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Our PRVN stack: it's not nice to be MEAN

Published March 7, 2019

If you've spent time in the company of software developers, you'll know that if there are 10 developers in a room there will be 11 opinions on the right way to do something.

The truth is that all 11 of those opinions will probably produce a similar end product in the hands of a reasonably talented developer. 

If that's the case, then why do people argue so fervently in favor of one tool vs another? The answer lies in the tradeoffs you make when choosing a tool. A power drill and a mini-screwdriver both turn screws, but there's probably one you have in mind to use for fixing your glasses.

What are the tradeoffs we make at Ten Forward when choosing our tools? We optimize for:

  • Developer productivity - tools that let our developers make the most software for the same amount of time. Taking less time means lower costs for our customers.
  • Track record of stability over time - tools that have been around longer and are known to work, and which have already been through the hype cycle.
  • Community in our area and on the internet - tools where it's easy to get advice, give advice, make friends, and find future Ten Forwarders, both in Madison and online.


We've filled our kit with stable, reliable, efficient tools that supercharge our ability to make great web and mobile applications. We call it the PRVN stack - pronounced "proven."




That's PostgreSQL, Ruby on Rails, Vue, and NGINX.

Over the next few weeks, we'll tell you about each of the tools in our stack and why we make the tradeoffs we make. Stay tuned!

Author details

Fred Turkington

Director of Operations
@z3ugma