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Blog / IT Staffing /  What Technologies Should Express JS Developers Be Skilled at (Express MEAN Stack)?

July 20, 2017 - Marina D

What Technologies Should Express JS Developers Be Skilled at (Express MEAN Stack)?

JavaScript is the universal language of the world wide web, as it is the scripting language that runs across all web browsers. A technology that enables full stack web development using JavaScript throughout is therefore doubtlessly powerful. Such is the power of the MEAN stack: comprised of the four technologies MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS and Node.js, all of which use JavaScript as their base language, it enables seamless front-to-back web development.

Consequently, a MEAN stack developer essentially needs to master just one language – JavaScript – and he’s ready to develop an entire web application; as a result, development times and costs are greatly reduced. If that’s not good enough, the MEAN stack is also fully open-source, so each of its technologies has a freely accessible code base and can, in turn, bank on strong support from the online MEAN full stack developer community.

MEAN Stack developers for hire

The Express.js framework, the E in MEAN, plays the lead role in backend development using the MEAN stack. Although Node.js provides the basic tools that allow JavaScript codes to be run on the server side, Express.js makes server-side programming a great deal easier by providing a hefty set of features which could be used and implemented with just a few lines of code. Being a Node.js framework, it extends the power of Node.js in much the same way that JavaScript frameworks extend the power of JavaScript.

Express.js: A Closer Look

Express.js, a backend technology for the MEAN Mongo Express Angular Node stack, is a Node.js framework that started really small. It was created in 2010 by just one developer, TJ Holowaychuk, and in 2014, it was sold to Node.js development startup StrongLoop, which was in turn acquired by IBM in 2015. In the process, Express.js grew from being a virtually unknown framework to being the most popular Node.js framework at present, with 32, 952 stars on Github as of writing, far more than any other Node.js framework. Now in its 4th version known as Express 4, it is now the de facto framework for Node.js: developing with Node.js typically implies developing with Node.js and Express.js.

Installation

Installing Express.js is easy. Note that, since it’s a Node.js framework, it requires that Node.js be installed on your system first. Once this is done, simply type in the following  on your command line:

$ npm install -g express

This will perform a global installation of express on your system. Now, to create Express app, simply type in the following commands:

$ express first-app
$ cd first-app
$ npm install

The above commands create an application named first-app and install all express dependencies in its parent directory. Finally, to run the app, simply type in:

$ node app

After running, the command line should look something like this:

$ express first-app
create : first-app
create : first-app/package.json
create : first-app/app.js
create : first-app/public
create : first-app/public/javascripts
create : first-app/public/images
create : first-app/public/stylesheets
create : first-app/public/stylesheets/style.css
create : first-app/routes
create : first-app/routes/index.js
create : first-app/views
create : first-app/views/layout.jade
create : first-app/views/index.jade
$ cd first-app && npm install
npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/express/3.0.0rc2
npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/jade
...
jade@0.27.2 ./node_modules/jade
├── commander@0.6.1
└── mkdirp@0.3.0

express@3.0.0rc2 ./node_modules/express
├── methods@0.0.1
├── fresh@0.1.0
├── range-parser@0.0.4
├── cookie@0.0.4
├── crc@0.2.0
├── commander@0.6.1
├── debug@0.7.0
├── mkdirp@0.3.3
├── send@0.0.3 (mime@1.2.6)
└── connect@2.4.2 (bytes@0.1.0, pause@0.0.1, qs@0.4.2, formidable@1.0.11)
$ node app
Express server listening on port 3000

Express.js uses port 3000 by default, so you can access the app by typing http://localhost:3000 on your browser. Now, your system is ready for building web applications with Node JS and Express 4.0!

Benefits of Express web application development

Why is it worth to use Express js to create Express app?

Using Express.js on top of the base Node.js installation offers a lot of advantages, including:

  • Easier and quicker backend development – Being a framework for Node.js, Express.js provides a lot of functions to perform the most common Node.js tasks, turning functionalities that typically take several minutes to code easily programmable in seconds with Express web application development.
  • Efficient route management – route management enables the application to handle different URL requests from the client side. Whereas Node.js has a rudimentary route handling system, Express.js route management is much more advanced, allowing you to handle complex and dynamic URLs.
  • Use of template engine – Express.js allows developers to use template engines, which enable the creation of dynamic HTML files by using static templates whose variables are replaced with values from the server at runtime.
  • Use of middleware – Express.js uses entities called middleware to arrange its order function calls. Middleware functions are basically chunks of code that have access to the request and response objects, as well as the next middleware function. As a result, it becomes very easy to add features to web applications by simply adding middleware functions, making Express.js applications highly scalable.

Essential Express.js Developer Skills

Here are some additional skills that Express JS developers should have in order to be great at Express MEAN stack development.

The basics: HTML, CSS

A highly skilled Express.js developer is, by default, highly skilled in JavaScript as well. However, being a full stack developer, he should also have a mastery of the two other fundamental frontend technologies: HTML and CSS. Without these skills, a MEAN full stack developer would be vitally handicapped.

The base language: Node.js

It is in the best interest of any framework developer to also have strong skills in the base language of that framework. In this case, since Express.js is a Node.js framework, learning this technology by heart will allow a Node JS developer to know the inner workings and limitations of the base language and fully utilize the power of Express.js to improve and simplify the programming experience.

Experience in server-side templating

One of the benefits of using Express.js is that it enables the use of template engines for server-side template rendering. To fully utilize this feature, it will be a big advantage if the developer has had previous experience working with server-side templating tools such as Thymeleaf or JSP.

Good grasp of asynchronous programming

One of the major benefits of using Node.js is its support for asynchronous programming, which allows multiple independent processes to run without waiting for each other to complete. This makes web applications built with Node.js able to scale up to support a large number of users. Since Express.js runs on top of Node.js, it will be highly beneficial if the developer has a strong understanding of how asynchronous programming works in order to take advantage of the feature for web development with Node and Express.

Hire Express JS Developers Now

find Express JS developers for hire at Mobilunity

Now that we have explored the benefits of Express.js and the MEAN stack, as well as the things to look for in a good Express JS developers, it’s time to hire that JavaScript MEAN stack developer to help with building a website with Node JS and Express JS. We at Mobilunity, a provider of dedicated developers from Ukraine, house only the best IT professionals, and we have the perfect Express.js developer for your project. What’s more, the excellent skills of our developers come with exceptionally low rates. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal.

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  • Application redesign with the help of HTML5, CSS3, LESS, SCSS, Stylus,  Twitter Bootstrap
  • User guides
  • Technical documentation
  • Integration of backend (Java)
  • Code refactoring
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