Full stack specialists can be called the most versatile professionals among web developers for any software development company: they are equally well versed in all the intricacies of creating a front-end and back-end. A full stack developer knows how to create the client and server side of an application; knows how to work with databases, API and version control systems.
What Does a Full-Stack Developer Do?
To understand the features of the tasks that a full-stack specialist solves, you need to clearly understand the specifics of websites – as a rule, they consist of two parts: client (interface) and server. Any online or mobile application consists of a frontend (visible client side) and a backend (invisible backend). For this reason, a full-stack developer is expected to thoroughly understand and fully implement the front-end and back-end of an application.
What Does Frontend Development Involve?
Frontend development involves creating a user interface with all its interactive features. Before starting a project, the developer must determine what data will be entered by the user – for example, location, contact and personal information.
What’s Included In The Backend?
The invisible server side of sites and applications processes, stores in databases and provides, upon request, user information that the frontend collects. All dynamic and multifunctional sites require a backend.
Where To Begin?
Many programmers come to the conclusion that it is difficult to combine front-end and server-side development. To become a full-stack specialist, it is better to start with either front-end development or back-end development, and later, having acquired the necessary qualifications and experience, take on the second part. To get started, take on a thorough study of all the features of the programming language on which the part you need is based.
What a Full-Stack Developer Should Know
To shorten the learning process, you need to follow a clear plan. Here is a list of what you need to learn to become a full stack specialist:
- criteria for choosing a technology stack;
- backend development process;
- creation of a frontend;
- version control system;
Let’s take a closer look at the technical skills you need to acquire.
Understanding Web Application Architecture
An experienced full-stack developer is able to create and implement a concept from scratch. At the same time, the specialist is guided by the technical, functional and aesthetic criteria for the future web application.
HTML And CSS
These languages are the basis of front-end development. Using HTML, the developer defines the structure of web pages. CSS is used to create design and styling. To create interactive web applications with a unique and intuitive interface, a full-stack developer must be fluent in HTML and CSS.
Git and GitHub
Git is the most popular distributed version control system. This system facilitates the development of:
- Speeds up the process and improves work efficiency when creating projects of any scale;
- Allows you to manage any changes in the code of applications, sites, technical documentation;
- Provides secure collaboration on the project.
Professional developers usually work with the system using a GitHub account. To work with Git, you need to learn the basic commands of the system.
Programming Languages For Backend Development
Several technologies are used to develop the back end of web applications. The most popular include:
- PHP is a scripting language for developing dynamic online applications. PHP and the framework based on it Laravel are in the lead in terms of demand;
- Python – Django and Flask frameworks based on this language are rapidly gaining popularity among web developers;
- Ruby is a powerful dynamic language with a simple and concise syntax;
- Java – best suited for creating a backend for cross-platform applications. It has a number of powerful frameworks.
HTTP, REST And SOAP
Knowledge of REST helps developers build scalable applications where all systems communicate easily. REST services act as intermediaries between the backend and frontend and allow you to make the best use of the capabilities of the HTTP protocol. The HTTP protocol is used to transfer data from the server to the client, while SOAP is used to exchange messages in XML format.
Any dynamic website or application needs a database to function. A full stack developer needs to know when and how to use:
- relational and non-relational databases;
- DOM storage, XML and JSON formats.
NPM Package Manager
NPM is part of Node.js. Helps manage dependencies and package installations and prevents conflicts. It has flexible settings and is used at all stages of application development.
Choosing The Optimal Technology Stack
Each task requires its own set (stack) of technologies. A professional full-stack developer constantly monitors and studies new technologies in order to be able to choose the optimal basis for the implementation of a particular project. Among the most popular stacks:
- LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP;
- MERN – MongoDB, Express, React, Node;
- MEAN – MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node;
- Django is a complete stack based on Python.
In addition to technical knowledge and experience, a full-stack developer needs the following soft skills to effectively solve complex problems:
- effective oral and written business communication;
- desire to acquire new knowledge;
- teamwork skills;
- rational time management;
- creative mindset;
- attention to detail;
FAQ About a Full-Stack Developer Career
In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for full-stack developers. We offer answers to questions that most often arise from people who plan to become full-stack specialists.
Is It Possible To Become a Full-Stack Developer With No Experience?
What Do You Need To Know To Become a Full-Stack Developer?
You need comprehensive skills in creating a front-end, back-end and working with databases:
- Skills in writing server applications in PHP, Ruby, Python. Knowledge of HTTP, SOAP protocols and REST architectural style;
- Expert skills in working with various types of databases – Oracle, MySQL, MongoDB and so on.
Which Technology Stack Is Best?
In the business application development sector, MERN is the most commonly used. However, any full stack developer should be aware of the existence of other stacks, such as LAMP and Django. As a rule, all development companies offer several stacks, since different customers need different solutions.
How Long Does It Take To Become a Full-Stack Developer?
It all depends on the starting level of knowledge and the intensity of training. On average, with proper motivation, it takes 3-6 months to obtain a basic qualification.
Are Full-Stack Developers In Demand?
The demand for universal developers remains consistently high, as they are the ones who are preferred to be involved in the development of powerful and scalable business applications.
How Much Does a Full-Stack Developer Earn?
Salary depends on several factors – basic and additional skills, experience, location. In the USA, a Full Stack Specialist can expect to earn $101,220 a year.
As you can see, becoming a full-stack developer is more complicated than becoming a front-end or a back-end one. But the profit you can get from it is much higher. The knowledge and experience of working with a client and the server side of different projects makes you a kind of versatile soldier who’s ready for all sorts of development tasks. All companies value such skills higher than those that regard frontend or backend only, so the probability that you will find a job in a short period of time is extremely high.