Stellar Code

Full-stack Web Development with JavaScript (MERN stack)

Introducing the MERN stack


This blog post introduces the MERN stack technology which as well as the MEAN stack, is a driver of modern web and mobile app development. Future posts will be examine each technology that makes up the stack and will provide tutorials for building apps that explore all the layers.

The MERN (MongoDB, Express, React, Node.js) stack, and the MEAN (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node.js) stack are the two dominant JavaScript web app stacks. Because React and Angular provide the same function, this post features the MERN stack.


The MERN stack

The MERN stack is a technology stack made of JavaScript frameworks for building dynamic websites, from front-end to back-end. A Tech stack is simply a combination of open-sourced end-to-end technologies.

The essence of the MERN stack and similar tech stacks, is to build websites with rich experiences similar to desktop and mobile apps. Because users of the web demand high levels of performance and interactivity, many technologies have been built to meet this demand. At the core of many of these technologies is JavaScript. JavaScript has evolved over the decades from the role of adding visual effects to websites to implementing application logic and database access.

The advantage MERN stack provides for a Software developer is that every line of code is written in JavaScript and there’s no need for context switching. Traditionally tech stacks had different programming languages being used together and developers had figure out how to interface them together. With the JavaScript stack, developers only work with JavaScript and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). Also, the JavaScript stack make for building very efficient web applications.

  • React:

React (sometimes styled React.js or ReactJS) is an open-source JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It runs your JavaScript code in the user’s browser, allowing your application UI to be dynamic. More about React on my previous post.

  • Express:

Back-end web application framework running on top of Node.js

  • Node.js:

JavaScript runtime environment – lets you implement your application back-end in JavaScript.

  • MongoDB:

Document database – used by your back-end application to store its data as JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) documents.


The MERN stack is on the rise and there is no better time to get started with it. Feel free to share your thoughts, or this post. Thanks for reading, enjoy the comic from CommitStrip below.


Also published on Medium.

Emmanuel Yusufu

Web Developer. Learning enthusiast.