Full Stack Development vs Mean Stack Development: Decoding the Differences

Updated on Apr 18th, 2023

Full Stack Development vs Mean Stack Development

Software development has become one of the crucial aspects in today’s digital world. Many expert software developers and programmers have been leveraging various tools and methods to develop scalable and powerful software applications. However, it is no surprise that things change very rapidly in today’s tech-driven world, and software development is no exception.

The present-day developers make use of stacks, an integration of robust tools, technologies, and frameworks,  to develop a feature-rich and smooth software application. So, every software you see today has been developed using a particular stack, and has a dual development phase, viz. Front-end and Back-end. The front-end majorly consists of designs and interface development, while the back-end includes the database and core functioning of the app. And to create a powerful website, you need to invest in both of them. That’s the main reason that some experts specialize in both of these sections, and are called Full stack developers. And, on the other hand, mean stack specifies the use of technologies for each layer of web application.

Let’s learn more about both of them in detail and list out all the differences and similarities here in this article.

Full Stack v/s Mean Stack Development

Full Stack Development vs Mean Stack Development

Basic Difference

Being a developer, you might be aware that any software application comprises different layers and each layer can be developed using a particular technology. Ranging from front-end, to mobile application, and to databases, a software application majorly includes all these distinct layers each with its specific requirements.

Now, earlier, it was a common practice to hire different programmers for different modules of software application. But, as evident, things change rapidly in today’s digital world, and so this trend changed too! Many expert developers today have specialized in the entire web development process. We call them full-stack developers. The full stack developers leverage a group of trending programming languages and tools to efficiently handle the front-end and back-end processes of the application development.

Mean stack on the other hand mainly comprises the knowledge of tools and programming languages that could be used to design and develop a specific layer of the web  application. Mean stack developers usually hold a good knowledge of MongoDB, AngularJS, NodeJS, Express.js, and so on.

Front-end and Back-end

It may be noted that full stack development isn’t restricted to a particular use of language, but a mean stack development is based on the use of a specific programming language. Furthermore, many organizations prefer a mean stack developer for the front-end development because of the use of AngularJS. AngularJS enables a user to effectively utilize HTML and express various elements of the application with more ease.

However, in the case of back-end development, the scenario is somewhat different. Back-end development usually refers to all the core functioning and databases related to the application. Hence, Javascript, a programming language used by many Mean stack developers, doesn’t have many features that could be used to simplify and upgrade the back-end process. It is quite a limited language and doesn’t offer such powerful results like other server-side languages such as Python, and PHP. That’s why, full stack developers get an upper hand in this scenario, as they are well aware of the languages like C#, PHP, Python, and so on.


Talking about the frameworks for application development, we can definitely say that full-stack developers have an upper hand on the usage and knowledge of some amazing frameworks as compared to mean stack developers. Weel, there’s no doubt that many organizations, or we can say almost all the organizations go for a mean-stack developer for the case of front-end development. And the reason behind this is quite simple, mean stack developers have access to multiple amazing frameworks like AngularJS, that can help to efficiently help in the front-end development.

And while talking about the back-end process, the mean stack developers also have some powerful tools like Express.js, and NodeJS, that can be quite helpful in the back-end process. However, mean stack developers have limited knowledge of tools and programming languages. Meaning, they can access only some tools like AngularJS, NodeJS, etc. to develop a web application. But, in contrast to that, a full stack developer has knowledge of over multiple tools and languages that can be used in the back-end process. That’s why, a full-stack developer may not be considered during the front-end development, but they are much needed during the back-end development process.

To summarize, here is a short and effective table that lists out the top differences between a full-stack and a mean-stack developer.

Full-stack Development

Mean-stack Development

Full-stack developer has a wide knowledge of almost all the tools of fron-end and back-end development process. Mean-stack developer has limited knowledge of tools required in the front-end and back-end development process.
Full-stack developers are mostly considered for the back-end development process. Mean-stack developers are mostly considered for the front-end development process.
Full-stack developers have more access to multiple frameworks. Mean-stack developers have limited access to frameworks.
A full-stack developer can work on different parts like logical processes, database-related processes, user validation, and server configuration. A mean-stack developer can work on technologies like MongoDB to work on databases, AngularJS to build web applications in Node, and NodeJS, a server-side language.
It normally does not focus on technology used for every layer of web application. The main work of a mean-stack developer is to specify the technology to be used for every layer of web application.
Ideal for complex website designs. Ideal for single page applications.

Now that we all are aware of the major differences between a full-stack and a mean-stack developer, the question arises why full-stack or why mean-stack? Well, in the points mentioned above, it was quite clear that both of the stack-development processes are capable of creating some amazing web applications. However, there are some significant perks of selecting either of the processes. Let’s look at them here in this section of the article!

Why Full-Stack Development?

Full-Stack DevelopmentFull-stack development process is majorly focused on simplifying the back-end and front-end processes including the database management, and user-interface development. There is an ever-growing need for a full-stack developer in today’s global market due to their expertise in almost both the fields of web development. Meaning, you only need to hire a full stack developer for front-end and back-end work, instead of hiring different developers for both the purpose.

Here are the responsibilities of a full-stack developer:

1. Developing Front-end Application Structure

2. To Develop User-Interface on Web App

3. Creating Servers and Databases

4. To Design and Develop APIs

5. To meet both Technical and Consumer Needs

6. To make Responsive Web Apps

7. To Ensure Cross-platform Optimization of Mobile Apps

8. To Stay updated in Web Applications and Programming Languages

Still not convinced to hire a full-stack developer? Let’s take a glance at the amazing benefits of full-stack developers.

1. Easily switch between a front-end and a back-end development process as per the project requirements.

2. Cost-effective as you do not have to hire different dedicated developers for fornt-end and back-end.

3. Eases the ownership of the design and implementation process on a website.

4. Makes it flexible to move from one task to another for the timely project completion.

5. Have a complete knowledge of upgraded tools and technologies.

6. Ideal for simplifying a complex project by breaking it into simple structures.

Why Mean-Stack Development?

Mean-Stack Development

Mean-stack development process usually focuses more on technology and tools used for every layer of the web application, rather than on the project as a whole. Mean-stack developers leverage some amazing technological tools like AngularJS, NodeJS, Express.js, and MongoDB to efficiently streamline the web development phases. All the functions of a mean-stack developer are executed mainly by the utilization of JavaScript, and that’s why, a mean-stack developer is also called a JS-based application developer.

Read: Benefits of Choosing MEAN Stack Development For Your Next Project

Here are some key-responsibilities of a mean-stack developer:

1. Hands-on Experience on NodeJS, Express.js, AngularJS, and MongoDB

2. To Test the Product’s Scalability, Responsiveness and to Deploy them Faster

3. Design and Maintain Complex Relational and Non-Relational Databases

4. Quickly Debug Hosting-Realted Issues

5. Deploy Application on AWS Cloud

6. Identify Production and Non-Production Application Issues.

7. Define and Integrate Development Tools and Software as needed

Want some more benefits of Mean-Stack Development? Let’s discuss them here!

1. Covers all the aspects of web development, from front-end to back-end development process using JavaScript.

2. Streamlines the development process by using MVC (Model View control) Architecture.

3. Leverages four robust technologies viz. MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and NodeJS, to smoothen the development process, and to develop a user-friendly interface.

4. Cost-effective with open-source frameworks and community support.

5. Ideal for generating highly-secured one-page applications and for creating dynamic user-interface.

So, that were some of the amazing benefits of both the full-stack and mean-stack development processes. Let’s now take a look at some similarities between full-stack and mean-stack development processes.

Similarities between Full-stack and Mean-Stack Development

To start with the stack-development processes, both the full-stack and mean-stack can efficiently cater to every need of front-end and back-end processes. Meaning, you can seamlessly develop an interactive front-end (client-side) and the back-end (server-side) of the web application.

Secondly, the demand for both the developers, viz. Mean-stack and Full-stack developers are high in the global market. The former one can be efficiently used to design an interactive and user-friendly interface, while the latter one can simplify the database management and the back-end processes. Companies mostly employ both the developers to gain maximum results.

Lastly, Mean-stack is a core branch of Full-stack development process, that focuses majorly on utilizing a specific technology for a certain web app module. A full-stack development process requires you to learn almost all the updated programming languages and tools for front-end, and back-end development. Whereas, in the Mean-stack development process, you will have to learn all the latest frameworks for obviously the same purpose.  All in all, if you are planning to become a full-stack developer, then you will eventually need to understand the concepts of a mean-stack developer.

Full Stack or Mean Stack Development

How to Hire the Right Stack For Your Business?

Now that you have acknowledged all the aspects of a full-stack and a mean-stack developer, many of you might be thinking, whom to hire for our organization. So, to make your work more simplified, we have listed some crucial factors that you can consider while selecting a web developer. Let’s dive in!

1. Carefully analyze your project requirements and attribute of the stack.

2. Introduce an Agile-drive software methodology to ensure the customer-driven market.

3. Have sufficient knowledge of different databases and software applications related to web app development.

4. Besides all that, also consider the flexibility and scalability of the stack-developers.

5. Consider the budget and timeframe of the project and make a smart and economical decision.

At last, if you have any doubts over the selection procedure of full-stack and mean-stack developers, then we are always here to help you. Want to develop a web application? Don’t worry, we have got you covered! You can reach us to discuss your project needs and takeaway a feature-rich web application for your organization.

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