25 german startups, and their technology choices

Posted by phillip Sat, 11 Aug 2007 14:32:00 GMT

jetzt.de (the “youth” magazine of the süddeutsche zeitung) gives an interesting overview of 25 current german startups, asking every one of them around a dozen questions.


i found the greenmiles.de idea particularly interesting: you enter your planned trip and transportation type, then they calculate how much co2 is produced. you can then donate an appropriate amount of money to climate conservation programs, allowing you trip to be climate neutral. of course very rough, but nevertheless interesting feedback on how much co2 one of us produces in his day to day life. for example, one round-trip flight hamburg-munich produces 9m³ of co2, which equals a cost of 8 euros.

german startup technology choices

i was curious which technologies these startups would consider best for their success, so i looked at the programming languages and frameworks they used. here are the results:

60% php
16% ruby (= ruby on rails)
16% java
4% asp.net
4% (project offline)

a couple of observations:

php & java have been at the availability of web developers since at least 1999 (that’s when i started) and ruby on rails had it’s 1.0 release in december 2005. so i can only say: go rails! :-)

so let’s say konichiwa to these ruby on rails projects:

looking at php

of course with 60%, php is the most important language by far. it’s the technology one needs least development experience for, and it allows fast results; therefore very appealing. working with less experienced developers however also means things can go really bad down the road – remember the studivz scalability and security issues, for example. and still not all of the startups seem to do their php development in a professional way. some use a CMS (typo3) as a base for their site, others still run php version 4, which has been replaced by php5 three years ago and is now discontinued.

there is only rails

the java and php projects use a variety of frameworks, but in the ruby projects – there is only rails. that’s good – a ruby web developer will almost certainly know how to work with rails. a php developer will more than likely not know how to work with your framework, since there are so many open source php frameworks out there, and still many people roll their own one.

on a side note, only one startup runs on microsoft technology …

i figured out what a site runs by looking at their webserver’s responses (server type, cookie name) and the generated html. if in doubt i checked their tech jobs postings, too. for the technically inclined, here’s the full list:

  • dealjaeger.de: java
  • spickmich.de: php
  • cellity.com: java (jboss)
  • autoaid.de: php (symfony) AND/OR python
  • hitflip.de: php
  • verwandt.de: php
  • amiando.de: java
  • dawanda.de: ruby on rails (/w mongrel server)
  • hiogi.de: php
  • zeitkapsel.de: php
  • wazap.de: java
  • schutzgeld.de: php (typo3)
  • frazr.de: php
  • rankaholics.de: php
  • sevenload: php
  • imedo.de: ruby on rails (/w mongrel server)
  • globalzoo.de: php
  • greenmiles.de: php (typo3, still php4!)
  • jajah.com: asp.net
  • mitbringzentrale.de – (offline)
  • mymuesli.de: php (still php4!)
  • qype.de: ruby on rails (/w lighttpd server)
  • spielerkabine.de: ruby on rails (/w lighttpd server)
  • edelight.de: php
  • studivz.de: php

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