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The Pros, Cons and Everything In Between: A Thorough Guide to Hiring MERN Stack Developers

Hey there! If you‘re looking to build a powerful web application, chances are you‘ve heard about the MERN stack. MERN has become massively popular thanks to using JavaScript across the entire architecture. Ready to learn more to decide if MERN is right for your app? As your friend with development experience, let me walk you through what makes MERN great – along with factors to consider.

What Exactly is MERN Anyway?

MERN stands for MongoDB, Express, React and Node – four leading JavaScript technologies that together provide an end-to-end framework for dynamic web apps:

  • MongoDB: A document-based NoSQL database designed for speed, scalability and flexibility in how data is stored. Instead of rows and tables, you store structured data in JSON-like documents.
  • Express: A server-side web application framework that runs on top of Node.js. It simplifies tasks like routing requests, connecting to backend APIs, and rendering UI templates.
  • React: A frontend JavaScript library developed by Facebook for building user interfaces. It uses reusable components to efficiently render and update UI based on data changes.
  • Node.js: An open source runtime that allows you to run JavaScript on servers instead of just in the browser. This makes it possible to use JS across the full web app stack.

With these four technologies sharing a common language in JavaScript, it creates a very streamlined web development architecture.

Why Do People Love MERN for Web Apps?

There are some great advantages to using the MERN stack:

Speedy Development Cycles

Having the frontend and backend both in JavaScript means one developer can work efficiently on the full app. There‘s no need to switch between languages or wait for separate teams. This means faster iterations and new features for your users.

Real-Time Functionality Out of the Box

The mix of MongoDB, Express and Node makes real-time operations like push notifications and live data streams quite seamless. Users enjoy up-to-the-second experiences.

JavaScript Community & Support

With JS being the most popular programming language globally, MERN stack developers have an enormous community and library of tools to leverage. Issues get resolved faster.


You can build full-fledged apps with smaller teams. And all MERN components are free open source tools. The speed of development helps contain costs, especially helpful for early stage startups.

Of course, it‘s not all rainbows and sunshine! Let‘s look at a few potential drawbacks:

Challenges with MERN Stack Development

Learning Curve

Make no mistake – while JavaScript is beginner friendly, mastering the MERN stack takes some serious skill. Developers need extensive experience with each tool to build optimized apps.

Scope Can Sprawl

Starting with a simple idea can quickly evolve into a complex app given all MERN‘s capabilities. Scope creep risks delays and cost overruns.

More Points of Failure

With four separate technologies working together, there are more opportunities for bugs compared to simpler stacks. Extensive testing and monitoring is crucial.

Ongoing Maintenance

As with any technology, MERN requires ongoing maintenance and upgrades over time. Budgeting for this long-term expense is key.

Now you know the essential pros and cons. But how do you know if MERN is the right choice for your web app needs?

Is MERN Right for My Application?

MERN excels at building high-performance, dynamic web apps with complex data requirements. Some examples:

  • Media streaming services like Netflix
  • Real-time vehicle tracking like Uber
  • Interactive forums like Reddit
  • User-generated content sites like YouTube
  • Social media platforms like Facebook

For simpler websites with low traffic and minimal data needs, alternate stacks like WordPress may suffice.

Other full-stack JavaScript frameworks like MEAN (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node) are also options. MEAN uses the Angular frontend library instead of React.

How do you choose? Here are a few key differences:

Learning CurveReact more beginner-friendlyAngular steeper learning curve
FlexibilityReact offers more freedomAngular more opinionated
PerformanceReact faster render timesAngular lag on complex UIs

Understanding your app‘s priorities helps determine if MERN or MEAN better fits the bill.

Hiring a MERN Stack Developer

Ready to find the right developer for your app? Look for these signs of expertise:

  • 2+ years production experience with the MERN stack
  • Knowledge of additional tools like Redux, Webpack, Jest, PassportJS
  • Excellent grasp of React, Node, Express APIs, MongoDB schema design
  • History of continued MERN education as technologies evolve
  • Problem solver able to troubleshoot and optimize performance
  • Strong communicator able to explain complex topics clearly

A solid portfolio of MERN app examples helps assess skills. Ongoing passion for the stack is key to ensure your developer stays up-to-date.

Once you find the right fit, MERN‘s flexibility and performance can bring your web app vision to life! Let me know if you have any other questions.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.