The Technology Behind A Small SaaS Business | Panelbear

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There's just something fascinating about getting to know what's under the hood of other people's businesses. It's like gossip, but about software.
Being an engineer at heart, each time I see a company post their tech stack publicly, I brew a fresh cup of coffee, and sit down to read the newfound little treat.



A couple of months ago I started working on yet another private analytics service, a project which has gone through numerous iterations, and I feel lucky that so far 400+ websites have integrated with it.

That's why I thought it's now my turn to do a short write up of the technologies I'm using to run this service. In the same spirit as Jake Lazzaroff's Tools and Services I Use to Run My SaaS, which motivated the format for this article.

Languages

Over the years I have added many programming languages to my toolbelt, but I have converged to two in particular that strike a good balance of productivity, and reliability.

Python: Most of the backend code is in Python. It has enabled me to ship features incredibly fast. Additionally, I use mypy for optional type hints, which help keep the codebase manageable.

Typescript: I used to avoid working on frontend topics until I discovered Typescript about 4 years ago. It's now my go-to language for frontend projects.

Frameworks and libraries

This could be a huge list, as I stand on the shoulders of giants who have published the open-source code which I rely on. But I'd like to highlight only a handful due to their major role in my stack:

Django: Django is like a superpower for solo developers. The longer you work in this industry, the more you appreciate not having to reinvent the wheel for the 100th time. A monolithic framework can get you really, really far. To me, it's about predictable software that's fast in every way that matters. In case you're interested, I talk more about this topic on Choose Boring Technology.

React: The web app for the dashboards is built using React + Webpack. After using Angular for a long time, I switched to React because it's just a pluggable view layer that doesn't get in the way. It enables me to move fast, and again,…
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