MEAN Stack

Build Dynamic Websites and Web Apps with This JavaScript Software Stack

Most modern web developers use a set of technologies to build sites and applications. Thus, they resort to a combination of programming languages, frameworks, libraries, patterns, servers, and tools to develop their projects. That combination is known as a tech stack. As you can imagine, there are countless combinations of those elements. Yet, web engineers favor one of them in particular: the MEAN stack.

MEAN is a free and open-source JavaScript software stack that brings together 4 technologies: MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js. Through the combination of those technologies, web engineering teams can quickly develop cloud-ready applications and sophisticated websites. 

As popular as MEAN is, there are certain variations to it that are also very common in web development teams. For example, the MERN stack replaces AngularJS with React.js, while the MEVN stack uses Vue.js instead. However, MEAN remains the most common stack in web development, thanks to the power of each of its individual components.

MEAN Stack 2

MEAN Developers Hiring Guide

  • How to choose the best
  • Interview questions
  • Job Description

MEAN Components

The MEAN stack comprises 4 technologies:

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    MongoDB
    An open-source, NoSQL database for cloud apps that uses the object-oriented model instead of the relational database model. This component is the one responsible for storing the app’s data as well as pushing and pulling it whenever the application requests it. MongoDB is highly scalable, has a strong performance, and can easily manage large amounts of data.
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    Express.js
    A back-end web application framework for Node.js, Express.js is responsible for all the interactions between the application’s front end and the database. Its minimalist design handles processes seamlessly and without impacting the app’s performance. That’s not all—Express.js is often praised for its ability to handle errors as well as for its templating features that help with development.
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    AngularJS
    The default JavaScript framework for front-end development. AngularJS helps engineers build the user’s side of the application quickly and can guarantee impressive performance. What’s more, it boasts a series of templates to create cloud-native apps that allow development teams to save a lot of time. As said above, it’s the most replaced component of the stack, but its popularity still puts it as a favorite.
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    Node.js
    Open-source back-end JavaScript runtime environment that executes JavaScript code without the need for a browser. Aside from the fact that it’s a JavaScript-based tool that can seamlessly collaborate with the other components of the stack, Node.js is perfect for its scalability, as it can quickly respond to usage spikes and handle hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connections.

MEAN Use Cases

While the power of each individual component of the MEAN stack gets multiplied when working together, the reality is that the tech stack isn’t a solution for all web development projects. That’s why it’s best if you use the MEAN stack for those uses in which its performance and scalability stand out.

If you read each component’s description closely, then you might anticipate that MEAN has strong scalability and performance capabilities. That’s why it’s so perfect to build cloud-native applications, which need to handle vast amounts of data quickly while serving a high number of concurrent users. In fact, MEAN can help you create flexible, scalable, and extensible apps for cloud hosting.

What’s more, MEAN is also great at building single-page applications (SPAs), high-throughput APIs, microservices, and simple web apps. In reality, if you’re about to embark on a JavaScript project for the web, you’d do well in checking MEAN out, as it’s likely that it’s the only thing you’ll need to tackle.

Benefits of Using MEAN

Using MEAN has become somewhat of a standard in the world of web development, mainly because all its components are powerful and popular. However, there are other reasons why you might want to consider using MEAN:

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    MEAN includes its own web server, which means easy deployment and quick scaling to accommodate temporary usage spikes.
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    MEAN is based on JavaScript, one of the most popular languages in the world of development, which means that you won’t have trouble finding the engineering talent to work on your MEAN-powered projects.
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    JavaScript use across the entire stack allows you to reuse code throughout the application, removing the need to develop everything from scratch.
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    Express.js can easily route and manage HTTP requests and responses and can handle JSON endpoints thanks to its great support for middleware.
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    All of MEAN’s components are open source, which means you’ll have access to modifications as well as support from a wide community that offers plenty of resources for development.

Drawbacks of Using MEAN

While all the benefits described above make for a strong case, you should also take into account the disadvantages of using MEAN. Some of the most important ones include:

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    JavaScript isn’t the best language for back-end development, as it can carry concurrency problems.
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    Development with MEAN can be rather quick, which can lead to poor coding practices and low-quality code.
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    Orchestrating all the components in the stack needs a customized approach for each project. Basically, there are no JavaScript coding guidelines that offer clear paths for using this stack in the same kind of project. That means you’ll have to work to fit the stack in each of the projects you use it on.
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    While MongoDB can manage a lot of data, it can incur record loss during heavy load scenarios.

MEAN Hiring Guide

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    Hiring Guide

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    Interview Questions

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    Job Description

MEAN is a JavaScript tech stack for building dynamic websites and web apps. Its name is an acronym that stands for MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, and Node.js, the stack’s components. Developers use MEAN because all its components are JavaScript-based, which means they only need to write code in one language for both the server-side and the client-side environments.

Each of the 4 components of the MEAN stack serves a specific purpose in the stack:

  • MongoDB: an open-source, NoSQL database for cloud apps. MongoDB stores the app’s data and pushes and pulls when needed.
  • Express.js: a backend web development framework for Node.js. Express.js handles all interactions between the application’s frontend and the database.
  • Angular.js: the default JavaScript framework for front-end development. Angular.js helps engineers build the user’s side of the application. It’s the most replaced component of the stack (which gives way to other stacks, such as MERN and MEVN).
  • Node.js: an open-source backend JavaScript runtime environment that executes JavaScript code without the need for a browser.

MEAN’s Popularity Today

While there are no stats that conclusively show it, MEAN is probably the most widely used web development stack today. It makes sense. JavaScript is often seen leading the rankings of most widely used languages in the industry, so it’s only natural for MEAN (a JavaScript-based tech stack) to be at the top as well.

If you consider its components individually and how they rank in developers’ surveys, you surely confirm that feeling. Sure, MongoDB, Express.js, and Angular.js might not be everyone’s first choice (Node.js certainly is), but their strength comes from their combination. And while some people might replace Angular.js with React or Vue, the truth is that MEAN still is the de facto standard for web development teams.


What To Look For in MEAN Engineers

Rather than talking about MEAN engineers, it’s best if we talk about JavaScript developers. That’s because MEAN is written in JavaScript, so anyone who has mastered the language has better chances of succeeding with the MEAN stack.

In fact, if you’re looking for staff members to join your MEAN development team, you have great chances of finding them if you search for engineers well-versed in JavaScript.This shouldn’t be a problem, as there are many JavaScript developers out there and the language’s popularity and community aren’t going away anytime soon.

Does that mean that any JavaScript developer is a good candidate for your MEAN team? Not quite. While the best candidates will surely have to have solid experience with JavaScript, they should also have a proven understanding of each individual component. Besides, the best MEAN engineers are the ones who have knowledge about both frontend and backend development, mainly because a proper understanding of both sides can lead to better applications with a more impressive performance.

What’s more, if you’re looking for a robust MEAN developer, you might also search for candidates with knowledge in HTML and CSS, graphic design, SEO, testing and debugging, and even React and Vue. Knowing about these frameworks can help your team briefly transition to MERN or MEVN stacks, which can help you in specific projects.

Which web projects are better suited for MEAN?

While some people might argue that MEAN is a great fit for any kind of web development project, the reality is that there are better matches than others. The stack’s performance and scalability are its biggest advantages, so it’s safe to say that projects in which those characteristics are essential are natural fits for MEAN (think of enterprise applications).

MEAN is also great for building cloud-native applications, thanks to its ability to handle large amounts of data while serving numerous users at the same time. That’s the main reason why MEAN is one of the first options when developing apps for cloud hosting. It’s also why so many developers use it for single-page applications (SPAs), high-throughput APIs, microservices, and simple web apps.


What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of using MEAN?

Some of the benefits of using mean include:

  • It has its own server for easy deployment and quick scaling.
  • It’s based on JavaScript, which means that talented engineers are readily available.
  • It allows code reuse throughout the application, as the whole stack is written in JavaScript.
  • All its components are open-source. 

As for the drawbacks, the most notable ones include:

  • JavaScript isn’t the best language for backend development because of its concurrency problems.
  • MEAN development can be quick, which can lead to poor coding practices and low-quality code.
  • Orchestrating all of MEAN’s components calls for a customized approach for each project, as there are no JavaScript coding guidelines that offer clear paths for using this stack in the same kind of project. 
  • While MongoDB can manage a lot of data, it can lead to record loss during heavy load scenarios. 

Should you choose MEAN, MERN, or MEVN?

The MEAN stack has 2 popular alternatives in MERN and MEVN. The only thing that changes from one to the other is the JavaScript framework they use for frontend development. While MEAN uses Angular.js, MERN uses React, and MEVN uses Vue. They all have their unique characteristics:

  • Angular.js is a Typescript-based framework for web, mobile web, native mobile, and native desktop development. It’s an opinionated platform that isn’t as customizable as the other 2 alternatives.
  • React is a relative newcomer and it’s a fairly popular alternative in startups and freelance development teams. It’s very customizable and has impressive scalability capabilities, which is why it’s the No. 1 pick for companies that are growing fast. 
  • Vue is probably the most easy-to-learn framework for JavaScript. It’s very versatile, comes with great documentation, and shows impressive speed. While not as popular as the 2 frameworks above, it has its loyal fandom. 

So, which one is better? It basically depends on what you’re looking for. They share most of the same components, and the only big difference lies in how you want to work in the front-end. While the differences feel more like a matter of opinion, as a general rule React and Vue are more versatile and customizable, while Angular.js provides an easier platform to develop. That means you’ll have to choose between them depending on the requirements of the project at hand. 

We are looking for a full-stack developer with a focus on MEAN who will be responsible for leading the development of our websites and web applications. Your primary focus will be the development of logic, definition, and maintenance of the web product, ensuring high performance, responsiveness, and scalability. 

You will also be responsible for integrating the front-end elements into the application. Therefore, you will take full technical ownership of the web products we create. 


Responsibilities

  • Build efficient, testable, and dynamic web applications and websites
  • Build new features using modern best practices such as version control, continuous integration, automated tests, and daily deploys
  • Solve complex performance problems and architectural challenges
  • Participate in an agile process, code reviews, and release testing
  • Integrate data storage solutions {{May include databases, key-value stores, blob stores, etc.}
  • {{Add other responsibilities here that are relevant}}

Skills and Qualifications

  • Strong knowledge of JavaScript
  • Experience and proven ability with developing and/or designing web applications
  • Knowledge of HTML5 and CSS3
  • Understanding accessibility, encryption, and security compliance {{Depending on the specific project}}
  • Understanding fundamental design principles behind a scalable application
  • Experience testing and debugging apps
  • Familiarity with NoSQL databases
  • Proficient understanding of code versioning tools, such as Git
  • Knowledge of React, Vue, graphic design and SEO are a big plus
  • {{Make sure to mention other frameworks, libraries, or any other technology related to your development stack}}
  • {{List education level or certification you require}}

A Great Solution for Cloud-Based Apps and Dynamic Websites

The MEAN stack is a highly popular tech stack that has solidified as one of the most popular tools in web development. The reason for that is simple: MEAN offers flexibility, language consistency, and scalability for websites and web applications. Additionally, it’s easy to come by JavaScript engineers and build a team that can take care of an entire project.

While not perfect for all web development projects, MEAN is an excellent choice for any web development idea based on the cloud.

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