Full Stack vs Mean Stack Developer

It is very difficult to judge who is the best between a full stack and a mean stack developer? There are many factors that impact this judgment; for instance, project needs, type of project, required features, and the skills of the developers. On the basis of the above-mentioned factors, we can easily differentiate full stack vs mean stack developers.

Before we have a deeper look at different aspects of these two roles, let’s define them precisely. A full-stack developer is a software engineer or programmer who is able to handle database, front-end, application systems, and back-end programming and server configurations.

On the other hand, the mean stack developer is a programmer that is able to handle a set of platforms that are based on JavaScript technologies such as, Mongo DB, Express JS, Angular JS, and Node JS. The acronym of this set of platforms is expressed as MEAN stack.

Full-Stack vs Means Stack Developers

To create a mean stack app, you need a mean-stack developer who has full command over MongoDB NoSQL database, JavaScript platforms most commonly used for the front-end, and the server-side scripting programming. While the full stack developer should have an even deeper knowledge of databases, front-end, and back-end software development technologies.

Let’s differentiate full-stack from the MEAN stack developers’ roles in the following table.

Full-Stack DeveloperMEAN Stack Developer
A full-stack developer is a larger role in terms of skills and technologiesMEAN stack is a subset of full-stack developer that is expert at MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and Node.JS platforms
A full-stack developer is a comprehensive engineering role, which includes the handling of systems, servers, and even engineering perspectiveIt is a comprehensive role to build the mean stack applications based on the above-mentioned technologies
The development pattern and code syntax vary significantly because it uses numerous programming languages that are even competitors to each other.The development pattern and syntax of this entire stack is almost same because MongoDB uses document-oriented database schemas
The full-stack term is a comparatively old term used in the software development fieldMEAN term was first introduced in 2013
Multiple database languages and platforms are usedOnly NoSQL MongoDB database is used
Multiple backend technologies are used like Java, PHP, Python, and othersNode JS & Express JS are used as the back-end technology
Multiple front-end technologies are usedAngular JS is used as the front-end technologies
Using and integrating multiple technologies is comparatively difficult and needs a high-level of expertiseMean stack uses JavaScript technologies for both front and back end development so the integration and smoothness are much easier to achieve. Find more information about Javascript here.
It is difficult to scale web applicationVery easy to scale owing to the same technologies at different layers
The demand for full-stack developers is much higher than MEAN stack developersThe demand for mean stack developers is lower than the full stack developers
The salary of a full-stack developer is very highThe salary of MEAN stack developers is lower than the full-stack developers
Full-stack developers are the best fit for medium and large scale projectsMEAN stack developers are extensively used by small and medium enterprises
Full-stack developers normally lack in commanding knowledge overall technologiesMEAN stack developers normally have full command over the technologies involved in it
The full-stack term was coined by Mark ZuckerbergMEAN stack was coined by Valeri Karpov in 2013


The mean stack example applications include lightweight web applications, blogs, training portals, and others. You can find many small professionals and enterprises to know about how to create a blog with mean stack development layers nowadays due to the use of similar types of technologies at different layers of web development stack.

Pros and Cons of Hiring Mean Stack and Full Stack Developers

Both the full-stack and mean-stack developers are in high demand in the marketplace due to the increased demand for web applications. Every stack has its own pros and cons. Let’s have a look:

#1 Hiring Mean Stack Developers

The major advantages and disadvantages of hiring mean stack developers are listed below.


  • Reduced web development cost
  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Switching between server and client is much easier in MEAN stack
  • The real-time demonstration of an app is possible
  • Full grip on knowledge of technologies
  • It supports the Model View Controller (MVC) architecture
  • Smooth and isomorphic coding due to similar types of technologies
  • Free access to powerful development tools
  • Easy availability of knowledgeable talent
  • Offers flexibility to scale faster
  • More efficient and faster development due to non-blocking architecture
  • Cloud compatibility and open source
  • Open-source technologies to use for FREE


  • Limited exposure to development technologies
  • No or less knowledge about systems, servers, and networks
  • Not so efficient for large corporations and big projects
  • Chances of losing data records due to overloading of MongoDB
  • A lesser level of isolation between business logic and server

#2 Hiring Full-Stack Developers

The major advantages and downsides of hiring full-stack developers are listed below.


  • Knowledge of all layers of software development
  • Ample availability of full-stack developers in the market
  • Robust and reliable web application development
  • Better user experience due to the use of multiple technologies
  • Suitable for larger and more complex projects
  • Offers versatility and multiple options of technologies
  • One role handles multiple layers, so it saves development cost
  • Proper, robust, custom design architecture
  • Allows easier switching between client and server sides
  • Offers a comprehensive web development structure
  • Professional-grade security and solution-oriented approaches


  • Difficult to find a knowledgeable talent in the market
  • Normally full-stack developer has a superficial knowledge of many layers
  • The average salaries of full-stack developers are very high
  • In-efficient use of different tools due to expertise levels
  • Some technologies require a fee to use

Common Skills of Full Stack and Mean Stack

The common skills required for both full stack and Mean stack developer are listed below:

Front-End Skills

  • HTML
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript
  • Angular JS
  • UI/UX Design
  • Software testing

Back-end Skills

  • Server-side scripting
  • Node JS
  • Express JS
  • Web development

Database Skills

  • NoSQL non-relational database
  • MongoDB
  • Data Schema
  • Web storage
  • JSON

General Skills

  • Strong communication skills
  • Focused and committed
  • Problem-solving approach
  • Detail-oriented
  • Creativity
  • Analytic approach
  • Learning approach

Final Takeaway

A full-stack developer has a wide range of skill-set as compared to the MEAN stack, which is focused on just a set of programming platforms based on JavaScript technology. Owing to the demand, availability, and knowledge power, full stack developer is the best for the web development projects of larger size and complexity. For smaller and simple projects, the MEAN stack developer is the best to hire at comparatively low prices. The common skill set, pros and cons, and major differentiating factors have been elaborated in length in this article.