An Exploration of Technologies Used By Startups

An Exploration of Technologies Used By Startups

For startups- ‘Fail fast’, ‘Agile development’, ‘Quick iterations’ are mere buzzwords. Gone are the days when people use to chant this mantra “every business is a software business”. Today, the software has become such an obvious part of doing business that one doesn’t need to acknowledge it.  Above all, you are no longer required to setting up a team, creating a detailed plan and implementing the development work in multiple phases. A slick Beta version can be created, shipped, iterated, scaled and converted into a moolah milking application in a surprisingly short period of time.

With advancement in technologies, building an application has become pretty much simple and rapid. In the following post, I would like to introduce you to some of the most amazing technologies that are commonly being used by startups to combat their competitors in the digital arena. According to the Google trends, JQuery is the most popular technology. Hence, it is always worth hiring the best team of jQuery developers in town for your upcoming web development project.

Popular technologies (listed as per AngelList data):

  • Programming languages: % of startups prefer to use Javascript (81%), Ruby and Python (67%), Java (64%), Perl (44%), PHP (42%) in their stack.
  • Front-end technologies: Startups prefer to use Ruby on Rails, HTML5, CSS, jQuery, and Backbone.js.
  • Storage and database purposes: % of startups that use MySQL (85%), Oracle (58%), Hive (46%), MongoDB (31%), Redis (38%) and Habase, Cassandra and PostgreSQL (27%).
  • Platform: On the mobile front, applications are developed more on the iOS platform than the Android platform by startups.
  • Infrastructure/Hosting: AWS leads the way with Heroku behind.
  • DevOps tools: Startups use Chef, Puppet and Ansible followed mostly by Docker.
  • Search category: Elasticsearch dominates, followed by Soir.
  • API integrations: Twiio rules, with Facebook API and SendGrid behind.
  • Advanced Technologies: Used by startups are Machine Learning, Big Data, and NLP.
  • Big Data software: Startups use Hadoop, Hive and Amazon Redshift.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails (RoR) has significantly lowered the barriers of entry to programming. Invented by 37 signals, the MVC framework has succeeded in creating cool products like Basecamp, Highrise and Campfire. The technology has the ability to produce applications within few days that formerly might have taken weeks or months to develop. In simple words, it lets you build cool applications quickly, lets you ‘Fail Fast’ and come up with prototypes with a shorter timeline.

In addition to this, a lot of main components can come into existence instead of typing those thousand and thousands of lines of code. It even encourages the use of web standards for data transfer, display and UI. Virtually any web application can be easily and quickly built on RoR, and mind it tons of companies have used it for some very serious application development. Twitter, GitHub, BaseCamp, Walmart Labs, Groupon are to name a few.


Also known as a web framework for the perfectionist with a deadline, Django allows you build better apps quicker. Also, it uses less amount of coding. Released in 2005, this framework rose from a very practical need of a fast-moving online-news operation. It focuses on automating as much as possible and adhering to the DRY principle. It lets you reuse the code written for a project in another project Additionally, it provides an optional administrative create, read, update and delete interface which is an added advantage since most of the applications require this.

Eminent websites like Instagram, Pinterest, Disqus, EventBrite use this technology. In comparison to RoR, Django is equally competent. It shares almost similar methodologies leaving you in confusion- which framework to choose?


Released in 2009, the JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine is a free open source server framework and is cross-platform comfortable. JavaScript being a client-side scripting software run on browsers. Whereas NodeJS enables JavaScript to work for server-side scripting. It runs scripts on the server-side to create dynamic web pages before the page gets to the user’s web browser. With the help of event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, the framework aids well in the quick development of fast web servers in JavaScript.

PayPal, GoDaddy, Walmart, IBM, Microsoft, LinkedIn are some of the most popular giants making use of NodeJS effectively. Furthermore, it also needs fast servers like Real-time applications, Chat applications, applications that require synchronous operations, real time multi-player games.


In case, you require to store humongous amount of data which may not have very complex relational schema involved, NoSQL databases is the most useful thing to consider. The technology has emerged due to severe growth of the Internet and the rise of web applications. In fact, it was triggered by the demands of tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon. They required handling enormous data without compromising on performance. It also stores unstructured data like Chats, Messages, Log data, Session data and large files. The large files may be videos and images which do not fit into the relational schemas of Relational databases. All I can say is that if your organization requires building applications that can seamlessly process large data like the ecommerce applications, you can go for noSQL without even the slightest doubt.

So that’s all for now! For more information and update, keep watching the space!

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