Astadia is a company filled with highly technical, skilled and passionate people. It might not surprise you then that most of us have strong opinions about what technologies (e.g. programming languages, database, frameworks) are ‘good’ and which are ‘bad’, regularly leading to lengthy, heated… yet never conclusive debates.

Notwithstanding these individual preferences, we all subscribe to a general vision that sees technology as a means, not as an end: Astadia does not favor nor disapprove of any specific set of technologies. A certain technology can be a great tool in one specific context, while being a serious liability in another (E.g. because of skills shortage, because of industry-specific integration needs).

At the same time, we believe strongly that the right choice of technology and (arguably even more important) architecture is fundamental to the continued success of both our own and our customers’ operations. Or put more negatively: a wrong choice can have big consequences.

What is the right choice?

So we’re back at the question: ‘what is the right choice?’

I hope I’ve already established firmly that we don’t believe there is one right choice. Yet, we have to make choices and for this we make an evaluation based on two key criteria:

  1. Is the technology stack aligned with our customer’s idea of what constitutes a good, modern, solid technology stack?
  2. Does the technology stack maximally enable the possibilities for future evolution (e.g. modernization) and integration with existing third-party software?

The term we use for describing technologies that fit these criteria is “native technologies” since they just fit it and once established, are seen as obvious choices. They are also the very same technologies you would choose when starting a development from scratch, as opposed to migrating an existing application.

Key-questions to ask before choosing a technology

But let’s turn the above two criteria, which probably seem pretty subjective and high-level to you, into questions that are more specific and more objectively answerable:

  1. Is the technology in common use? Not necessarily globally but certainly in a particular industry or geographic location.
  2. Is the technology considered mature? Are there examples of large, complex applications that have been developed in the technology?
  3. Is the technology likely to continue to get supported and evolve over the next 10 years? Is there an organization or consortium backing the technology? Are major software firms using it? Have there been regular releases?
  4. Is there a rich ecosystem of third-party applications, libraries and tools that work with the technology? Are there regular updates and releases to these tools and libraries? Does it happen regularly that new applications, tools or libraries are being created?
  5. Is it easy to find developers for working with it?
  6. Are there many information sources about the technology? Is it part of the academic curriculum of major schools? Are there new books and articles being published on a regular basis?

Whether you’re contemplating a migration project or an entirely new development, if a technology gets a clear ‘YES’ on all the above, you can be assured that it’s a safe choice to make!

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