MEAN is an open-source web stack that is often used to develop scalable, flexible, and extensible applications that are suitable for cloud deployment. Since every technology in the MEAN Stack uses the same programming language, developers can reuse code across the technologies.
If you’re a student or a developer who’s new to MEAN Stack, here’s a quick guide on how to become a MEAN Stack developer.
What is a MEAN Stack developer?
Through MEAN Stack’s four core languages, a MEAN Stack developer must be able to create various websites and applications such as news aggregation sites, and other web applications such as calendars, mapping, and location finding.
What is the difference between a MEAN Stack developer and Full-stack developer?
Since MEAN Stack developers are only focused on using MongoDB, Express.js, Angular, and Node.js, they only know certain parts of web development.
On the other hand, a Full-stack developer is someone who knows all the stages of web development. However, this does not mean that they are an expert on every layer of development. Full-stack developers only have the functional knowledge and ability to create a web application from start to finish.
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What companies use MEAN Stack?
Because of its scalability, huge tech companies such as Google, LinkedIn, Netflix, Paypal, and Uber use the MEAN Stack for their business. They are just some of the numerous startups and large firms that use MEAN for their web development.
Now that we’ve defined what a MEAN Stack developer is and its difference from a Full Stack developer, let’s move on to the technologies and concepts that a MEAN Stack developer should know.
Learn the four major technologies
This goes without saying, but it’s definitely a must.
MongoDB is widely used because of its document-oriented database, auto-sharding, index on attributes, fast in-place updates, high availability, rich queries, replication, and professional support by MongoDB.
Mastering MongoDB allows developers to create various functions such as user data management, mobile and social infrastructure, and content management and delivery.
Known as the back-end of the MEAN Stack, Express.js (or Express) is a fast and minimalist web application framework for Node.js. Despite its full feature set, it enables developers to build a web server while being relatively easy to use.
Express forms the MEAN Stack’s back-end and handles the interactions between the front-end and database. It manages the cookies, handling routes, and forming responses, among others.
Since it was designed for Node.js, it’s also often referred to as the standard server framework for Node.js.
Angular didn’t automatically become the MEAN Stack’s front-end framework just because it runs on the same language. It’s an ideal and convenient front-end because of the following capabilities:
- Its ability to develop functions on desktop and mobile at the same time
- It's a high-performing framework
Overall, the framework is great for developing web apps with the best user experience. It’s best used when developing video streaming apps, travel apps, and user-generated content portals, among others.
Node.js is one of the frameworks that’s built for performance, and that’s because of these two things:
- Asynchronous-driven architecture - this means that Node.js can manage multiple requests. So if a request can’t be processed, it puts it on hold and moves on to the next request so it doesn’t hole up the whole queue.
Overall, Node.js provides a more efficient connection for running a server.
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Understand MEAN Stack development
Now the ultimate question that every starting programmer seeks to answer, how does the MEAN Stack work?
Here’s a simple summary:
- After Angular processes the user’s request, it enters Node.js, which is the server-side language. It is the technology that handles the client and server requests.
- The request then enters Express.js which makes a request to access the database.
- After the request has been accepted, the MongoDB database stores the data and sends a response to Express.js.
- Express.js then sends that response to Node.js which forwards it to Angular.
- Angular then displays the result to the end-user.
To summarise its flow:
Angular > Node.js > Express.js > MongoDB > Express.js > Node.js > Angular
Know other technologies used in MEAN Stack development
HTML & CSS
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are two of the core technologies used to build web pages. HTML is used to create the page’s content structure, while CSS is used to create the page’s layout or visuals such as the font and colours.
Continuous Integration makes preparing a software release easier. This development practice requires developers to integrate code into a central repository several times in a day.
Once a code is logged in, it’s verified by an automated build which allows the developers to see code issues early on.
The most popular Continuous Integration (CI) tool is Jenkins. To learn how to use it, one must have prior knowledge on Java, Nginx web server, and Ubuntu.
As a result, MERN Stack developers gained popularity. But what is a MERN Stack developer and how does it differ from a MEAN Stack developer? They basically function just like a MEAN Stack developer except that they use React.js for the UI.
Although not necessary, learning both Angular and React for this stack can make you a more flexible and competitive developer.
The best MEAN Stack developer courses to take
To give you further understanding of the MEAN Stack and to better prepare as a developer, here are some of the best courses that you can take online.
Become a MEAN Stack Developer (Udemy)
Course length: Less than 8 hours
Number of lectures: 83
This Udemy course by Bluelime Learning Solutions includes an introduction to the MEAN Stack, how to install Node.js and MongoDB, basic MongoDB CRUD operations, an introduction to Git, and a guide on creating a MEAN Stack application.
The course teaches the fundamentals of the MEAN Stack and thus is great for beginners. It also provides a step by step guide and hands-on experience of building full-stack applications using MEAN. Upon completing the course, you shall be equipped with the basics of creating a MEAN Stack application.
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Course length: Less than 14 hours
Number of lectures: 306
The course is great for beginners or even current developers who want to learn MEAN Stack development from scratch and who want to tackle advanced topics about the tech stack.
Course length: Less than 10 hours
If you’re already familiar with the basics of web development, this course can give you a deeper understanding of the MEAN Stack through this course’s learn-by-doing approach.
In this course, developers can learn how to build REST APIs using Node.js and Express.js, create single-page applications using Angular, and develop mobile apps using the Ionic framework.
Learning all of these fundamentals will help prepare programming students and even current developers learn how to create various applications using the MEAN Stack.
A successful web app starts with the right dedicated web developer. Hire MEAN Stack developers with Cloud Employee today and work with top developers without the high fees. You can hire dedicated offshore developers with us across many technologies. Talk to us, learn more how Cloud Employee works, or see our Developer Pricing Guide.