A Decade Of Software Development - 2 Key Software Development Questions

Publish Date - 3rd April 2023

Last Updated - 3 April 2023

When I started web development, I started with an advantage: 8 years of building finance based tools.

You see, software development has 3 parts major areas. And these 3 areas are consistent across all kinds of software:

  • Deciding on the technology you will use (Strategic Tech Decisions)
  • Designing the logic and algorithms to solve problems (Backend)
  • Building the front end of your logic (frontend)

In my experience, the first and second point represent 80% of the "build great software" battle.

A year ago, I built a dashboard application with Next.js/React and Typescript for a client. The users for this app were able to calulate and visualise data without doing SQL.

7 years ago, I build a similar dashboard application in excel. The users were able to calulate and visualise data without doing SQL.

(Do you see where I am going with this?)

The logic was almost identical. The algothims were similar. The problems were the same. The only difference was the front end technology and user experience (which is also important by the way!).

Why is this important?

Becuase, over the years, your front end might change. But underlying logic and business logic can last for decades. It's VERY important that the software developer you bring in to help you is atune to the tradeoffs in the back end logic.

I want to give you 2 questions that you should ask every software developer who you decide to hire or outsource too. These questions are so fundamental to the future success of your web project.

Ready? Here we go...

Question 1: What are the different options for database (storage) technology, and which one should you use in this scenario? Why?

Question 2 Should our application have a decoupled backend (API model)? If so, why? If not, why?

On the surface, these questions look basic and straight forward. But they open up the doors to future proofing and future scaling.

The software you build today will need to be maintained and improved for years. Many startup founders make "quick decisions" on day one. And pay for it later.

Don't be that guy or girl.