Full Stack Developer

In the world of software, it always helps to have someone on an organisation’s team who can handle different types of developer work. They can help organisations with various stages of development and have the skills and versatility to assist on all levels of a team. This is the role of a Full Stack Developer. 

Talented Full Stack Developers are always in demand these days, as corporations in all parts of the world rely more and more on their computer and network systems. This is a role that combines the skills and knowledge of Front- and Back-End Developers along with some DevOps, so it will involve working with processes that the end user sees as well as those that work in the background to deliver the website or app. As masters of multiple skills and experienced generalists, Full Stack Developers are highly valued by organisations for their ability to transition seamlessly between development environments and projects. 

What is a Full Stack Developer? 

A Full Stack Developer is a kind of developer who works with the server side (Back-End) as well as client-side (Front-End). Full Stack refers to the entire depth of an application, so Full Stack Developers have the skills to balance between the layers of development. 

The Front-End Development includes everything that a client can see and interact with, essentially the end product. Front-End development creates what users can see directly, with the objective to make sure that information is easy to read, relevant and easy to use. This contrasts with the Back-End. Back-End Development refers to all the servers, databases, information and other internal systems that drive an application. 

As such, individuals who have knowledge, experience and skill in both Front-End and Back-End are called Full Stack Developers. 

In summary:

  • The Front-End deals with the interface and user-facing systems, utilising HTML, CSS3, JavaScript etc.
  • The Back-End deals with the server and database of the application. It creates a back frame that allows the Front-End to exist, utilising Python, Ruby, PHP etc.
  • Full Stack Developers are a combination of both Front-End and Back-End. 

Duties and responsibilities - What are the roles and responsibilities of Full Stack Developers?

Today’s modern organisations rely on entire teams of developers to operate equipment, network, machines and manage databases. It takes time to develop a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of technology and software. As such, a Full Stack Developer’s roles and responsibilities can be very varied and depends on an organisation’s needs. They are able to be versatile enough to shift between developmental processes and take on any development tasks that an organisation might need. There will be many duties that the Full Stack Developer will have. 

A Full Stack Developer job description may include: 

  • Planning major projects with input and consultation with end users, clients and senior management
  • Developing and maintaining servers and databases to maximise website functionality
  • Establishing Front-End website architecture and ensuring its practical usage for relevant stakeholders
  • Writing code for both Front- and Back-End applications that connects databases and networks
  • Build websites and apps from scratch for customers, clients, colleagues and others
  • Reporting to senior management and interested parties on potential issues that can affect the efficient running of the business

Qualities needed for a successful Full Stack Developer

A Full Stack Developer’s skills require a great deal of technical know-how, so it will appeal to those who understand not only current technology but who will also have a grasp on the future of applications, software, hardware and cloud computing. An analytical mind is a must, and a studious, methodical approach to the working day will be a major advantage to an applicant.

Good communication skills are a prerequisite for many employers, in part because Full Stack Developers' job description will often include meeting with clients, liaising with colleagues and reporting to senior management. The most successful individuals tend to have creative minds, are able to work alone and in a group and will be open to new trends in web design that may come along.

Problem-solving is an important aspect of daily work, and there will undoubtedly be times when stress levels get ever higher, so working well under pressure will be an important plus point. Successful candidates will also have a good understanding of the employer’s business profile and will always pay attention to the company’s specific commercial requirements.

Here are some other traits of successful Full Stack Developers:

  • Time management skills to help the multitasking requirements and constant switch between Back-End and Front-End projects.
  • Creativity and curiosity. As Full Stack Developers are masters of multiple skills, it's important to continue learning about emerging technologies and their applications to an organisation’s success. 
  • Much like other developer roles, attention to detail is especially important. 

Qualifications and technical skills - skills to become a Full Stack Developer

There are a number of core skills that every Full Stack Developer will usually need to possess and are included in a Full Stack Developer’s job description. They include a thorough knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and related frameworks such as Angular, React and Vue along with Node.js for JavaScript on the server or in the cloud. Most Full Stack roles will require some knowledge of databases such MySQL, Postgres or Redis along with awareness of DevOps aspects such as hosting, routing, networking and often Cl/CD for cloud deployment.

In some cases, successful applicants will have gained a bachelor’s degree in subjects such as web design, information technology, computer science or computer programming. Furthermore, some Full Stack Developers even have a master’s degree. There are times, however, when recruiters place a greater emphasis on a Full Stack Developer’s skills, experience, personal qualities, and the desire to learn rather than on formal academic qualifications.

Career development - What is the next step after Full Stack Developer?

Those who come into this role from a previous job can include Web Designers, Front-End Developers, Back-End Developers, DevOps Specialists and Cloud Engineers. As Full Stack Developers progress up the career ladder, they could go on to become Full Stack Engineers, Lead Developers, IT Managers, IT Directors and Cybersecurity Analysts.

As demand for software products continues to grow, Full Stack Developers play an increasingly important role in an organisation’s technology team. They become key individuals and important resources for organisations to grow and become successful in a technology-driven era. It’s apparent that however the career path may flow, the profession and need for Full Stack individuals are here to stay. 

Salary and remuneration - How much is a Full Stack Developer’s salary?

Full Stack Developers can look forward to good salaries and rewarding benefits packages. This is because Full Stack Developers are important for organisations and fill a highly technical role. They have lots of specialities and skills to cover a range of developing needs. It’s hard to find individuals who know the breadth of information and have these varying skills, as such, Full Stack Developers are often known as “unicorns” for their rarity. 

This also means that demand for them is growing, so a Full Stack Developer’s salary is compensated to match these trends. But it’s important to note that much like any other role, a Full Stack Developer’s salary will depend on location, experience and other factors. 

Full Stack Developer roles can also thrive in industries beyond technology. You can find Full Stack Developer job descriptions in top sectors like computer software, information technology, finance and marketing. 

All in all, now is an excellent time to pursue a Full Stack Developer role.