Pros and Cons of Full Stack JavaScript Development

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It would be an understatement to say JavaScript is the most used programming language today. JavaScript is everywhere, powering the World Wide Web and enabling interactive elements. It’s also a key component of many web applications.

JavaScript was originally used for frontend engineering. However, JavaScript is now possible to be integrated into the server-side, increasing its popularity. It was also the catalyst for a critical discussion: now that JavaScript can be used in the backend as well as the frontend, should you consider using the script to build an entire web project? So, should you hire JavaScript developers full-stack to work on your web projects?

What is Full Stack Development?

First, you must understand the meaning of full stack to fully grasp what a full-stack developer does. A tech stack is basically a collection of tools and programming languages that creates a platform for applications. A stack for a website application, for example, would consist of an operating system, a webserver, a database and at least one programming languages.

Software has both a client-facing and server-facing side (the “frontend”), so software engineers refer to two distinct stacks that encompass all layers of the software’s tech stack. Many people believe that both stacks must be addressed separately in order to create software.

Others believe that it is possible to develop both the frontend and backend with the same stack. These engineers are full-stack developers. They have the skills and knowledge to optimize or create the entire integration between frontend system and backend systems using one code.

What does it mean to be a JavaScript full-stack developer?

A full stack JavaScript developer can create both the frontend as well as the backend applications. They must be able to code HTML and CSS, but also build a web browser, a server and a database. MEAN is a popular stack for JavaScript developers. It includes:

MongoDB is a NoSQL database software program
Express is the standard server framework for Node.js.
AngularJS is a frontend web framework.
Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment that allows server-side scripting.

You can see that all components are built on JavaScript. This supports the idea of dealing with all layers of a web project using the same language. This is why full-stack JavaScript developers love this stack.

MEAN is a popular JavaScript stack, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the only one. You can use many technologies as an alternative to each component, such as Koa, restify and React, Vue.js and MySQL.

Full Stack JavaScript: Pros

Increased efficiency in development

Full-stack JavaScript developers can create a web application entirely in this programming language. This makes it easier for everyone in the team understand what’s happening. This means that all the people involved in the project’s frontend and backend use the same programming language. You can also use one team to develop the entire app. This makes it more efficient.

More code reuse

JavaScript is used by both the frontend and backend. This allows you to reuse code with similar logic and implementation. This reduces the code full-stack JavaScript developers must write, and can also lower the number of lines of code for the entire project. This makes full-stack development more efficient, and it makes it easier to maintain and update your products.

High Performance

Node.js allows full-stack JavaScript developers to take advantage of nonblocking programming and create completely asynchronous apps. The resulting apps can run multiple independent processes simultaneously. This increases the performance and quality of JavaScript-based web applications.

Access to Open Source Tools

The vast majority of the MEAN stack is open-source, meaning that you will have access to tested tools at no cost (in most cases). Open source means that they are updated regularly by their communities. This brings many benefits to their users.

There are more development talent available

The 2020 Stack Overflow Developer Survey revealed that JavaScript is the most used technology, with a staggering 69.7% of respondents stating they use it in some capacity. This shows that JavaScript is well-known and used by many people. It’s a great language to learn from, which can help you find new talent for your full stack projects.

Plenty Of Resources

JavaScript is not only rich in tools, frameworks and libraries, but it also has one of the most active communities in the world of web development. Full-stack JavaScript developers will have access to many resources, including forums, documentation, ebooks, and dedicated communities, to assist them in coding their projects.

Cons of Full Stack JavaScript

You will have to face some disadvantages when you go full-stack JavaScript development. These are the most prominent.

Not suitable for computation-heavy projects

Node.js can be a great tool to speed up a web app’s performance – unless your app relies on extensive data processing on the server side. You can easily break down complex tasks into microservices using more appropriate technologies, and then “talk” with your backend to maintain Node.js. This adds complexity to the project and costs extra.

Limited Server-side Capabilities

JavaScript’s server-side capabilities were added to JavaScript after it was previously focused on the frontend. A seasoned backend engineer will quickly see the limitations of this lack of maturity, especially when compared to more mature alternatives such as Java or PHP.

Only a small number of “True Full Stack Developers”

Although it might seem counterintuitive, full-stack JavaScript development offers more talent. Although JavaScript developers can be found quickly that are able to work both in the frontend or backend, it is always more common for them to be better suited for one. It can be difficult to find engineers who are capable of working on both the frontend and backend. This is why full-stack JavaScript developers are often referred to as unicorns.

Do You Need Full Stack JavaScript Developer?

You will have a better understanding about what it takes to be a full-stack JavaScript developer in your web applications after reading this. Should you do it? Full stack development can be great in certain cases but a disaster in others.