for both Android and web apps and is the technical backbone for web giants like Twitter, LinkedIn, and eBay. 
  • C++ – similar to C, it offers a smoother coding experience due to a combination of modern-ish object-based programming and traditional syntax. C++ is behind Mozilla Firefox and a lot of Adobe and Microsoft software.
  • C# – a flexible and multi-purpose mixture of C and Java, it enables the development of a wide range of digital products from games to complex server structures. A lot of Windows desktop apps are written in C#.

Are you still with us?


Now, let’s look closer at what makes up the fine finish of a web development technology stack.

Top web development frameworks (& Node.js)

Just like any field of technology, software engineering approaches constantly evolve and complexity.

This is where web frameworks originate. 

At the core of it, frameworks add further capabilities to pre-existing functionalities of web software. They are like the utensils in your household that help you to fulfill particular tasks efficiently, improving everyday life. 

These tools are also divided into frontend and backend groups and depend on the coding language they add up to. It should be noted that while being quite versatile in application and workflow, most frameworks are quite equal functionality-wise. As they say – to each his own, and every developer has his favorites when it comes to various software tools. 

However, here are some of the top choices in the community:

Best frontend frameworks:

  • React.js – although technically a front-end library, many consider it a full-fledged framework. React.js can be used for both server-side and client-side functionalities, providing massive full-stack development opportunities
  • Angular and Angular.js – a couple of vibrant and capable frameworks perfect for creating rich single-page web apps

    *The .js part in the name typically indicates that a framework is JavaScript-based. Angular is a younger, faster version of Angular.js due to it being based on JavaScript’s superset – TypeScript.
  • Vue.js – a rather new, highly compatible framework that can be implemented within already existing projects without much integration pain. Being not as bulky (yet just as performing) as its aforementioned competitors, Vue fits in perfectly with small and mid-size apps.
  • Backbone – a featherweight and minimalistic JavaScript library ideal for MVPs and small projects. Although its popularity is slightly declining in recent years, Backbone is still a great frontend framework for developing simple web apps.
  • Ember – named #1 frontend framework back in 2015, Ember incorporates some of the best JS practices to maximize productivity and has a huge user community.
  • jQuery – yet another lightweight JavaScript library used for simplifying the programmers’ workflow by wrapping complex coding tasks into single-line-of-code instructions.

Best backend frameworks:

  • Express (Node.js based) – a powerful web framework that has gained a lot of attention thanks to Node.js (mentioned below). It packs all of the backend engineering features one can wish for while being fast and flexible, although somewhat complex. Express is in the tech arsenal of such big companies as Uber and IBM.    
  • Django (Python-based) – a capable and sophisticated framework with some high-level security features onboard. A great choice for executing big, complex web projects
  • Laravel (PHP-based) – somewhat less ambitious than the previous two, Laravel is a powerful solution for small-scale projects. Considered heaven-sent by beginner developers, the only drawback to Laravel is that it doesn’t fit for mobile applications
  • Rails (Ruby-based) – with over 800.000 websites (including Airbnb, GitHub, and Groupon) in the portfolio, RoR has an enormous user community. Great at handling complex algorithms and cloud-based apps, it enables a smooth and quick development process, although often troublesome at the deployment stage.
  • Spring (Java-based) – a popular framework for creating basic high-performing applications, which simplifies a lot of the manual work. Powered by Java, it is often used by services processing large volumes of data, such as Wix and Ticketmaster. 
  • Flask (Python-based) – a great choice for building simple web applications with NoSQL databases. 

Just to give you some heads-up, below is a visual chart representing the share of developers using particular frameworks, according to StackOverflow. Keep in mind that devs rarely stick with just one technology*.

graphic showing whcih tech stacks do developers choose

One of a kind

  • Node.js is off the charts since being neither a language nor a framework. It is a runtime environment utilizing a Chrome V8 engine to execute the JS code server-side, which gives it super-framework capabilities. Still, it isn’t enough to be classified as an independent language since operating in the tracks of the JavaScript syntax.

    Notably, Node.js backs a lot of the software developed by MintyMint, including a recent microservices-based project – 4frineds.

Woof… A lot of information, huh?

Keep calm, we’re almost through with the guide! A few more tips and you can be safe and sure on how to choose a tech stack for your next IT project.

Software databases

Another group of technologies worth mentioning in our comprehensive guide on how to choose a tech stack is databases

If you ever worked with or read about software development, you probably came across terms like SQL and NoSQL, which refer to different types of databases. Now, what role do DBs play in a tech set composition and what are the main options?

Let’s find out. 

What is a software database?

As its own name suggests, a database is essentially a collection of data. In computer science – it is one specifically organized and accessed electronically.

Databases store various application data such as user information, transaction records, inventories, or any other operational data, which makes it a rather important piece of the software! 

Databases are usually classified by their organizational type, into: 

  • Relational
  • Distributed
  • Cloud
  • and NoSQL 

Let’s look into each group separately. 

Relational DBs

The most common type of database is a relational one.

Dating back to the 1970s, these DBs represent sets of data categorized in columns and rows. They are easy to work with and do not affect the systems that utilize them when modified.

Relational DBs use the so-called Structured Query Language (SQL), which is why many of these types of tools have it in their name, like MySQL and PostgreSQL. 

Distributed DBs 

Distributed databases are something we’ve already referred to in one of our recent articles about blockchain.

This type of database is hosted and maintained independently by a web of nodes, which makes these databases extremely secure and efficient. These are rather complex systems, so you might want to explore the aforementioned article in order to get a clearer picture of the notion. In general, though, a distributed database is nothing but a blockchain.  

Cloud DBs

Cloud databases are simply a subgroup of relational DBs that are meant to run in virtual environments and are designed and optimized accordingly. The only difference from the mentioned above SQLs is in the type of hosting and the array of features that stem from it. 

In particular, cloud databases allow to sync data across multiple platforms for collaborative, real-time projects.  


Last but not least on the list of database types is the so-called NoSQL.

NoSQLs are meant to replace relational DBS when dealing with big-data tasks which the good old SQLs are inefficient for or simply can’t crack. As our software keeps using more and more data stored across multiple servers, NoSQL databases come right in handy to effectively process the information. 

Here’s a rough example of the main structural difference between SQL and NoSQL data systems:

structural difference between SQL and NoSQL databases

Some of the most popular NoSQL solutions include heard-of names like MongoDB, Apache, and Oracle NoSQL database.

Moving on. 

Popular Web Tech Stacks

Now that we’ve covered individual technologies, let’s move on to the frequently used tech sets themselves. 

In addition to the languages and frameworks mentioned above, indispensable components like servers, libraries, and platforms all make up a tech stack. Depending on the project type and goals, different technology combos fit better or worse.

Some of the most popular tech stacks to choose from are MEAN, MERN, LAMP (and its derivatives), WINS, and Ruby on Rails.  

Let’s take a closer look at each.

MEAN tech stack

MEAN stands for MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, and Node.js.

It is a powerful and convenient full-stack development toolkit, perfect for creating dynamic JavaScript-based pages and applications. With all of its elements running on the same coding principle (JavaScript), MEAN stack is a popular choice due to simplicity and all-around consistency provided along with impressive flexibility. 

Internet heavyweights like YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Netflix, etc. have MEAN in their web development arsenal. 


MERN stands for MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js.

This stack has gained a lot of attention recently and is almost identical to the aforementioned MEAN stack, its only difference being in using React.js instead of Angular.js. 

MERN is a highly popular choice for creating powerful and sophisticated web applications. It carries all of the benefits offered by MEAN plus the advantage of using React products, preferred by many. 

LAMP tech stack

LAMP is a classic full-stack. It traditionally consists of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

Fully open-source, it allows cutting some of the production costs while providing impressive development flexibility. Today, LAMP remains a prevalent software bundle on the market, even though it requires some higher grade expertise, as compared to MEAN/MERN. 

Frequent combinations of LAMP include: 
LAMP* & LAPP (with MongoDB and PostgreSQL instead of MySQL)
XAMPP (with FTP Server and Perl or PHP)
WAMP & MAMP (with Windows and Mac OS)


WINS stands for Windows Internet Naming Service.

It is a reliable full-stack development solution that operates on Microsoft technologies, such as Windows Server, IIS, .Net, and MS SQL. Although its legacy is well-spread on the internet, it is not the most popular choice among entrepreneurs since being quite pricy and inferior to js-based tech stacks integration-wise. 

Other than that, the WINS stack packs a lot of capabilities in the set, especially if you plan to work with MS products.

Ruby on Rails

This one is the already-mentioned pair of the Rails framework and the base Ruby language itself.

Ruby on Rails is widely applied by startups & MVPs and is perfect for small-scale projects

In general, those are the industry’s most popular options when it comes to choosing a tach stack.

To sum up all the findings, here’s a graphic technology map for you to breeze through the main dev tools associated with each platform once again: 

platfrom to technology map outline to choose a tech stack

Now, let’s move on to some additional factors to consider when you choose a tech stack.

Additional suggestions on how to choose a tech stack

Indeed, there are lots of things to ask yourself before sticking with a particular technology set. Here’s a cheat sheet for you to check with, whenever puzzled:

Project type

The size and complexity of a project largely determine which tech stack you should choose. The tools that perfectly fit a simple website (Ruby on Rails, MEAN) may not be as good of a match for an interactive web page or big data project (LAMP). 


Thinking ahead has failed no one so far and is especially true in the fast-changing world of IT. Depending on the issues your product resolves, different tech combinations will work better or worse for meeting the users’ needs. 

That said, it’s better to avoid constraining yourself software-wise and leave the opportunity to scale up when the time comes.  


Similar to the previous point, the speed and responsiveness of your service lie at the core of a positive user experience. Therefore, factoring this one in to choose the right tech stack is crucial.  

Another factor affecting the choice of a server-side solution is the amount of data your system will have to handle. You don’t want your website to stall once you get too much activity going on, do you?  


Unsurprisingly, cyber-security is another key thing to consider before determining the right technology stack for your project.

Although most modern software offers a decent level of data protection, some development tools (like Django) clearly stand out in the crowd. 

Talent Pool

If you already have a dev team then this will largely determine your technology stack options. However, outsourcing is always at your service if you need to extend the team’s expertise or mitigate the workload.


Highlighted in every business plan, budget is one more crucial factor to consider when choosing a project stack. A rule of thumb here is to go for the open-source options and avoid Microsoft products whenever possible. That is, of course, if saving a few extra bucks is among your concerns.


Finally, it’s never a bad idea to research the products you personally like and favor, or check your competitors and see what type of technology has worked well for them. 

Final word

Finding the right technology set for a project or startup is not nearly the easiest task on the schedule. Nevertheless, it pays back 100%. SPend the time to choose the right tech stack and save your time and budget, take a bag of pressure off the dev team’s shoulders, and leave space for scaling and flexibility. 

Good news: all you have to do to strike gold is apply the insights from this article!

Need help choosing the best technology to meet your needs? Feel free to consult with us!

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