Understanding the Basics of Full Stack JavaScript Development – MEAN and MERN Stacks

JavaScript can be found everywhere. Since its launch 25 years ago, it has been regarded as one of the most popular programming languages and the most dominant web development technology. While it was initially used only for front-end engineering, it has grown over time to acquire an ability to be used on the server side as well. MEAN and MERN are its most popular technology stacks. Businesses are increasingly hiring full stack developers to create robust and futuristic apps for them. 

Full Stack Developer – Role and Skills

Using a single technology to create a full-fledged software product is almost impossible. Therefore, technology stacks are made use of. Tech stacks are a combination of programming languages, libraries, frameworks, databases, templates, and other tools. 

Every software product is made up of the client side and the server side. Usually, a separate stack is used is responsible for covering individual layer. However, with the help of full stack development services, the entire mobile application can be built covering both front as well as back end of the project. A specialist or a full stack development company has the broad set of skills that can cover all aspects of project engineering. 

This versatility in skill set is rather unique and only rare experts possess it. Start-ups and large companies (including Facebook, eBay, Tinder, etc.) prefer hiring these specialists for their projects. 

What is Full Stack JavaScript?

JavaScript is the universal development language which can be used across every software layer. When it is applied for both front end and backend programming, it is known as JavaScript full stack. 

The most common technology components of the JavaScript full stack include the following:

  • Front End

There is a vast choice available for frameworks used for JavaScript front end. Angular JS was introduced in 2010, and has since been the most important development tool. With time, newer frameworks and libraries got introduced such as React, Vue.JS, Knockout.JS, Backbone.JS, etc. These are very up and coming frameworks, but have so far been limited in use by the project specifics. 

  • Back End

Server-side JavaScript programming using Node.JS and Express web framework has been commonly used by developers so far. Additional tools such as Meteor, Sails.JS, Koa, etc. are also being increasingly used by developers nowadays.

Most Popular Technology Stacks in the JavaScript Family

Everything About Full Stack JavaScript development

1. MEAN Stack

MEAN Stack is an open-source tech bundle which includes the frameworks MongoDB, Express, Angular, and Node.JS. The Biggest corporations including Google, Accenture, PayPal, and more are some of the names that use MEAN Stack web development.

MEAN Stack is composed of the following components:

  • MongoDB

MongoDB is a NoSQL database which makes use of JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format in order to store data. MongoDB is able to offer the persistence for any application data. It is an open-source, document database that was designed keeping in mind both scalability as well as developer agility. MongoDB is a widely used database for developing modern apps. It not only bridges the gap between key-value stores that are fast and scalable, but also creates relational databases with rich functionality. Instead of storing data in rows and columns, MongoDB stores JSON documents in collections with dynamic schemas.

  • Express.JS

Express.JS is a backend web application framework that is backed by Node.JS. It provides tools which help manage the workflow between the client side and the data model. It allows data transfer as well. Express.JS is a robust system that can be used by developers to create APIs, manage requests relating to HTTP, and render basic routing. 

  • AngularJS

AngularJS is one of the most widely used front end framework that is used to create dynamic interfaces. The main feature that distinguishes it from the rest is its ability to interact with any web application without having to reload the page. This feature helps reduce the bandwidth and website performance.

  • Node.JS

Node.JS is a backend JavaScript runtime environment which even allows the JavaScript code to be processed and executed outside the browser. With the introduction of JavaScript, the server-side JavaScript programming finally became a reality. This step enabled developers to use JavaScript for full development cycle and changed the world of software forever. Node.JS is not only fast, but also extremely lightweight yet powerful. It is highly efficient and the number one choice for building data-intensive, futuristic, real-time apps. 

2. MERN Stack

MERN Stack is very similar to MEAN Stack with only one exception – Angular.JS is replaced with React in case of MERN Stack. React.JS has been steadily growing in popularity over the last few years. It is a front-end open-source library that can be used for building dynamic UI. Launched by Facebook, this framework is being used by some of the biggest technology giants like Tesla, Instagram, Skype, Pinterest, Vogue, Bloomberg, etc.

Since the difference between MEAN and MERN Stack is solely related to the replacement of Angular with React, the pros and cons of choosing one stack over the other are dependent on that too. 

React has an easy learning curve for the development community, ensures better performance, and has a virtual DOM implementation that offers better flexibility in tool usage. 

However, Angular is a complete framework which can be used independently. It has everything that a developer requires to start building right away. With React, on the other hand, the developer needs to scout for and add additional libraries to have a complete set of tools.

Companies big and small are opting for full stack development services for their websites and apps – and this speaks volumes about the utility of these technology stacks. Having all parts of the web application development written in a single language (that too something as universal as JavaScript) is great. It is a big boost for the individual teams working on different aspects of the app or website as they improve their communication and team work. There is no gap between front-end and back-end engineers in this case as compared to when the teams are working separately using different technologies.