Deciding on Technologies

NOTE: This post won't give you options to choose from but instead teaches you
how to

In an ideal world, there'd be one set standard that we could follow for building
apps but then there's no such thing as an ideal world in the first place. In an
era where a new frontend framework arises every few days and if you monitor
github like I do, you can see one pop up every few hours.

So then, how do you decide on what to use and what not to use?

The Comfortable one

No bullshitry here, the best answer is to go with the one you are already
comfortable with. If I were to instantly select a framework to build a frontend
app, I'd choose nextjs without giving it a second thought. I'd obviously have to
make hacky changes later in the development phase to patch up stuff that doesn't
directly work well with the library/framework but most of the times you can just
go with this option.

I'd say you stop reading here if you already have a framework, library in your
mind at this point. The remaining of the post focuses on understanding
requirements and choosing the next comfortable one.

You can use jQuery with .Net or PHP without laravel for all I care as long as
you can get the work done without snatching your hair.


Theres always a time were something is obsolete because the community says so or
the maintainers gave up. I'd know, because I gave up jQuery for React because
someone told me, then I got into RiotJS because I thought it was interesting and
then we came to VueJs because Angular 1 was a decent framework and vue inherits
a lot of the templating aspects from it but then Angular 2+ ... let's not talk
about this. The same goes for backend options, I've shifted from python flask to
Django to Node + Express to Loopback to now, shameless plug
ftrouter. I was comfortable with
Loopback 3 but then EOL and now I have my own because I went crazy.

How do you decide then ?

There's 3 major factors

Nature of the Project

If this is a production project, I'd ask you to shift to
Requirements as that dictates the choice in this case. If it's
a personal project and something you want to toy around with, you can literally
pick up any new tech that you think you want to try or looks interesting and go
ahead with it and the other points might not even make much of a difference.


Let's get on how these would change my decision.

We need a portable binary that has both frontend and server running from it.

With that as a requirement, my obvious goto would be Go Lang with or without any
frontend framework but, what if this requirement comes in after you've started
building the base with node and react, and you've only build the node side and
the react part hasn't started? I'd switch to Vue or Svelte , because the output
spa html is smaller and that reduces my overall binary size which is always

We need it built in the next 4 days for a prototype

And now we'd use something like Angular because it's easy to find resources only
from where you can copy paste templates and setup stuff pretty quickly and then
it's easy to scale on it as well so that's that.

Point being, your requirement and output dictates what you want. If I had a
absurd requirement like

It should be crazy fast! like I don't care the time you take but it should be
epic fast

At this point, we all know webassembly for computation and maybe even rendering
(if I have the time) would be a good selection or you can go old school and use
server's to render plain html and use form actions for http requests and
validations. AdonisJS, ROR, Django, etc etc etc are the easier ways to get this
done or maybe a custom GO server responding with html with some templating
library. Point is, it depends.


While the requirements dictate a good percentage of the selection, if you are
working alone, the above section should be enough but then when teams are
involved you gotta consider how well the team already knows the selected tech.
If you suddenly decide that the whole team is going to work in Go Lang or Rust
just because it's the new cool thing, you'll be hindering the speed of
development and maybe even developer motivation because you still have a
deadline the devs need to hit.

Choose something that the team already knows and grow with it, you could change
things like use Koa instead of Express for better async await support but don't
just decide to change the language without actually consulting the team

Still. There's always cases where you have to make the shift because the needed
requirement isn't available in the current tech stack. For example, there's no
authorised stripe library in flutter but a slightly more dependable one in react
native so I go with React Native on this one.

In such cases, take in consideration how much of a shift it's for everyone. You
can adapt to the new structure and go with it no issues, but can everyone? Take
that into consideration and then make the decision to move. If the learning
curve is just too high then maybe change the deadlines or you'll end up with
some frustrated devs.

To all developer reading this, there's no harm in learning more languages,
programming languages are a skillset and you shouldn't be scared to learn a new
language. It opens a lot of doors. Have one primary language that you try to
master but have others on the side for cases where that knowledge can come in
handy. Knowledge of haskell and elm have helped me make app a little more
bulletproof and code better abstracted while being composable.