Technology Stack Free Tool

Published on August 3, 2023 by Sawyer Middeleer

Technology Stack Free Tool

In the realms of software development and tech startups, the term "technology stack" or "tech stack" is a commonly tossed-around term that refers to the combination of programming languages, tools, frameworks, and technologies that come together to build a web or mobile application. Just as every craftsman relies on a quality set of tools to bring a vision to life, every developer or startup depends on their tech stack to create robust and scalable digital products.

But what happens when a startup is operating on a shoestring budget? They turn to free tools. The good news is that there is a plethora of free tools and resources available that can empower tech startups to build and scale their applications without incurring hefty upfront costs.

Let's deep dive into the universe of free tech stack tools that can support different layers of application development, from the back-end foundational work to the front facing-polish, and explore how startups can utilise these assets to their advantage.

The Anatomy of a Tech Stack

First, it’s important to understand the different components that make up a tech stack. A typical web development stack includes:

  • Front-End (Client-Side): The visual elements of your application that users interact with, built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Back-End (Server-Side): This is where the application runs, data is processed, and business logic is executed. Common languages include Python, Ruby, and PHP.
  • Middleware: The software that connects the front-end and back-end, often handling tasks such as authentication, session management, and API management.
  • Database: Where the data is stored and managed. SQL databases like PostgreSQL and noSQL databases like MongoDB are popular choices.
  • DevOps Tools: To automate the processes between software development and IT teams so they can build, test, and release software faster and more reliably.
  • Development and Testing Frameworks: To expedite the development process and ensure robustness of code.

Leveraging Free Tools

Each layer of the stack has free tools available that can significantly reduce costs for a tech startup. Here’s how you can tackle each component:

Front-End Development

1. Visual Studio Code or Atom: Both are powerful, extensible, and free code editors that come with a variety of plugins and extensions to streamline the development process.

2. Bootstrap or Foundation: These free front-end frameworks offer ready-to-use components that can help build responsive websites quickly.

3. AngularJS or React: For startups aiming to build dynamic and high-functioning interfaces, these JavaScript frameworks are open-source and free to use.

Back-End Development

1. Node.js: This is a free, open-source server environment that allows you to run JavaScript on the server-side.

2. Django or Ruby on Rails: Both are open-source web frameworks that follow the "convention over configuration" principle, speeding up the development process.

3. MySQL or PostgreSQL: They are open-source relational database management systems, widely adopted and supported by large communities.


1. Express.js: This is a minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework that provides a robust set of features to develop web and mobile applications. It’s free and open-source.

2. OAuth: For handling authentication, OAuth is an open standard for access delegation that is free for use.


1. MongoDB: It’s a potent document-oriented database program that is free and open source.

2. Firebase: Though it's freemium, Google’s Firebase has a generous free tier that’s perfect for startups and offers realtime database solutions.

DevOps Tools

1. Docker: Essential for containerization, Docker Community Edition is free and helps to create, deploy, and run applications in containers.

2. Jenkins: For continuous integration and continuous delivery, Jenkins is free, open-source, and helps automate parts of the development process.

3. Git: As a version control system, Git is free and open-source, very helpful for tracking changes in source code during software development.

Development and Testing Frameworks

1. Selenium: An open-source framework for automating tests carried out on web browsers.

2. JUnit (for Java applications): A simple framework to write repeatable tests, which is open-source and free to use.

3. Postman: While not a framework, Postman is great for API testing and offers a free tier that is quite extensive.

The above tools are just a snapshot of what’s available. With a bit of research, you can curate a complete tech stack that aligns with your startup’s needs without having to pay a fortune.

Considerations When Choosing Free Tools

While free tools can offer substantial financial relief, consider these factors before filling up your tech stack:

  • Community & Support: Ensure there’s an active community or some form of support for the free tools you choose.
  • Compatibility: Check to ensure that the free tools are compatible with each other.
  • Scalability: Consider if the tool will scale with your business or if you’ll need to invest in more robust solutions later.
  • Learning Curve: Some open-source tools may have a steeper learning curve. Ensure your team has, or can gain, the expertise needed to use them effectively.


Choosing the right technology stack is a significant decision for any tech startup. While free tools can affordably empower your development process, they require astute selection and diligent consideration for the long term. Startups must weigh the benefits of cost-saving against the potential downscales of long-term viability, support, and scalability.

A well-chosen tech stack aids in building a product that is not only viable but is efficient and scalable. It allows startups to channel their funds into other critical growth areas, knowing their technological backbone is robust yet flexible. As the startup grows, the tech stack can evolve too, with advances in technology and changing business needs. But getting started doesn’t have to break the bank, and these free tools are testament to that.

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