Stackshare is a community-driven web site that allows engineering teams to post information about the software components and business tools that they use to power their software applications and run their online operations. Content is self-reported, with the posters identity provided for assurance. The goal of Stackshare is to share knowledge across companies and socialize best practices. Analysis of the content posted on Stackshare can provide VPE’s and CTO’s with additional perspective on infrastructure and tool choices as you consider options for your own operation.

Elements of the tech stack are organized into logical groupings. These software components and business services are collectively referred to as “Tools”. Here are some examples of categorization and individual tools.

  • Application and Data – Languages (Javascript, Python), databases (MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL), application servers (Nginx, Rails)
  • Utilities – Infrastructure (DNS, CDN), communications (Twilio), payments (Stripe, Braintree), analytics (Google Analytics)
  • DevOps – Package managers (Docker, Kubernetes), application monitoring (New Relic, DataDog), logging (Splunk), configuration management (Chef, Ansible)
  • Business Tools – Communications (Slack), customer service (Zendesk, Salesforce), project management (Jira, Asana), collaboration (G Suite, Office 365)

The categories aren’t perfectly aligned, but the tools are fairly distinct and recognizable. 

One valuable section of the Stackshare site represents a listing of companies and the tools that they use. In the Browse Stacks section, we can see a listing of well-known technology oriented companies, with results sorted by trending or top companies. A view of the top companies, places recognizable brands at the beginning. While it’s not clear what the sort scoring algorithm is, company size or prominence seems to factor in. For example, the first three companies listed are PinterestUber and Airbnb.

Another section of the site also allows the user to see a list of all tools. The default view is based on tools that are trending (assume this is based on change in positive interest). One can also sort by the “top” tools, which orders the tools by some measure of overall popularity. This is insightful, as we can see how tools rank in terms of usage. Some examples:

  • React holds the highest position among JavaScript frameworks with 28,400 reference stacks.
  • MySQL is the most popular database, with MongoDB (MDB) and PostgreSQL as a close second.
  • Trello and Jira are the most used project management and development workflow management tools.
  • Twilio is the most used SMS/Voice API provider.

Finally, the Stackshare site allows commentary around tool choices. These are comments provided by the members of the engineering teams providing stack shares from the different companies. These comments are associated with the company’s stack or individual tools. Browsing through these comments can provide some additional, pointed insights. For example, here is some useful commentary from the CTO of the New York Times about their decision to move away from the LAMP stack.

As you can see, Stackshare can be a useful resource for you to get ideas or confirmation about software stack decisions that you are making as a VPE or CTO. The content and feature set on the site appears to be expanding, so it should continue to provide value over time.

If you are interested in how the information on Stackshare could also be used to inform your stock investment decisions, please see a related post on our sister blog.