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·760.6K views
Replies (10)

Hi as someone who employs and select developers i agree with a lot almost sayed but think of what are your strengths and where you are or better where your customers are. If you search for big enterprise projects spring boot is ok sql is must and html css as well. if you want to go more to internet related companies (like airbnb, what sup, facebook ) or similar (and not asia) then react is a must node js as well. The libraries tools etc which are used you need to adopt fast. If asia then VUE is a must. but if you like small projects with individuals or like wordpress or similar then you can learn php but i think in 2020 it is wasted time. Same for python in that area. and i also see that we often have problem that developer at least must understand docker docker compose better as it works with kubernetes ,.. just my 5 cents

5 upvotes·680.9K 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·701.8K views
Eva Maciejko
Eva Maciejko
July 31st 2020 at 6:50PM

Thank you for your honest advice !

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