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.

READ LESS
9 upvotes·332.8K views
Replies (10)
Recommends
ExpressJS

Looking at current technological trends and rise of JavaScript, you cannot go wrong with JavaScript. - There's an abundance of libraries to get most things done - You can use JavaScript for both the frontend and the backend - this allows you potentially share your logic/models/code across both stacks - A dynamic/interpreted language such as JavaScript is great for serverless (there's somewhat of a trend towards serverless aswell - especially in modern projects) - If you like/need static typing, you can always migrate seemlessly to Typescript - VueJS is a lightweight framework (compared to Angular), it has more GitHub stars and most would argue it's easier to work with (beginner friendly). Additionally most modern webapps do not use JQuery anymore (even though a lot of legacy projects continue to do so). You don't need JQuery if you use Vue/Angular/React

Additionally it doesn't seem like performance is a hugely important metric in your scenario, so JavaScript would suffice.

Note: These are all my opinions and what I've seen in the current market when recently searching for jobs.

READ MORE
6 upvotes·1 comment·278.1K views
Eva Maciejko
Eva Maciejko
·
August 10th 2020 at 12:39AM

Thank you, very relevant advice. As someone who’s used to typed and compiled languages, I think I will enjoy Typescript. Already tried it in VS Code editor and it’s great!

·
Reply
Recommends
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.

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

Thank you for your honest advice !

·
Reply
View all (10)
Avatar of zeeshan sarwar