I used to believe that you were either a web designer or a web developer — that you worked on the site’s design or the code that made it work. Then I started seeing job postings for front-end developers, back-end software engineers, and even full-stack engineers.
To become a full-stack developer, you must first become acquainted with three fundamental web development concepts: the front end, the back end, and full-stack development.
The three major categories are as follows:
The front end – also known as the client-side or customer-facing side, refers to all of the aspects of a computer application with which consumers directly interact. The back end, on the other hand, includes all of the behind-the-scenes technology that computes business logic, fulfills user requests, and permanently stores sensitive data.
Back end – The front end is sometimes compared to the protruding tip of an iceberg, while the majority of the hidden back end lies deep below the water’s surface.
The internal software that runs a company’s servers, databases, and proprietary applications must be developed by programmers as part of back-end development. The information delivery channels to and from users who run front-end interfaces are built by back-end developers.
Full-stack development can help in this situation.
Full stack development – “Full stack” refers to the entire front and back end architecture of a website or application. Full stack specialists may address all sides of the adage’s equation, as one might anticipate.
Full stack development combines front-end and back-end programming. Web stacks, mobile stacks, and native application stacks can all be considered full stack (i.e. software programs for specific devices)
We’ve produced a tutorial that breaks down each of the developer specialties so you can understand what each one entails. It also includes the knowledge required to become a full-stack developer, if that’s your thing.
What does it mean to be a full-stack developer, and what does it entail? A developer or engineer who has the ability to work with databases, APIs, user-facing websites, and even clients during the planning stage of projects is known as a full-stack developer.
- Specialized in a particular programming language, like Ruby or PHP or Python, although full stack programmers, especially if they’ve been working as a developer for a while, work with more than one. In job listings, you’ll generally see openings for “full stack Ruby developer” or the like.
- Learned either project management, visual design, web design, or user experience skills — to complete their “stack,” if you will
More and more developers are becoming full-stack developers. Many firms (particularly agencies that work on various types of sites) are looking for developers who understand how to work on all aspects of a site so that they may utilize the appropriate tools for the task regardless — hence the surge in organizations mentioning full-stack development as a job criterion.
Contrary to popular belief, “full stack” does not necessarily imply that a developer writes all of the code for a website. Many people spend the majority of their time on either the client or server side.
The objective is that they are familiar enough with the code throughout the entire stack to dive in any place if necessary. Some full-stack programmers do create entire websites, but usually only when they are the sole developer on a project or working freelance.
The way full stack web development appears in job listings only adds to the confusion. Full stack developers, full stack web developers (if you see “full stack web developer” in a job listing, it still refers to a full stack developer), and sometimes full stack engineers are required for certain professions.
Any project where you are simultaneously working on (or constructing) the front and back ends of a website or application is considered to be a full-stack development project.
In essence, a full-stack developer takes on the roles of both the front-end and back-end developers for any web development project that would typically call for both.
The distinction between a full-stack engineer and a developer
Full-stack engineers are senior-level positions for those with the above-described full-stack developer talents who also have project management expertise in areas like systems administration (configuring, managing, and maintaining computer networks and systems).
You can see that these positions normally require at least three to five years of experience by looking at the job advertisements for full-stack engineers on websites like Indeed.
Full-stack engineer jobs are the kind of positions you may look forward to after spending some time in the business, but since Skillcrush is focused on helping people learn skills to get into tech, we often focus more on developer-level opportunities.
What languages and abilities are crucial for full-stack developers to learn?
On full-stack web developer job advertisements, you’ll often see a mix of front and back-end abilities specified, including:
- Ideally, one or more third-party libraries like React or Angular
- Programming languages and libraries like Ruby, PHP, Python
- Experience with databases, like MongoDB, Oracle, SQL, MySQL
- Version control like Git
- Knowledge of security concerns and best practices
- Ideally, some knowledge of web or visual design, plus user experience best practices
Should I train to be a full-stack programmer?
Does going full stack make sense because being a full stack developer means you can work on both the front and back ends of the web development process?
If you want to work for a major tech business (think Facebook or Google), full-stack dev positions are a good way to get there. However, moving to a large tech hub and working for a business like Facebook is not for everyone. General web development jobs, especially front-end web developer positions, pay well and are plentiful whether you’re looking to return to the workforce after a break or you want to start a side business in addition to your day job.
The basic idea here is to simply not let the need to learn everything at once keep you paralyzed from starting your tech career. This is not to mean that you can’t study back-end languages and get closer to a full stack dev skill set as you progress with your tech career.
Note: Read our post if you’re determined to go full stack, though.
How much does a full-stack programmer make?
The 2020 Stack Overflow study found that the average full stack dev income in the United States is $112,000 annually. (starts a new tab) In contrast, back-end developers make $120,000 annually, and front-end developers make $110,000.
According to Indeed, the average income is between $90,000-$130,000, so there is a possibility for wage growth as you gain expertise.
It’s crucial to remember that a site like Indeed has over 13,000 front-end positions with an average income of $95,000, so concentrating on front-end skills first won’t limit your alternatives.
The visible components of websites—such as web pages and user interfaces—that users interact with through web browsers are created by front-end developers.
The portion of a website (or online or mobile application) that users see and interact with directly is called the front end. The languages used to create the front end include:
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the foundation of the Internet. HTML is used to build every website you visit. It handles all of the structure and content. HTML5 is the most recent version of HTML on the Web, while older versions still work perfectly in your browser.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is what determines how HTML appears on the page. CSS controls the colors, fonts, background pictures, and even the layout of the page (you may use CSS to (re)arrange the HTML elements on a page in any order you choose, even if it differs from the order they’re arranged in the HTML file).
The most recent version of CSS to be used on the Web is called CSS3, and it has a ton of new features for things like animations and rudimentary interaction.
Improvements have been made to JS itself (including the creation of frameworks like AngularJs, jQuery, React, and Node.js).
TL;DR: Front-end software engineers create websites using HTML, CSS, and JS. They are the ones who take the design and turn it into a usable website.
The “under the hood” components of websites that users don’t directly interact with are built by back-end developers.
Back-end development is much more behind-the-scenes, whereas front-end development is focused on everything the user directly interacts with (client-side) (server-side) Front-end development (client-side) focuses on what the user immediately interacts with, whereas back-end development (server-side) is considerably more in the background and uses languages like:
One thing to keep in mind: You’re unlikely to come across many job listings that say a company is looking for a “back-end software engineer.” Instead, you’ll come across listings for Ruby (or Ruby on Rails) developers, Java developers, PHP developers, and so on, because the programming language a developer knows is critical to being the right fit for a specific job.
They typically collaborate with a front-end developer to make their code compatible with the front end and design of the website or application (or to make necessary design adjustments).
How to become proficient in front-end, back-end, or full-stack development
Whatever precise tech skills you decide to learn, you must first take action. Sometimes it’s more difficult to learn the initial step than the abilities themselves. We can help, which is wonderful news! Resources to help you learn front-end, back-end, and full-stack web development abilities are listed below:
Functions of a Full Stack Developer
The following are some of the duties of a Full Stack Developer:
- Developing APIs and RESTful services
- Working with graphic designers to design new features
- Testing and maintaining the responsive design of applications
- Testing and debugging software to keep it optimized
- Ensuring cross-platform compatibility and optimization
- Considering security, maintenance, scalability, and more when developing and Helping with the design and development of software
- Keeping up with technological advances to optimize their software
- Communicating the effectiveness of emerging technologies to decision-makers
- Writing clean code for the front and back end of the software
- Designing user interactions on the web application itself
- Creating servers and databases for the back end of the software
Education and Experience Required to Become a Full-Stack Developer
Full Stack Developers are extremely smart individuals who have acquired their training through their education or by years working in related sectors. Despite the strong demand for these positions, organizations are wary about entrusting their web development to just anyone. Full Stack Developers must adhere to certain requirements in terms of their education and professional background in order to get employed. Although they differ from employer to employer, the following are some safe bets.
- Education: A two-year associate’s degree in computer science, programming, software development, statistics, or a closely related discipline is required. Most professions may only require an associate’s degree to qualify you, but the more education you have, the better chance you have of getting employed.
To truly stand out, some Full Stack Developers choose to pursue master’s degrees. Another method to gain all the knowledge necessary to be successful as a Full Stack Developer is to enroll in a rigorous Web Development Bootcamp.
- Work Experience: You don’t need to have years and years of on-the-job experience to apply for this job, but you also shouldn’t expect to learn everything during training. You must be able to demonstrate that you have the expertise and experience necessary for the position. This can be accomplished either through rigorous education or prior work experience in a position relevant to growth.
Full-Stack Web Developers’ Skills and Tools
If you want to make a career out of this business, you must first understand the tactics of the trade. Hone your technical abilities and polish your resume to demonstrate your expertise with the following tools and talents:
- Front-end programming languages such as Python, Ruby, and PHP
- Git and GitHub version control systems
- REST and SOAP APIs, as well as the HTTP protocol
- JSON, SQL, and NoSQL database storage solutions
- Graphic design and visual communication abilities are required.
- Nginx or Apache servers
Characteristics of an Excellent Full-Stack Developer
An excellent Full Stack Developer also needs to have the correct attitude and disposition. Fortunately, if you are determined and passionate about pursuing this as your ideal career, these personality traits can be developed in everyone. Some of the personality qualities of a Full Stack Developer include the following:
Full Stack Developers are the best multitaskers among web developers.
- A Time Management Master – To ensure that the job is completed, they regularly switch between the front and back ends, frequently juggling many duties at once. To make sure that everything is completed by the deadline, one needs to possess great time management abilities and the capacity to prioritize.
- A Curious Mind – With the correct mindset, web development can be fascinating. You may build a stunning, intricate web application that users will interact with in a number of different ways by simply inputting a series of characters into the computer screen. Amazing Full Stack The need to always learn more about the business and how users engage with the web application drives the curiosity of developers.
- Carefulness – A top-notch full-stack developer is meticulous. Before sending their work on, they verify it twice or three times to ensure that it is accurate. Full Stack Developers are meticulous perfectionists, and it shows in the well-written code and polished work they produce.
- Creative Thinking – In order to make their web application stand out from the competition, Full Stack Developers should be prepared to think creatively and beyond the box. Someone who only wishes to repeat what has already been done before should not take on this task.
- An Effective Communicator – Full Stack Developers frequently serve as the intermediary between Back-end and Front-end developers. They must be adept writers and vocal communicators in order to keep everything cohesive.
It is determined by the software’s size and scalability. For example, a tiny independent game group consisting of only a few people developing a modest simulator may only require one Back End Developer and one Front End Developer. If they are even smaller, they may just have one Full Stack Developer who is responsible for the entire application. A huge online application with high scalability potential, on the other hand, will necessitate a significant number of hands-on decks – Back End, Front End, and Full Stack Developers.