To learn MERN stack definitely adds value to your skillset. Most people are under the misapprehension that to be a software developer you learn a single programming language and start to code. But in reality, software developers tend to work with a variety of different technologies, all linked together and building on each other to achieve your goals.
The MERN stack is one of the most commonly used sets of technology in a software developer’s arsenal. So let’s dive into how to get started learning all the pieces.
What is a technology stack?
A technology stack is a combination of software, database, and programming language. It’s like a package of elements that come together to make the programmer’s life easier. It’ll usually involve both front-end technologies and back-end systems.
Each part of the stack deals with a different function. For example, you wouldn’t try and create a graph in Microsoft Word, you’d use Excel and then copy the result over to your document once you’d done the calculations in the spreadsheet. It’s the same principle in a technology stack.
What is MERN?
- MongoDB – This is the database in the back-end. It stores the data the programmer will need. Uniquely, MongoDB stores its entries as documents, rather than a table (which is usually how a database works). This means that it can store data of different kinds in one place.
- Express.js – This is a web framework. This gives you all the tools you need to host the website and automate tasks. It builds on top of Node.js.
You might hear of MEAN stack
There are other stacks that serve similar functions. The MEAN stack is one of these. Be careful not to confuse the two. The main difference is that MEAN uses Angular instead of React as its library, which means that code written using one won’t work with the other.
We recommend starting off with these:
- Codecademy – There are a bunch of different courses on Codecademy that can help you get started. You’ll need to buy a membership for the pro lessons, but there are still plenty of free materials available.
Once you’ve got a handle on the language, you can start experimenting with the rest of the tools. But don’t try and jump into MERN without knowing anything, otherwise, a lot of the functionality isn’t going to make sense.
Step two: Familiarize yourself with the tools
- MongoDB guides – The official guides will walk you through how to set up a new database, host it in the cloud and migrate any data across.
- Express.js – You’ll need this guide to install, set up, and run your first program. If you need any more advanced information, there are additional guides on the site, too.
- React – There are tutorials and playgrounds you can jump into to try the libraries out. You can either learn by doing or go through their step by step guide.
- Node.js – The guides here will take you through setting up and the core concepts.
Step three: Start a simple project
Go on a bootcamp