The Most Popular Technology Stacks Used By Startups In Singapore

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Right now is probably one of the fastest digitization periods we have ever experienced in Singapore. Companies have always known the benefits of using technology, but there were always the more traditional and conservative companies that held back from modern technologies. But that has all changed after the pandemic, which forced these companies to go digital, and now they have realized that technology is the future. Companies are now looking to turn to mobile and web apps to manage their operations and reach their customers. This has created some excitement around aspiring entrepreneurs and startup founders.

Although startup founders are problem solvers and believers in technology, that doesn’t mean they come from a technology background. Some of the best technology entrepreneurs have come from business or arts backgrounds with nothing but a passion for technology and a business partner who knows everything about programming. But what about those who want to develop a mobile or web application and don’t have a partner with a coding background? Instead, they have an excellent business plan and an investor that believes in them, and they plan on outsourcing the development to an external company.

Now even if a founder doesn’t know much about writing code, understanding some things about the industry, such as what languages and frameworks are popular right now and the benefits and cons of using them, is essential for the future growth of the company. In Singapore, some of the most popular frameworks used to build mobile and web applications are React Native, Flutter, ReactJs, VueJs, NodeJs with Express, and Python with Django. So below, we will explain a little bit more about some of these technologies and when you should use them to develop your product.

React Native (Best For Mobile App Development)

React Native is a Meta (Previously Facebook) backed tool that allows developers to build mobile applications using web technologies such as Javascript. The tool creates a bridge between web code and native components. In layman’s terms, React Native developers would simply write JavaScript code to add a button, image, or custom view (the same way they would when developing a web application), and then React Native would convert that to native Android and iOS components. This allows developers to solve the age-old problem of writing code once and having it work on multiple platforms.

One of the most obvious benefits of this is that React Native handles the base design of the components for developers. iOS and Android have different design guidelines and all developers need to worry about is do they want a button or a bottom navigation bar, and it automatically gets rendered to suit the operating system.

Since React Native has been around, startups in Singapore have been using the tool to build their mobile app products. The tool has been proven as apps such as Facebook, Discord, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Teams, Pinterest, Playstation, and Tesla have been built using it.

The only competitor around would be Flutter. Flutter is Google’s solution for cross-platform app development. Flutter is good, really good, but it remains more of a hobbyist tool. One of the main reasons for this is that Flutter relies on the Dart programming language, while React Native relies on Javascript. The latter has a much larger community due to the popularity of web development. In software development, the community is important as they build tools and APIs that make a framework even more powerful and support people in forums with any issues they experience during development.

ReactJs (Best For Frontend Web App Development)

React was the original component-based framework for the web. From its release, it completely changed how developers create web applications. In fact, React Native was built by the same team based on React. Basically, what React did was broke up complex web applications into simple, reusable components. And all this can be done with the Javascript programming language, meaning that developers don’t need to learn a different programming language.

This means that React developers can build a component with a certain look and function, let’s say a clickable button, and they can then use that component in multiple places throughout the application. When they want to update all the image buttons, they would simply update that one component, and it will update in all the places it was used. This was an absolute game-changer for startups as it helps developers build faster and keeps large projects more organized in a fast-moving environment, where things change often.

Other alternatives to React are also available such as Angular and Vue. Vue gained a ton of popularity among developers because of its light weight and simplicity, but developers eventually shifted their preference to React due to the larger community and the framework being closer to vanilla Javascript, while Vue made most things abstract. In Singapore, React remains the most popular choice used by startups to develop their web applications. This is simply because of the larger developer talent pool and community, meaning that there is more support and tools available to them, which is essential when building a great product. By using React for the web and React Native for the mobile application, startups can scale faster by hiring solely Javascript developers, as both of these tools are built on the Javascript programming language.

NodeJs (Best For Backend And API Development)

NodeJs is a Javascript runtime that works on top of Chrome. Javascript was built to be a language used for running scripts on the front end of web applications. To add dynamic functionality HTML and CSS code. But NodeJs was created to allow developers to use Javascript on the backend as well. This was a game changer in the developer world as an entire application could now be built using one programming language. Node is typically used with Express to build applications. NodeJs can technically also be used to build front-end applications, but that’s not its greatest appeal. NodeJs developers are experts at creating backend functionality, APIs, messaging tools, automation tools, IoT applications, and more.

Non-technical people usually don’t know much about Node. They know that the app was built with React or React Native, but they don’t know that developers also used another tool to add backend functionality. Grab is a popular application in Singapore. So let’s say the mobile app was built with React Native. This allows users to book rides and order food. But ordering food is not as simple as the app makes it seems. You tapping that one button triggers multiple things to happen on Grab’s side. The confirm ride button will notify the application to call a function that is on the backend that finds the most suitable delivery person and notifies them. Once they confirm, the backend will then notify the Grab application to send you a notification that your order is on the way. Additionally, once the order has been completed, that will trigger the backend to send you a receipt for the amount paid. All that functionality is typically implemented on the backend with NodeJs or Python.

Python (Best For AI And Machine Learning)

Python is an extremely versatile programming language. It’s easy to learn, simple to use and has a large community. It’s commonly used in Computer Science programs at schools and universities as an introduction to programming. It’s also very popular in academia and science departments because of how powerful the language and its libraries are at mathematical calculations. Because of this, it naturally becomes the language of choice for AI and machine learning model development. Python developers can use tools such as Tensorflow and Pytorch to create machine learning models that can be imported into mobile and web applications to provide smart functionality such as image recognition, music and movie taste, and more. It’s possible to build machine learning models on the front end as well, but for more processing power, it’s common practice to build them on the backend using Python.

Python is used for much more than just machine learning, though; it’s also used in game development, desktop application development, and even web app development. Companies such as Reddit and Airbnb have used Python for their web applications in the past.  For web apps, Python is typically used with Django or Flask in order to build frontends. Singapore startups that focus on data visualization, dashboards, business intelligence, and scientific research often choose Python as their tool of choice.

The Most Popular Technology Stacks Used By Startups In Singapore
The Most Popular Technology Stacks Used By Startups In Singapore

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