5 SaaS Technologies that Accelerate Full Stack Engineering

Nov 10, 2019 2:06:46 PM / by James Smith

As a business that needs to deliver quickly, we like to keep as much of our focus as possible on our products and services. We  believe in Full Stack Engineering and prefer SaaS technologies that enable our team to own delivering end-to-end. Every book or blog post on startups you read will, rightly, tell you to build what's special about you, and to use vendors for undifferentiated heavy lifting. At Hakkiri, we’ve benefited a lot from this mindset and wanted to share the technologies that most accelerated our MVP to market. 

 

#1 MongoDB Atlas: Best Database Solution

We choose MongoDB because coming from a relational SQL background we found it very quick to ramp up on and had excellent online resources. Architecturally, we wanted a DB technology that would enable us to support an on-premise installation if necessary, but our primary focus is on our SaaS offering and Atlas serves us perfectly. MongoDB’s Atlas solution is a fully managed DB infrastructure and has meant that we’ve never had to worry about backups, encryption, or upgrades, and their tooling made it seamless to peer with our AWS VPC. As a side benefit, they also have an amazing Startup Accelerator program. Learn more about how we use Atlas on MongoDB's blog.

 

#2 Auth0: Best Authentication Solution

Security is everything and Auth0 is an excellent solution for authentication. Like MongoDB they have excellent online resources and their quick starts give you working code samples in multiple technologies that get you up and running quickly and securely. They support social and DB backed logins and have Hooks and Rules so you can easily tailor workflows for your specific needs. Additionally, their hosted pages conveniently let you apply your own branding, and with custom domains users will never feel like they are leaving your site. Best of all, you've got an industry leader in security staying ahead of the curve.

 

#3 Terraform: Best Infrastructure as Code Solution

Building and managing infrastructure can be daunting task. Hakkiri runs in AWS and when planning out our infrastructure we ran spikes with the AWS console, the CLI, and Cloud Formation. Using the straight console doesn’t work well for phoenix environments, and while Cloud Formation is a substantive improvement, we found it’s yaml and json configuration files challenging to digest (though it did not exist at the time the AWS CDK looks like a promising improvement). We wanted a solution that enabled Infrastructure as Code and found that Terraform’s syntax and concepts were powerful and easy to learn. We also found that the code, plan, apply cycle worked very well for iteratively building our environments and evolving them over time. With everything built into scripts, you'll feel a great deal of confidence, knowing that you can readily stand up full environments in minimal time thanks to Terraform.

 

#4 NPM: Best Productivity Booster

NPM, the node package manager, is a great accelerator in two particular dimensions. Firstly, its public package repository seems to have a package for just about anything. So before you build a piece of vanilla boilerplate functionality, we highly recommend doing a quick package search. There’s a good chance you’ll find something useful. Just be sure to review the license terms but most packages permit free usage and redistribution. The second dimension of great acceleration is using private packages to enable module sharing across your organization. Just code, test, publish, and update for everything to stay perfectly synchronized across your components.

 

#5 Material-UI: Best UX Component Package

Early in our inception we made two key choices for our frontend. To go with React over Angular and Material-UI over Bootstrap. We loved React's declarative approach and Material-UI had a rich set of UX components which enabled us to rapidly build our product. We’ve used it since v1 (now up to v4.5) and have been incredibly impressed by how Material-UI has both matured and increased it’s breadth. On multiple occasions, we’ve had a need for a component and been delighted to find that it magically appeared in the next release at just the right time for us. 

 

The pace of business moves faster than ever, particularly for SaaS businesses. Staying focused on your products and how they meet your customers needs is the best strategy for success. These technologies have all been great accelerators for Hakkiri and will for you too!

 

Hakkiri's Full Stack Engineering Culture

At Hakkiri, a core part of our mission is help software teams spend more time building awesome products and less time administrating their process and reporting on status. Hakkiri surfaces deep insights into delivery without interrupting teams and enables better decisions and outcomes. Try out our 30-day Free Trial or request a demo today!  Additionally, if you'd like assistance establishing a full stack engineering culture at your organization, our technology consulting services can help! 

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Tags: Culture, Startup, Engineering

James Smith

Written by James Smith

James Smith is a co-founder of Hakkiri. With over 20 years in technology he has been instrumental in numerous transformative initiatives as an engineer and executive. As the Senior Managing Director of Engineering at Eze Software Group, James brought 3 legacy organizations, spanning 350+ people at 7 sites around the world, together as a unified team. He guided process modernization and technology adoption to enable the business to move into the cloud. These experiences have given him deep insights into organizational change and how the culture of technology teams can impact results.