In the current age of Software development, there are times when constraints and situations simply do not let you hire specialists. You need people who can multi-task. People who can accomplish more than one roles at once. This is the age of the full-stack developer. There are various criteria for someone to hold the title of a full-stack developer. This primarily includes 3 major fields- front-end, back-end and database. And with the increasing importance of it, Cloud & Architecture too. The one that is most common these days – MEAN Stack.

Full stack development offers many advantages over separate frontend and backend development. Some of them are reduced development times and costs. It is absolutely beneficial for a business to consider full-stack JavaScript developers for web application projects. The MEAN stack is a set of technologies that further reduce development times and costs. This is possible because all the technologies in this stack use one common language: JavaScript.

Who is a Mean Stack Developer?

The four technologies in the MEAN stack are MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js, which fittingly form the acronym MEAN. You can see the request-response cycle in a MEAN stack application in the image below.  This depicts the arrangement of each of the four technologies in a MEAN stack application. It also shows the flow of data through the application from the moment a user sends a request to the application, until the moment the user gets a response.

 

Since JavaScript is the client-side scripting language of all web applications, the ability to run JavaScript on the server side offered invaluable advantages and conveniences to web development. It essentially abolished the wall that divided frontend and backend development, making full-stack development a unified experience.

JavaScript mastery

An excellent MEAN stack developer should have mastered the JavaScript language, no questions asked. Node.js uses a lot of JavaScript concepts, some of them are advanced ones that even frontend JavaScript developers seldom touch on, such as callbacks, promises, and generators.

Asynchronous programming experience

One of the strengths of Node.js compared to other server-side scripting languages is its support for asynchronous programming. This means that you can run & execute different functions or processes independently. Without having to wait for the completion of other processes. This greatly increases the efficiency of an application and makes it able to scale easily to accommodate a large number of users. A Node developer must be able to use this neat feature efficiently to take advantage of its benefits.

Knowledge of Frontend Basics

Being a MEAN stack developer entails full-stack development, so a good MEAN stack developer also has to be comfortable with tweaking HTML and CSS codes, as well as handling the many frontend frameworks like Bootstrap and tools like CSS pre-processors. Handling Angular JS for SPA(Single Page Application) is a must because it is an integral part of the MEAN stack.

Strong Database Skills

Node JS for web development always entails connecting to some database, so any Node developer needs database management and querying skills. Since we’re looking at a MEAN stack developer, they should have skills in MongoDB. However, knowledge of other database systems will also prove useful.

 

Finding the Right Mean Stack Developers

Now that we know what exactly to expect in a MEAN Stack Developer, let’s see how to go and find one.

There are literally countless ways to find MEAN stack developers these days. But only a handful of them will be really up to the standards any good company will hold. Let’s take a look at those, shall we?

1. Freelancers

Depending on how long and arduous your requirement, you can opt for someone for the short-term. Freelancers are one of the best bets for firms that do not have a confirmed duration and/or have only a fraction of the total work to be taken care of. You can try platforms like Upwork, Toptal and Elance to help you find the best freelancers. However, keep in mind that these people can choose to leave the project and leave you hanging without any notice. Plus there is also the issue of confidentiality that looms when hiring a freelancer. Unsurprisingly, GitHub is also a very good place to find qualified developers willing to work per hour.

2. Hiring an in-house full-time developer

As much as freelancers are easy to work with and cost-effective, they cannot compare to in-house full-time developers. This is so because you have a direct physical presence in the very same building as the developer. There will be no delays in communication or silly time-zone issues. Plus any bugs/doubts can be immediately clarified if the person is working in your team.

That said, the expenses of a full-time employee will skyrocket when your previous benchmark is a freelancer. So you should only make this commitment if you can afford it.

3. Outsourcing the job

Outsourcing is a common practice in many countries. Giving out the entire project to an outside firm helps makes things more systematic. However, like everything else, this has its cons too. Outsourcing it means that you need to have a proper confidentiality clause in your contract. You will also need to explain everything to the other team. This is again a costly affair because you need to have project managers to oversee tasks and progress. That and you also let go of some control of your project.

4. Hire a remote developer

This is a choice a lot of companies make. In order to reduce the costs of office space and relocation for many employees, they offer remote work. This ensures you have employees who fully answer to you but your costs reduce because of the logistics involved. You can also choose to hire a remote developer from an offshore company. This will reduce your costs even more as all your payments will be consolidated and lesser than normal. This will also make the firm answerable and you will have full control over the developers.

How to make the hires

Now that you have decided on how to employ your MEAN stack developer, let’s see how you can hire them. Making sure that you get your money’s worth when you invest in a developer.

1. Source

Some of the best efforts need to be put in here to be able to just notify talented people about the opening. There was a time when you did not have to do anything more than putting a word out for an opening. Flocks of applicants, needless to mention, followed.

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Just like Dylan said it out loud back in the 60’s, today’s job-seekers have changed. You need to make that extra effort to woo your perfect dev to join you. Here are a few places where you can start:

  1. Job Boards – Naukri, Monster, etc.
  2. Angel List
  3. Linkedin
  4. Your Employees’ Networks
  5. GitHub

All of these places are amazing to find that unexpected yet immensely talented developer waiting for an opportunity.

2. Screen

After people apply for the position, it is time to choose the mightiest of them. Do not leave the skills to chance. Ensure that you get what believe you are getting. Conduct at least one technical assessment to verify the skills and one Psychometric assessment. This basically ensures that you do not miss out any high potential applicants or let in any resume-specialists. This phase will ensure that you just a horse by its ability to race and not climb trees. You can choose to conduct these assessments either online or offline. Based on your capability and spending power, you can do both as well. Some of the options for conducting such online screening tests are Interact, Mettl & InterviewMocha. But ensure that you get all the technologies that are a part of the stack.

P.S: Interact even has a Pre-Built MEAN Stack Assessment which you can administer in just 3 clicks. Try it out now.

3. Interview

After the screening phase is done, this is merely a way to find out more about the cultural fit of the person you wish to hire. Make sure that a person in this stage is someone who is fully capable of taking care of things technically. Try to keep only the simple things on the agenda and let the screening part do the majority of the tech heavy lifting, or don’t. That choice is again yours.

Well, that’s that. If you still have any doubts as to how to hire your MEAN Stack developer, do give us a shout out and we will be glad to help you out. You can also write to us [email protected]

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