Fullstack Web developer ·
Needs advice
on
Spring BootSpring BootLaravelLaravel
and
ExpressJSExpressJS

Hello, I am a fullstack web developer. I have been working for a company with Java/ Spring Boot and client-side JavaScript(mainly jQuery, some AngularJS) for the past 4 years. As I wish to now work as a freelancer, I am faced with a dilemma: which stack to choose given my current knowledge and the state of the market?

I've heard PHP is very popular in the freelance world. I don't know PHP. However, I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to learn since it has many similarities with Java (OOP). It seems to me that Laravel has similarities with Spring Boot (it's MVC and OOP). Also, people say Laravel works well with Vue.js, which is my favorite JS framework.

On the other hand, I already know the Javascript language, and I like Vue.js, so I figure I could go the fullstack Javascript route with ExpressJS. However, I am not sure if these techs are ripe for freelancing (with regards to RAD, stability, reliability, security, costs, etc.) Is it true that Express is almost always used with MongoDB? Because my experience is mostly with SQL databases.

The projects I would like to work on are custom web applications/websites for small businesses. I have developed custom ERPs before and found that Java was a good fit, except for it taking a long time to develop. I cannot make a choice, and I am constantly switching between trying PHP and Node.js/Express. Any real-world advice would be welcome! I would love to find a stack that I enjoy while doing meaningful freelance coding.

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9 upvotes·332.8K views
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ExpressJS

Hey There, I would recommend going fullstack javascript since you already have experience with javascript on the front end it would be very easy to pickup node and express js. You can use sql with node and express if you please, but mongo is pretty easy to get going with.

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1 upvote·2 comments·192.2K views
Eva Maciejko
Eva Maciejko
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October 29th 2020 at 12:11AM

Hello thank you for taking the time to express (no pun intended) your view about this. I have already started to play with the MEVN stack, I enjoy it. I think it would be a nice stack to develop with but I don’t have enough experience yet. For personal projects though I explore the js route using Nuxt.js and headless CMSes. I also want to learn Typescript I believe it will be huge in the future.

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Adityan .P
Adityan .P
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October 29th 2020 at 4:45AM

Yeah typescript is amazing and it really helps you to be more productive. Mevn stack is really easy i learned it's basics within a month after having experience with vanilla js and after you learn typescript you can easily learn angular as it uses typescript.

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Spring Boot

Hi Eva, As you have solid experience with Spring already, you should jump into freelancing with that. It would be quite stressful to start freelancing with a tech stack you don't know well. Then in the background you can keep learning/practicing an alternative and switch over when you are confident enough (eg. 0.5-1 year later). I think you should learn Laravel as you already like it and find it easier. Express has better performance but that is not required for most of the small freelancer projects.

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17 upvotes·1 comment·285.6K views
Eva Maciejko
Eva Maciejko
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July 31st 2020 at 6:50PM

Thank you for your honest advice !

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