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A tech stack, short for technology stack, serves as a fundamental concept frequently highlighted in job postings and discussions within companies, particularly within the realm of web development specialists. Delving into various tech stacks such as MERN, MEAN, and LAMP can significantly contribute to shaping the trajectory of your professional journey and enhancing the success of your job applications. This comprehensive article seeks to delve into the intricate definition of these tech stacks, explore their popularity within the industry, and address common queries that professionals encounter on this subject matter.

What is a tech stack?

An illustration of a tech stack, demonstrating the combination of programming languages, frameworks, and tools used in software development.

A tech stack, commonly known as a technology stack, represents a cohesive set of technology services utilized for the development and operation of a specific application or website. This collection of tools, platforms, and frameworks forms the core foundation of a digital product. Sometimes referred to as a solutions stack, technology infrastructure, or data ecosystem, the combination of technologies incorporated into a tech stack can vary significantly based on factors such as the unique requirements of the product, the scale of the company, and the strategic decisions made by system architects. Despite this variability, there are consistent components that are typically present, allowing for a clear visualization of how these technologies are integrated and built upon each other to create a functional and efficient solution.

What makes up a tech stack?

The tech stack for a web application typically initiates with the front-end, encompassing elements like the browser and programming languages such as JavaScript. Additionally, frameworks like React, Angular, and Vue play a pivotal role in facilitating the interaction with this code-base. The server, responsible for data processing, can handle both relational and non-relational data based on the specific languages and frameworks it employs. Furthermore, the operating system within the tech stack serves as the fundamental platform that the application operates on. Beyond these foundational components, modern tech stacks often integrate a diverse array of tools to optimize performance, enable efficient business intelligence, incorporate containerization for scalability, implement micro services architecture for flexibility, and leverage analytics to enhance data processing capabilities. The selection and utilization of these tools may vary depending on the scale and complexity of the data processing requirements within the web application’s ecosystem.

What is a web stack?

In web development, a web stack encompasses crucial components like the user-facing application, operating system, and various interconnected elements that work together harmoniously. Positioned at the forefront is the user-interacted application, responsible for delivering a seamless experience to the end-user. Directly supporting this application is the underlying operating system, providing the foundation for the entire web stack. Between these two vital elements lie interpreters that facilitate communication and coordination, ensuring that user needs are effectively met by the application through the operating system. These middle elements fulfill a pivotal role in translating and executing commands to bridge the gap between user interactions and system functionality.

The basic requirements for a web stack are:

  • Operating system
  • Web server
  • Database
  • Programming language

Popular tech stacks for coders

MERN stack

The MERN stack is a popular JavaScript-based web development tech stack comprising MongoDB, Express, React, and Node.

The MERN stack is designed to make the development process smooth and easy by combining:

  • a NoSQL database
  • the Express framework for simplifying and organizing back-end code
  • React for organizing the front-end
  • Node as the runtime environment that executes JavaScript outside the web browser

MEAN stack


A diagram of a tech stack, displaying the infrastructure components like servers, databases, and networking layers that support an application.

The MEAN stack, known for its components MongoDB, Express, Angular, and Node.js, is a robust web development framework. In comparison, the MERN stack, which swaps Angular for React, offers a similar structure with slight variations in the choice of front-end technology. Both stacks are popular choices among developers for building dynamic and scalable applications.

So, how is MEAN different from MERN?

Angular and React are both powerful JavaScript-based frameworks that have gained significant popularity in the development community. Developed by Google, Angular is known for its robust features and comprehensive tools, while React, which is backed by Meta, is valued for its efficient performance and flexibility.

One key difference between the two frameworks is their approach to data flow. Angular supports bidirectional data binding, allowing for seamless communication between components, whereas React primarily utilizes unidirectional data flow, enabling a clearer and easier-to-follow structure within the application.

It is worth noting that Angular does come with a steeper learning curve compared to React, but this complexity is often justified by the framework’s exceptional capabilities in managing abstraction levels and file structures, making it particularly well-suited for large-scale enterprise projects. Ultimately, the choice between Angular and React depends on the specific requirements of the project and the preferences of the development team.

LAMP stack

The LAMP stack, originally comprising Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python, was expertly architected to cater to the needs of enterprise-scale applications dealing with substantial volumes of traffic and frequent data exchanges. Primarily optimized for Linux systems, this robust stack does not align with the evolving requirements of contemporary web technologies seeking agility, responsiveness across various platforms, and top-notch security standards. Progressive web applications, dynamic content delivery, and enhanced user experiences now call for advanced frameworks and tools that can efficiently tackle the demands of a fast-paced digital landscape, steering away from the traditional LAMP stack’s limitations.

Server-less stack

The server-less stack represents a modern cloud-based approach to creating applications that effectively eliminates the burden of server maintenance and management. Developers utilize containers to encapsulate their code, which can then be effortlessly deployed. This innovative stack is designed to dynamically scale in response to workload demands, a feature that significantly enhances the overall efficiency of the application. Noteworthy supported languages encompass JavaScript, Type Script, Python, Golang (GO), and C#, thereby accommodating a wide range of developers. Particularly advantageous for smaller enterprises, this solution liberates them from the complexities of infrastructure management, making it a cost-effective and time-saving option. Furthermore, its pay-as-you-go model offers flexibility and cost-efficiency, ensuring that resources are allocated judiciously without incurring unnecessary expenses for idle server-less functions.

MEVN stack

The MEVN stack, which is a popular choice among web developers, consists of MongoDB for the database, Express for the back-end framework, Vue for the front-end framework, and Node.js for the back-end runtime environment. When compared to the MERN and MEAN stacks, the significant distinction lies in its utilization of Vue.js for crafting dynamic user interfaces. Vue.js and React, being lightweight frameworks, both leverage the virtual DOM to optimize rendering performance, leading to seamless user experiences and improved application efficiency.

So how is MEVN different from MERN and MEAN?

Vue is a comprehensive framework that distinguishes itself from React by providing a high level of flexibility and a clear standpoint. It boasts a robust toolkit that includes plug-in systems, a variety of built-in directives, and smooth transition functionalities. In addition to these core features, Vue offers companion libraries developed by its core team for efficient routing and state management, such as Vue-router and Vuex. One notable advantage of Vue is its streamlined two-way data binding mechanism, which differs from React’s one-way parent-to-child data flow. While Vue is known for its user-friendly nature, it may not be the optimal choice for complex mobile applications or rapidly expanding enterprises.

Flutter for Web

Flutter, developed by Google, is a versatile UI library and framework that excels in creating high-performance mobile applications. Not only is it optimized for mobile app development but its capabilities extend to desktop and web applications as well. This cross-platform functionality enables developers to streamline their workflow by coding in a single language and managing a unified code-base for diverse platforms such as iOS, Android, and web environments.

The underlying programming language for Flutter is Dart, known for its object-oriented approach which greatly benefits the Frontend development process. This makes Flutter particularly well-suited for building Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) efficiently. However, it’s important to note that Flutter may face challenges in terms of SEO-friendliness, and might experience issues related to app performance and scalability, which could impact its overall suitability for certain project requirements.

Tech stack FAQs for coders

Here we provide answers to frequently asked questions about cross-platform mobile development.

Which tech stack has the highest salary?

The average developer salary for each stack in the US, as per Glassdoor, is provided for reference.


MEAN: $113,501

MERN: $92,949

LAMP: $98,904

Server-less: $49,454, though average for “AWS Developer” is $120,063

MEVN (Vue developer): $94,301

Flutter: $97,254

Which tech stack is best to learn?

There is no one perfect tech stack, so the best choice depends on your interests and job opportunities. Modern tech stacks like React, Angular, and Vue can be suitable for learning. If you’re unsure, search for jobs using these terms. React has the most jobs at the time of writing. If you’re interested in exploring companies, look up their tech stacks. Learning a specific tech stack can determine your eligibility for work. Most will teach basic programming concepts, which can be used to learn other frameworks more quickly. Start with something and learn from it.

Is Python a tech stack?

Python is a standalone programming language used for web development, server programming, and web applications. It is not part of a full tech stack and does not include a database, runtime environment, or operating system.

What tech stack does Google use?

Google utilizes a wide array of cutting-edge technologies and programming languages to power its operations, such as Python, Java, Android SDK, Go, C++, React, Angular JS, Kubernetes, TensorFlow, and several others, demonstrating the company’s commitment to innovation and staying ahead of the curve in the dynamic tech landscape.

Wrap up

Understanding the intricacies of different tech stacks and their associated salaries is a fundamental element when planning your career. Each web development stack comes with its unique set of advantages and job opportunities, making it crucial to choose the right one based on your career goals and the type of companies you aspire to work for.

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