MEAN stack or Ruby on Rails? Which would you pick?

A friend of mine is just about to start doing a bootcamp over in Dallas, and has just posed the above question on her Facebook page. I guess I’d have my own views on which direction might be most appropriate, but as I’m very much NOT a developer, that would be guided by impressions of how the industry is moving rather than practical experience.

Would someone with a bit more real-world nous like to venture an opinion?


I think learning either stack would open the door to plenty of opportunities (though it would be worth your friend checking the job market in her local area). Personally though, I’d go for the MEAN stack, as I think JS is going to be around and relevant for a long time and learning MEAN is going to give her a much more in-depth knowledge of it. That’s not to say there won’t still be a lot of RoR jobs but I get the impression that it’s becoming less popular for starting new projects these days.

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MEAN for sure.

Node.js is growing faster by the day and I don’t think it’s going to slow down any time soon. If you’re in web development, you should know JavaScript, so why not just use it on the server too? As far as web stuff, it does just about everything that anything else does.

I really dislike the “MEAN Stack” buzzword though. It makes people think they have to use Angular, Express, or Mongo. It’s Node.js. I wish people would just call it Node.js and drop the LAMP wannabe buzzword, it doesn’t work here. Angular isn’t the hottest framework on the block anymore and the Express developers have moved to Koa.js and plenty of people refuse to use MongoDB for a variety of reasons. /rant

It does rather seem that the conclusions being drawn are the same as I’d inferred from my own reading of current trends. That’s not to say that those trends won’t change over time, but I feel JS and its very many offspring are going to be around for a long time.

So is the question “what stack should I use for my project” or “which stack should I learn”? Because the former could have lots of different answers depending on the project, but the latter I think is JavaScript/Node for all the reasons mentioned. HOWEVER, I don’t think I’d say MEAN here; I would say JavaScript, because I fear that being an “Angular developer” rather than a “JavaScript developer” is going to be more detrimental to the developer’s long-term growth.

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