There’s a lot of hesitation in startup founders when the subject of frameworks comes up, and it’s mostly fueled by ignorance. A startup founder’s time is valuable, and they have to invest it wisely—which is why today I’m explaining what frameworks are, and how they are totally worth your time. Let’s get ready to boost your development’s productivity, and save tons of time and money.
What’s a framework?
When we develop a software, we can do it by ourselves from scratch—figuring it out as we go—or we can use existing parts. Of course, not all software are the same, but they do use the same principles: you may need a showing screen, a way to save information in a database, a system to send messages, etc. These are not the components that make your software unique, your startup just needs them as tools.
A framework is an open-source methodology to develop software, used by thousands or even millions of developers all over the world. So it’s just a consistent way of developing those tools that has been proven to work time and time again. By making use of an existing framework, you’ll simplify the developer’s work, so he can focus most of his efforts and creativity towards developing the features that make your solution unique.
Framework vs language
This is a valid source of confusion for some of you out there, so let’s clear this up.
As you may already know, computers process information a different way than humans, specifically with ones (1) and zeros (0), this is called binary code. A programming language is simply a “translation tool” that takes what we want the computer to do, expressed in a combination of symbols we understand, and translating it into binary for the CPU to execute.
On the other hand, a framework is a way of doing things. It’s a bit like building a house. You can do everything from scratch with metal and concrete, figuring it out as you go; but it will probably take you much longer than using premade walls or flooring. In the case of tech startups, the materials are free (open-source code, creativity), and you only have to pay for manpower, aka the developer’s time and knowledge; so ready-to-apply solutions like frameworks are always the best option.
A framework provides easy-to-use database access, user management, screen website structure, artificial intelligence algorithms, among other things. And some examples of framework platforms are: Django, Symfony, Ruby on Rails, Laravel, CodeIgniter, React, Angular, VueJS, MeteorJS; some of these can handle backend or API, or just for mobile apps: Xamarin, Ionic and React Native.
Keep in mind that frameworks are made to be used with a certain programming language, so you would need to choose the language first, and then a framework that’s made for it. You wouldn’t use ready-to-install apartment doors to build a car, right? It just wouldn’t work.
Benefits of using frameworks
I’ve already touched a bit on how useful frameworks are to boost your startup’s productivity, and significantly cut your development time. But besides that, there are still two main upsides to using frameworks:
- Smooth transitions: Your development will become very easy to handle. If by any chance, one developer leaves and someone else has to take over, the framework will provide a familiar and consistent structure, making the transition much easier.
- Everything has been done before: No, I’m not talking about startup ideas, relax. There’s always someone who has already developed what you need, functionality-wise. There’s always someone who has had to send an email from their app, or someone who needed to scan a QR code, or save new information to a database. It’s all out there, ready to use, so make the best of it.
Choosing the best framework for you
Developers will always try to convince you that one is better than the other, depending on what they offer. But at the end, it’s all about business, so get the most efficient solution for your company. Just focus on how you will ultimately grow and get developers, and then you can identify which is more relevant to use for your product.
For example, if you aim for a highly widespread app and anticipate you will need tons of development and maintenance, then a high-traffic framework that’s compatible with a well-known programming language will be your safest bet. If you intend to have artificial intelligence in future versions of your app, consider starting with a framework that uses Python from the get-go, and you can easily integrate the new technology whenever you’re ready, without having to change your entire structure.
I hope you are less intimidated with the concept of frameworks and realize what wonderful resource they are. If you are in the process of developing your own startup, you can check out my other blog posts, full courses, video advice, and coaching services. And if you like this article, feel free to share it and comment below.