Tech Review Series: Summary

For the last few months, we’ve been reviewing the most popular development technologies that SoftTeco uses regularly and we covered such areas as backend, frontend, cross-platform, and mobile development. In this article, we will summarize our reviews and will compare the technologies head to head alongside expert opinions from our colleagues.Backend development

Tech Review Series: Summary

Backend development is all about providing a stable and secure server-side development in order to reliably back up the whole system. Below are the backend development tools that our team uses the most and their most distinctive features.

Official release date199620002009
Technology typeObject-oriented programming language (OOP)Free and open-source development frameworkCross-platform and open-source JavaScript runtime environment
Pros– OOP
– Easy deployment on the server
– Multithreading
– Distributed computing
– Rich standard API
– Support by many cloud platforms
– Minimal number of bugs
– Easy deployment
– Support of all types of databases
– Single-threaded
– Asynchronous
– Free tools
– One environment
– Low entry threshold
Cons Performance issues
– Code complexity
– Not suitable for complex UIs
– High entry threshold
– Some tools are not open-source
– Possible work with legacy technologies
– Immaturity of tooling
– Possible issues with working on logic
– Performance bottlenecks if heavy computation tasks
Best used for– AI & ML
– Enterprise development
– Big Data
– Web & mobile development
– IoT
– Game dev
– Real-time apps
– Single-page apps
– Browser games
– Hardware programming
Official release date199519912012
Technology typeOpen-source scripting languageGeneral-purpose, high-level, object-oriented scripting languageOpen-source, statically typed language
Pros– Many available libraries and frameworks
– Many opinions for database connectivity
– Quick time-to-market
– Inexpensive hosting
– Quick development
– Versatility in use
– Extensive libraries
– Asynchronous coding
– Open-source
– Fast compilation
– Rich standard library
– Built-in consistency
– A variety of out-of-the-box tools
– Native C support
– Platform independent
Cons– Inconsistent performance 
– Slow interpretation language
– Weak typization
– Too many configuration files
– Hard to debug
– Slower than Java or C++
– No support from iOS and Android
– Run-time errors
– Possible issues with speed
– Lack of generics
– Error handling may negatively impact readability
 Best used for– Web security
– Working with WordPress
– Machine Learning
– Data Science
– IoT
– Web development
– Distributed systems
– Server-side services
– API development

Expert Opinion

Even though there are new backend tools emerging, I believe such mature languages as Java and Python will remain relevant simply because they keep evolving. Flexibility and ability to adapt are success factors for any programming tool and in recent years, Java, for example, displayed some really impressive changes that happened to it. In addition, Java has one of the strongest communities and there is a great variety of external tools and libraries. As for Python, we now see it being actively used for Machine Learning and Data Science purposes – who would have thought of that thirty years ago when it was first released?

.Net developer at SoftTeco

Serge Zenevich

Frontend development

The next area of development that we will talk about is frontend development, responsible for delivering the ultimate user experience through intuitive and appealing user interfaces. And here are the technologies that we most commonly use for that.

React Angular
Official release date20132016
Technology typeComponent based Javascript libraryOpen-source, TypeScript-based MVVM (Model View ViewModel) framework
Pros– High level of performance
– A high pace of initial development
– Component-based nature
– Easy unit testing
– Quick time-to-market
– Many out-of-the-box tools
– Opinionated structure
– TypeScript
– Modules for better collaboration with the codebase
– Component-based architecture
Cons– No opinion, developers have to make all decisions
– Build time can be slow
– Compatibility issues with other libraries
– Additional efforts needed for SEO
– Automatic re-renders
– High entry threshold
– JavaScript bundle size
– Not very popular
Best used for– Single-page apps
– Social networks
– Data visualization
– eCommerce
– eCommerce
– Enterprise development
– Mobile
Official release date20142011
Technology typeOpen-source JavaScript frameworkOpen-source JavaScript framework
Pros– Easy to be integrated
– Very flexible
– Tiny size
– High speed due to virtual DOM
– Solid tooling ecosystem
– Development consistency
– Out-of-box routing
– Efficient interaction with the server
– Various external packages
Cons– Lack of documentation in English
– No ready decisions
– Reactivity complexity
– Low demand for Vue
– No support for large-scale projects
– Steep learning curve
– Strict following of the architecture and lack of flexibility
– Complex setup of custom requests
– Lack of external packages
Best used for– Apps with rich animation and interactive elements
– Prototyping
– Big complex web apps
– Full-stack development

Expert Opinion

I would say that when it comes to frontend development, it doesn’t really matter what tool you’ll choose: React, Angular, or Vue – all of them can help you make a high-quality product. But it’s really important to monitor the tool’s development if you want to make the most out of it and to avoid any risks. For example, there might be a need to switch to another framework due to lack of support or lack of resources – such things should always be considered.

Head of Frontend Department

Aleksey Oborin

Mobile development

One of the biggest areas of our expertise is the development of both native and cross-platform mobile applications for clients from various industries. And since there are many tools to choose from when it comes to app development, we will focus on the main technologies that SoftTeco works with.

React NativeFlutterXamarin
Official release date201520152011
Technology typeOpen-source frameworkOpen-source frameworkOpen-source platform
Pros– Hot reloading
– Faster to build
– Codebase sharing for iOS, Android, and web
– Native-like performance
– One team for all platforms
– Minor updates without app store approval
– Fast UI with widgets
– Hot reload
– Portability
– Smooth performance
– Quick time-to-market
– Access to powerful .NET Infrastructure
– Access to all platform-specific tools and controls
– Flexibility of code sharing
– Long-term support from Microsoft
Cons– Need for native development for platform-specific issues
– Strong dependency on Facebook
– Feature lag
– Rapid changes affect code maintenance
– Lack of platform-specific look and feel
– Lack of native SDk knowledge
– Complex and heavyweight
– Hard to archive UX consistency
– Complex debugging due to marshaling
– Long startup time
– Lack of compatibility with iOS
Best used for– MVP and prototyping
– Streamline UI
– Apps with rich UI
– Desktop apps
– Apps for an existing .NET-based solution
Official release date20142016
Technology typeGeneral-purpose, multi-paradigm languageOpen-source, general-purpose, statically typed language
Pros– Very concise
– Easy to learn
– Safe and has a high level of performance
– Functional-ready
– Easy to learn
– Open-source
– Multiplatform
– 100% interoperability with Java
Cons– Compatibility issues
– Static typing
– Fluctuation in compilation
– Hard to find Kotlin developers
Best used foriOS developmentAndroid development
Cross-platform development supportYesYes

Expert Opinion

In Porter’s Five Forces Model, the fifth force is the substitute product. If we think about how fast frameworks and technologies develop, IT professionals themselves make up these product substitutes. About ten years ago, almost every business “had to have” its own mobile application. At that time, there was not much choice of technologies for developing mobile applications and hence we observed “technological hype” and the rise of native development. But after five years or so, we got quite efficient substitutes of native development – React Native, Flutter, Xamarin. And that indicated the end of technological hype and the native development era.

CEO at SoftTeco

Alexey Shevchik

Summing up

The choice of a suitable development tool is a challenging process and we hope our tech reviews can help you with that. While the number of available options might seem overwhelming, remember that the first step is defining project requirements. They will set the base for the future tech stack and will help you avoid getting distracted during the development process. And of course, if you have any questions left, we will gladly answer them – leave us a comment below or contact us directly!

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