Top free resources to learn the MERN Stack

What is the MERN stack?

MERN stack combines four key technologies: MongoDB, Express, React, and Node.js.

  • MongoDB: It is a document-based database that stores data in JSON-like documents.
  • Express.js: It is a web application framework that enables the creation of varieties of server-side applications and tools using JavaScript language.
  • React.js: It is a front-end library used for developing user interfaces.
  • Node.js: It is a back-end JavaScript runtime environment that enables the execution of JavaScript code outside of the web browser.

Advantages of using the MERN stack

  • Enables development of all web application development from backend to frontend only using a single language.
  • It is developed and supported by a huge open-source community.
  • Supports model, view, and controller (MVC) architecture for smooth and rapid development.
  • The developer only needs to know the JavaScript language.
  • It also supports the creation of a multi-platform mobile application by using a react-native library.

Top free resources to learn the MERN stack web development

1. The Odin Project

Odin project homepage
The Odin Project is an online open-source programming course founded in 2013 by Erik Trautman. This course provides a complete path for beginner students to become full-stack web developers. It has 1000 hours of content related to programming that provides students with enough practice and knowledge to be hired as web developers. This course provides two paths. The student starts by enrolling in the foundations course at the beginning of each path. After completing the foundation course the student can either follow the full-stack path with Ruby on Rails (RoR) or JavaScript(MERN). The students also learn version control using git in both paths that prepare them for collaborative development in the future.

2. Full Stack Open

Full Stack Open
This is an online course provided by the Department of Computer Science of the University of Helsinki. This course provides students with the knowledge to build modern web applications using JavaScript. The main objective behind this course is to help the students to learn to code modern single page applications with React.js that consume REST APIs built with Node.js. This course also includes a chapter on GraphQL an alternative to REST APIs. This course also provides students with a certificate after completion of the course.

3. Free Code Camp

Free Code Camp
Free Code Camp is a nonprofit community that helps learns to code by building projects. It was founded by Quincy Larson and is now backed by donations and managed by the open-source community. It is an interactive course where students learn by reading and completing interactive coding challenges. The course is divided into various sections. The students receive a certificate after completing each section. I personally have used freeCodeCamp to develop a career in full-stack web development.

4. MDN Web Docs by Mozilla

MDN Web Docs
While this may sound unconventional, but learning resources provided by Mozilla Developer Network are excellent resources for getting started into full-stack development using MERN. This resource is not a full course but can be used as an alternative material for learning the MERN stack. It is also built and supported by the open-source community.

Personal thoughts and recommendations

While most of the above course contains all the resources to make you a proficient MERN stack developer, they also contain extra lessons that are not required to become a MERN stack developer. So I suggest you go through these frontend and backend road-maps and follow the path according to the career you want to pursue.