Fullstack developer ·
Needs advice
Spring BootSpring Boot

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.

9 upvotes·692.1K views
Replies (10)
Software Cloud Developer at RUBIN THOMAS·

As a developer myself, I would recommend you not to restrict yourself to JAVA, PHP or any other language. New Tools/languages keep coming every day. If you do plan to move to freelancing. PHP has a lot of options in the freelance space and a lot of competition too.

Learning PHP is as simple as learning any other language. It depends merely on your interest.

Personally if you can code, you should not restrict yourself. I have had to code in many languages, PHP, Perl, shell script, Python, Java, Javascript, Ruby etc... I would keep your developing skills and logic, algorithms etc.. and increase your knowledge and experience in the different languages.

I agree with you JAVA is a lot more time consuming. But it also has its enterprise level scope.

At the same time learning a new language should not be a barrier for you to stop exploring what's out there and keeping your skills up to date. Learning new technologies should be your primary focus and getting project out of your stack helps you build a good reputation.

There are many options for you to pursue. Having an open mindset will help you move forward. If you look to learn now, you are setting yourself up for a brighter future.

4 upvotes·557.5K views
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.

17 upvotes·1 comment·635.1K views
Eva Maciejko
Eva Maciejko
July 31st 2020 at 6:50PM

Thank you for your honest advice !

View all (10)
Avatar of Rubin Thomas

Rubin Thomas

Software Cloud Developer at RUBIN THOMAS