According to a survey in 2017, ‘Full stack Developer’ is one the most famous and demanded occupation today.
Businesses are looking out for full-stack developers, but with increasing complexities and more dynamics, becoming a full-stack developer seems difficult than ever.
- Knowledge of technical languages,
- knowledge about database systems,
- Executing technologies and techniques, and many more
Reading all these job postings I felt completely lost. Because by the time one will gain hands-on experience on these technologies, all new technologies will replace them.
So, what to do?
I researched a lot and then framed an answer for me. If you too are in a similar condition then reading this post is definitely worth your time.
Presently, I am working as a Full stack developer in one of the reputed organizations. And I believe that reading this post will help you gain almost every detail about full stack developer and how to become one!
Full Stack Developer Meaning:
I would like to first start with sharing the correct meaning of a Full stack developer.
A Full Stack developer is one who is able to work on the back-end as well as front-end parts of an application. He must be able to work on any layer in the application development process.
The back-end part of the application is basically related to handling logics, user authentication, database interactions, server configuration, and more. The front-end part of the application is one the user will witness or interact with.
If you want to become a full stack developer then this does not imply that you have to gain mastery in every major and minute aspect. But yes, you need to be able to handle both the sides, have proper understanding of almost all technicalities when developing an application.
Hence, to brief it out, a Full Stack Developer must be able to:
- Proficiently handle and optimize front-end coding in almost all languages of development.
- Create and use APIs and handle all back-end parts of the application.
- Work with system infrastructure including OS and hardware.
- Proficient in security and networking.
- Understand, create, and resolve databases.
- Client coordination and management of the project
So, a full stack developer is almost a veteran handling all technical responsibilities.
Full Stack Developer Skills:
You see, the job of a full stack developer is highly demanding and rewarding. Hence, to successfully become one, you need to gain proficiency in skills that I have mentioned below!
1. HTML / CSS:
This is the basic skill expected from any developer. While HTML or Hyptertext Markup Language allows adding content to a site, CSS or Cascade Style Sheets helps to style it in your preferred way.
Semantic HTML, CSS Box Model, CSS preprocessors, CSS Media Queries, and Bootstrap are core aspects of this skill set. These skills form the skeleton of a front-end part of an application.
This language is gaining more popularity every year. It is one of the important languages require for Full-stack, Back-end, and Front-end development. This language is native to the browser and can speed up as a server side language.
A full stack developer is expected to be proficient enough to work with JSON and DOM. You need to be knowledgeable about important language elements like prototypal inheritance, event delegation, functional composition, scope, event delegation, closures, high-order scope and functions.
You can begin by gaining knowledge about anyone of the popular JavaScipt frameworks. Besides this, you also need to gain knowledge on testing framework and its significance.
3. Web Storage and Databases:
This is another highly important skill to possess to become a Full Stack Developer.
When building applications, you need to store the data somewhere so that it can be accessed later.
Hence, you need to have knowledge about various topics related to storage and databases, like understanding the benefits of relational data, learning NoSQL databases, understanding one that is better in certain situations, connecting database with the selected back-end language, knowing the importance of in-memory data stores, web storage, cookies, sessions, and cached data.
4. Back-End Support Language:
Getting expertise in back-end support language is another vital skill needed to become a Full Stack Developer.
Back-end ensures that things are handled well like user authentication, database operations, and application logic. There is no specific back-end language to learn. All you need to ensure is to gain expertise in the language that you have learned.
This is a stateless application protocol that allows seamless client communication. As a full stack developer you must have knowledge about REST and its importance in context to HTTP protocol and web – based applications.
Furthermore, you must have knowledge about best practices for creating a RESTful API POST requests, knowledge about Chrome DevTools and SSL Certificates. If you have knowledge about WebSockets, Service Workers, Web Workers, and SPDY then this would provide you with an added advantage.
Also known as the version control system, Git allows developers in a team to track changes done to codebase.
Having knowledge about important things about Git would help you to have proper understanding of getting latest codes. Other than this, you must be aware about updating parts of the code, making fixes, altering codes without causing any breaks.
Definitely, you need to have comprehensive knowledge about Git if you want to stand out as a Full Stack Developer.
7. Web Application Architecture:
Once you have gained knowledge about languages, programs and other important aspects, then here comes the trickiest part. This part is related to creating some intricate web applications, and hence, you must know the correct way to structure the code, separate files, host large media files, structure data in database, and perform specific computational tasks, and more.
The best way to gain knowledge about these applications architecture is by practically working on them. This would help you identify and resolve various issues that can occur while developing an intricate web application.
8. Data Structures and Basic Algorithms:
You might find this topic little polarizing in the development era. It is because there are developers who don’t give much importance to this subject.
But I would like to make it clear that a Full stack Developer is expected to possess expertise, if not all then in most of the development processes and practices. Hence, missing this one out can end you in big trouble. So, if you want to make it through big companies then you must possess knowledge about this aspect in detail.
While few companies requires a person to possess a computer engineering degree there are others that would hire you even if you don’t have such a degree but possess rich knowledge about data structures and basic algorithms.
In this case, you must possess knowledge about enhancing algorithms, data structure skills, hash tables, understanding graphs and trees as data structures, understand Big-O analysis, and use an object vs. an array.
So, is a stack developer and a software engineer same thing?
If you don’t have a clear idea about this question then I would like to discuss the same with you!
Full Stack Developer vs. Software Engineer
If you are new to the programming language then you must have confusion about the exact difference between a Software engineer and a web developer. Here are few details on skills that would help you have a clear understanding and difference between two.
A web developer is one who mainly works with websites. If you are a web developer then you can work frontend, backend, or a full stack developer.
A person titled as software engineer covers a bigger range of skills set and possible roles. A software engineer is entitled to design, build, and maintain software applications, which even a web developer is also expected to do. But a software engineer is expected to have more detailed knowledge about the subject.
The reality is that whether you are titled as a developer or a software engineer, if you have the desired skills then you will be fit into the role, no matter what.
Good programmers are known for their skills, even if they are titled as anyone else. The core differences between the two mainly lies in the language learned, skills possessed, and technologies you are using.
Full Stack Developer Job Description:
Full stack developers are accountable for front-end as well as back-end tasks. Such developers are responsible for both the aspects of website design and website programming.
Their work involves design plans for websites and the way information will be accessed, as well as how the site functions and looks for users. Few full stack developers may also be responsible to share responsibilities with software development. Even the developer would be involved developing computer programs or applications.
The job role of the full stack developer would involve computer programming language, problem-solving skills, ability to perform in team and individual basis, communication skills, creativity, and organizational skills.
Other than this, the full stack developers are expected to have proficiency to address all design issues so that they can product functional and effective websites.
Full Stack Developer Salary:
While the job is challenging but the payout of a full stack developer is equally rewarding. Being a full stack developer, you can expect highest salary among other categories of developers. But the package would be less or equal to a software engineer.
Guide to becoming a Full Stack Developer:
Being a full stack developer needs you to know about back-end and front-end technologies. It also demands having knowledge about various programming languages. To make it through and get your hands on the desired job role, here are some tips that would help you become a full-stack developer.
1. Identify your Niche:
You will not be able to avail success until you are not aware of where you want to be. Full-stack development is about learning, but you need to identify your path first and then excel into it.
Decide your areas of technologies and focus to create a lucrative path. This way, you will be able to move a long way.
2. Gain Expertise and Move Slowly:
Focus in one place and slowly gain expertise on various technologies. Most developers try to learn all technologies at once. Doing this ends them with lots of confusion and then land up in a phase close to impossible.
Hence, you must focus on learning important technologies first. Once you gain expertise in them then you can shift to other technologies.
3. Be Comfortable with Front-end and Back-end languages:
This is something that we have been learning since days. As a full stack developer, you need to be comfortable with both front end and back end software development.
4. Master one and become comfortable with others:
As you will expand your knowledge, you will discover that it is difficult to gain expertise on everything. This is in fact one thing where most developers fail, that they try to master in everything.
Once you are comfortable with all the languages then you will improve in them with practical experience. So mastery in one and comfort in all others will provide you an edge over the competitors.
5. Take a Course:
Even if you are well aware about the skills, you need to be ready with new things that are on demand.
You need to be prepared to learn new things that come your way. The best way for this is to take a course. You can take an online or an in-house course depending on your requirements.
Being a full stack developer can be hard but it is rewarding and is fun. So, follow these tips and surely you will become one of the demanding stack developers in town!