You may have heard the term "web app" being thrown around quite frequently but very few people understand exactly what they are and what's possible to achieve with them. These application programs are stored on a remote server and then delivered over the internet through a browser.

They're fundamentally different compared to computer-based software programs that are stored locally on the operating system of the machine. To access web applications, users require an active internet connection and a browser.

It's actually quite common to come across web apps when you're using the internet. Some of the most common examples of web apps are online shopping carts, spreadsheets, file scanning and conversion, email clients, and more.

There are different technologies that can be used to develop web applications and each has its own set of pros and cons. Developers can decide which to use depending on the project they’re working on as some are better suited to more powerful web apps than others.

What is a MEAN stack?

Mean Stack is what a collection of JavaScript technologies used to develop web applications is called. It's an acronym for the technologies that are used to create these apps, they cover everything from the client to the server and the database, so MEAN can be considered full stack JavaScript.

Developers like MEAN because it's a very user-friendly stack that allows them to create dynamic web apps and websites, not to mention the fact that MEAN is also free and open source. The quick and organized method that it offers helps developers create prototypes quickly for web apps that can later be refined.

There are four different technologies that form the MEAN stack. There's MongoDB, a schemaless NoSQL database system that saves data in binary JSON format, thus making it easier for the data to be transferred between the client and the server. Express is the lightweight framework that's used to build web apps in Node.js. There are several useful features that Express offers for the development of single and multi-page web apps.

AngularJS is Google's JavaScript framework that provides useful features like two-way data binding. It's a one-stop solution for rapid and powerful front-end development. Lastly, Node.js is a server-side JavaScript execution environment that's built on Google Chrome's V8 JavaScript runtime. It's used to build highly scalable and concurrent applications.

AngularJS is what processes the request that the client makes in the app. This request then moves to Node.js which parses it and then Express makes the call to MongoDB to get or set the data. The requested data is retrieved by MongoDB and the request is returned to Express. Node.js then returns that request to the client and at the client side, AngularJS displays the result that was fetched from MongoDB.

MEAN stack vs. Full stack

Full stack developers have to learn multiple languages for development and may also need to brush up on the concepts of web design. The combination of a group of programming languages and tools required to handle the front-end and back-end development is called Full Stack. On the other hand, MEAN Stack is a full-stack framework and is restricted to a particular language.

A web developer or engineer can only be considered a full-stack developer if they can work on both the front and back end of the website or application. Some of the skills these developers will need include knowledge of back end languages like CSS and HTML, specialization in a back end programming language like PHP or Ruby in addition to UX/UI and visual design experience.

The knowledge required for a MEAN stack developer is highly specific. Their expertise needs to cover a very particular set of technologies, the ones defined above. This set of technologies can then be used to make a full-stack application.

There are some disadvantages to consider as well. While MongoDB is an ideal choice for small and mid-sized applications, it's not a great option for large-scale applications. Furthermore, there are no specific general JavaScript coding guidelines.

Another limitation that developers face is that when the first site has been created using the MEAN stack technology, it's quite difficult to revert to another method without basically starting from scratch again.

What does a MEAN stack developer do?

A MEAN stack developer's responsibilities are largely similar to that of a full-stack developer. They will need to develop the front end and back end systems, work on modules and features, integrate APIs, perform tests, and base their work around a development strategy like Agile.

Responsibilities

  • A Mean Stack developer needs to have experience working with Node.js, MongoDB, Angular and Express
  • They should be able to develop, test and deploy web apps that are scalable, fast and very responsible
  • They also have to design maintain large databases that are both relational and non-relational
  • Web apps need to be deployed on the cloud in a timely fashion

Job Requirements

  • These developers are required to be highly skilled in Complete Mean, this means all of the four core technologies
  • Expertise in jQuery, PHP, Symfony and similar technologies also required
  • They will also need to have experience of server management and cloud environments
  • For larger products, they will need to have management skills to lead a team of developers
  • Strong problem-solving skills are also crucial

Typical Salary

MEAN stack developers are in high demand these days since many prefer this development approach for their web apps. It's a highly competitive industry with the average salary for a MEAN stack developer in the United States coming in at just above $70,000. The average salary for entry-level positions is around $50,000 while highly experienced developers stand to make up to $100,000 and more.

There’s significant growth potential in the career for MEAN stack developers. As they build up their expertise and work on applications of varying complexity, they can earn a higher average salary because of their experience developing apps with different functionality. Many MEAN stack developers also transition into Application Architecture down the line once they have earned considerable experience in this vocation.

MEAN stack and its role in product development

MEAN stack plays a vital role in product development. It provides an easier and simpler way to build feature-rich applications with JavaScript. The benefits for dynamic applications are immense as well since the framework is simpler, flexible, and more reliable to work with. It’s also a cost-effective way to approach the development of a website or a web app.

There's an extensive library and the developer community offers great support, so even if you get stuck at some point in the project, finding support is not that difficult. The flexible development environment and code-reusability are great benefits as well since they help speed up the product development.

It also helps achieve cost efficiency in the product development process. That's because in comparison to other technology stacks, the total number of developers required for a single project is less since the development work only relies on the JavaScript proficiencies of developers.

Development with the MEAN stack is also high in speed because of the non-blocking architecture of Node.js. AngularJS provides numerous JavaScript UI libraries and its natural blending with HTML is a big benefit as well. Libraries once developed can be reused seamlessly for the front and back end in order to boost productivity.

Enter Zibtek

Whether you require a fully responsive website or a powerful web app for your business, Zibtek is here to help. Our highly skilled web developers dedicated themselves to the highest quality engineering and practically speak Python, Javascript frameworks, Ruby, .Net, HTML, CSS React, Angular and beyond as a second language.

Our main goal is to provide clients with elegant and modern solutions so that the investment they make into having a website or web app built is not just useful but also profitable in the long run. We use an efficient and innovative approach for all development tasks with Agile, SCRUM or other dedicated team models. What this means is that we only deploy a team of professionals that are dedicated to doing the best job on your project.

Zibtek is one of the world’s leading software development companies with more than a decade of experience in this industry. The firm is highly regarded by its clients for the quality work that it provides.

We are based in Salt Lake City, Utah and in addition to our offices in the United States, we also manage a global talent pool of skilled developers that can be deployed on your project in no time. We have worked with a wide range of companies, from Fortune 500 conglomerates to startups that are just looking to take their first steps into the online realm.

Our team has worked on plenty of use cases, particularly where MEAN stack development was required, and delivered powerful solutions for clients that keep coming back to us for more. If you’re in search of highly skilled MEAN stack developers, give Zibtek a call and we’ll get you sorted.