When you embark on digital product development, the tech stack you use matters. It can be a major influence on whether you’ll have to start from scratch during the next development phase or simply update the code already in place. It can dictate the amount of technical debt that accumulates due to updates and security patches. And it will influence what third-party libraries and programs are capable of interacting with your digital product.
Intuitio Labs has the flexibility to work with all existing tech stacks. We have experience with all major programming languages, and a broad range of recommended tools to suit any project, whether you’re doing app development or performance marketing. Here’s a look at some of the most common programming languages that we’ve utilized in our projects.
First released in 1995, Java continues to be one of the most versatile and popular coding languages. Java makes up the building blocks of a huge number of enterprise-level, mission-critical tools on the market today. It’s a staple in most modern developers’ tool belts for good reason.
Advantages of Java
- Easy to learn
Java was built to be easy to use at every stage, from development to debugging. Because of its popularity and longevity, Java has a robust community of developers and open-source frameworks. This community support is helpful for coders to expand on previous knowledge and problem-solve in tandem with other experts.
It’s not the only object-oriented language out there, but it’s certainly the most popular one that is 100 percent object-oriented. Programs are built around objects and their associated classes and functions. This means that in Java, it’s easy to create reusable code and to isolate and modify sections as needed.
Java is highly valued for its platform independence. It can run on any device as long as Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is installed, whether that device uses Windows OS, Linux, Mac OS, or lesser-known, independent operating systems. This eliminates the redundancy and confusion caused when your dev team and technology partners are working remotely and empowers a “build here, run anywhere” practice.
- Stable but innovative
Because of its longstanding application, Java is a reliably stable and well-supported technology option. Its number of major enterprise-level users ensures that it will continue to be sought out and utilized, and offers major stability among a slew of trendy, here-today, gone-tomorrow programming languages. Java was also built with security in mind, and its platform independence and two-stage execution go a long way in protecting it from hacking.
Drawbacks of Java
- Older, bulkier language
Since Java’s release in the mid-90s, literally hundreds of new languages have hit the market, many of them offering solutions to some of Java’s flaws. That being said, a program running on Java doesn’t necessarily need to be updated; smart operational management can cut back on much of the busy work.
- Slower load time
One of the most frequent complaints about Java is that it’s slower than some of the sleeker options today that shortcut Java’s plodding comprehensiveness. Java’s human-friendly syntax must be translated for machines, and its verbosity may make it look bulky and more time-consuming when the autofill feature isn’t used correctly. However, much of the load lag has been corrected with new iterations.
Java Is Commonly Used For:
- Android app development
- Desktop applications
- Backend development for enterprise-level digital products
- Big data processing and mobile computing
- It’s everywhere
- Scales from simplicity to complexity
- Creates interactive, engaging design
- Visibility makes it less secure
- Difficult to debug
- Website or web tool animations and interactions
- Website games
Released in 2013, React is a relatively new addition to the major programming languages. However, it’s a major player in the development world today, beloved for its intuitive shortcuts, easy-to-understand organization, and ability to function on iOS and Android (for React Native) as well as websites (for React JS).
React Native Versus React JS
Advantages of React JS
- Reusable components save time
A large amount of dev work is surprisingly repetitive. However, React JS has found a way around the worst of it. React JS divides the logic of an element from the element view, allowing you to use those elements in various ways throughout your program with only small modifications. This significantly cuts back on the time it takes to develop something new (and the money it takes to do it).
- Robust library with lots of pre-built components
Another element that enables React JS to save time is its extensive component library, which means you don’t have to start from scratch as you build. Because of its wide use, great support, and growing community, React JS’s library continues to grow.
- Community of tech giants
React was first developed and utilized by Facebook and has since been implemented by some of the biggest names in tech, including Pinterest, Uber, Shopify, Airbnb, and others.
Drawbacks of React JS
- Speed of growth and poor documentation
Over the last decade, React JS usage has grown by leaps and bounds. With its rapid development and the fact that it doesn’t impose developmental conventions, there can be a huge range in how exactly it’s used. This means that new developers coming onto a legacy React project may face a steep learning curve, even if they’re familiar with React itself.
- Flow of data can be confusing
Because React JS uses an unconventional framework by detaching the view elements and their logic, it can quickly become messy and chaotic-looking. In fact, some programmers don’t like working with React JS because it’s tedious to dissect and it uses a philosophy that can be uncomfortable.
React JS Is Commonly Used For…
- Website or web tool animations and interactions
- Website games
- Websites and tools that will also be built as apps
Python is well known for its multi-functionality and is a go-to resource for digital product development such as IoT, data analysis, automation, website development, and AI. It’s been used to develop algorithms, visualize and interpret huge swathes of data, and build complex logistical web tools. Programmers love it for its clean code and straightforward syntax, and you’ll love it for its robust capabilities.
Advantages of Python
- Object-oriented and/or procedure-oriented
Python is well known for being versatile enough to support both object-oriented programming (as Java does) and procedure-oriented programming, which allows it to run scripts and algorithms.
- The go-to resource for scientific computing, fintech, and data analysis
Python has a number of libraries that enable advanced computing and data analysis for science, engineering, and math so that you don’t have to build the program from scratch. It also supports machine learning and AI development.
- Simple to learn, read, and problem-solve
Python is one of the most commonly recommended programming languages for beginners because it uses an easy syntax structure that can be more approachable than others. It usually uses fewer lines to execute the same functions as languages like C++ or Java. This makes it a language that’s great to use when building a complex program because you can focus on the functionality rather than the intricacies of the language.
Drawbacks of Python
- Slow execution
The reason you don’t see Python as much on apps and web tools that prioritize user experience is that it tends to have a slow runtime. It’s an interpreted language, which means it takes extra time to be processed by machines.
- Large memory usage
Another reason it’s not commonly used for apps is that it requires a large amount of memory, a tradeoff for its flexibility and accessibility for developers.
Python Is Commonly Used For…
- Data analysis and visualization
- Mathematic and scientific computation
- Machine learning and AI
- IoT functionality
Swift for iOS
Apple developed Swift specifically for building apps and web tools in its proprietary iOS. This means that software, apps, and programs built with Swift are suitable for iPhones, Macs, iPads, and even Apple TV and Apple watches… but not for Android devices. Swift was released in 2004 and quickly became the programming language of choice for anyone coding for the Apple ecosystem.
Advantages of Swift
- Intuitive and easy to execute
Like many things developed by Apple, Swift was designed with ease of use in mind. The code is concise and allows type inference which speeds up development and reduces errors. There are numerous additional dev-friendly features that make it a sleek and user-friendly option.
- Safe and secure
With automatic memory management and type safety which prevents errors and sets strict standards on the values your code applies for, Swift may actually seem restrictive to developers used to more free-flowing languages like React JS. However, the parameters ensure fewer errors and more consistency, which can cut back on your long-term technical debt and keep your app future-proof, even in the face of the shrinking availability of tech talent.
- Cloud-based by design
Swift was built to interact with Cloud storage, which makes it one step ahead of many older programming languages. It also makes it a great option for SaaS programming which relies on Cloud-based memory.
- It’s not only for iOS
Swift is a general-use programming language that can run on various platforms, including Linux and, more recently, Windows.
Drawbacks of Swift
- Excludes Android development
Despite Swift’s advantages, many developers choose another language like React Native to build apps that will work both in iOS and Android, rather than building from scratch in two different languages for the sake of delivering the product to a wider range of users.
- Not always ideal for non-Apple ecosystem
Since Swift was built around iOS and the structure of Apple-based operating systems, it doesn’t always have the same versatility in a non-Apple operating system.
Swift Is Commonly Used For…
- Building iPhone apps
- Programming for Apple Watches, Apple TVs, Mac desktop apps, and more
- Web development and server-side programming
Partnering With a Digital Product Development Company
When enlisting the help of a digital product development team, whether you’re hiring in-house, or outsourcing to a qualified agency, it’s important to understand both your own tech stack and the collective expertise of those you’re working with. Your team’s flexibility between various coding languages can help it build tools with the best chances of longevity and the lowest accumulation of technical debt.
Contact us to discuss your project and learn which options are available to make your digital product the very best it can be.