What is a Full Stack Developer?

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What is Full Stack Development

Full-stack development is all about the front end, also known as the client-side as well as the back end, otherwise known as the server-side of a web application. It encompasses designing the whole gamut of a web application as well as the website itself.

The work involved in full-stack development covers the nitty-gritty of the front end, back end and database development as well as the debugging of web applications as well as websites.

 

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Full-stack development requires the full mastery of not only HTML and CSS,[1] but also the ability to leverage jQuery, JavaScript, Vue or Angular to program a browser and use Python, PHP, ASP and Node to program a server. That apart, it requires the ability to program a database as well, leveraging MongoDB, SQL or SQLite.

 


Client Software Comprising the Front end
Server Software Comprising the Back end
CSS C++
Bootstrap ASP
HTML PHP
JavaScript C#
W3.CSS Python
HTML Dom Java
JSON Node.js
XML Ruby
Angular Express.js
JQuery GO
React SQL
Redux REST
Ember.js MongoDB
Backbone.js Firebase.com
Storybook Less
Grunt Saas
Gulp PaaS (Azure and Heroku)
Meteor.js
Graph.QL

Why Go For Full Stack Development

There are some inherent advantages in going in for full-stack development. Let’s look at what these might be-

  1. A one-stop-shop solution for all of one’s development requirements.
  2.  Exposure to the entire slew of development techniques.
  3.  Rapid development of prototypes.
  4.  The ability to cater to the requirements of the entire team.
  5.  Economical cost of project.
  6.  Faster communication within the team.
  7.  Flexibility in switching from front end to back end based upon the current requirement.
  8.  A better handle on emerging technologies.

Full-stack developers are adept at taking on projects that require them to delve into databases, create user-facing websites and work in conjunction with clients with regard to the planning of projects.

Most clients these days prefer developers who are very well versed in the intricacies pertaining to all the parts of a site, enabling them to deploy just the right tool for the job, notwithstanding whether these can be considered front end or back end

Skills Required to Become a Full Stack Developer

There is a definite set of skills required to become a full-stack developer. Let’s get to know what these are[2]:

 1. Front End Technology Skills

For one to be considered a bona fide full stack developer, it is critically important to be skilled and experienced in essential front-end technologies like CSS3, JavaScript and HTML5, as well as deep knowledge of third-party libraries like Angular, LESS,  jQuery and React.js.

 2. Knowledge of Development Languages

A full-stack developer needs to be skilled in a server-side programming language like Python, Java, .Net, Ruby, etc.

3. Knowledge of Database Management Software and Caching Technologies

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A full-stack developer needs to be aware of the different types of DBMS technologies. These include MongoDB, MySQL, Oracle and SQL Server. They also need to know about caching mechanisms like Memcached, Redis and Varnish.

4. Server Knowledge 

A full-stack developer needs to be skilled in the use of Apache or nginx servers. Exposure to Linux is of great help in being able to administer servers.

5. Stellar Basic Designing Ability

Any successful full-stack developer necessarily has to have a great designing ability. Besides, they should be well versed in the basic prototype, as well as UI and UX design.

 

6. Knowledge of VCX or Version Control Systems

 

Full-stack developers would do well to get a handle on Version Control Systems, so as to be able to be in the know of any changes made in the codebase.

The distributed version control system Git, for example, empowers them to gain an understanding of the latest codes, as well as the ability to update parts of the code. It also enables them to change other developers’ code in an unobtrusive manner.

7. Ability to Work with API

Knowledge about application programming interface or API is a must for full-stack developers. Good examples of this are the ability to create and consume REST and SOAP services.

Apart from the above, a full stack developer would be well served, if they could possess the ability to write quality unit tests.

And have a firm grasp of the automated process behind the building and testing of a document, as well as implementing it at scale.

Besides, an appreciation of security concerns for each of the layers with regard to their specific vulnerabilities is very important.

Finally, it is also important for full-stack developers to be knowledgeable about algorithms and data structures.

Full Stack Developer Responsibilities

A full-stack developer has a slew of responsibilities on his or her shoulder. These include designing user interactions for websites as well as developing servers and databases that promote website functionality and coding.

They are also expected to code for mobile platforms.

Let’s take a detailed look at what all their job responsibilities entail.

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  • Front End Website Architecture Development-

Front end applications need to have a dependable architecture that is easy to maintain and is easy to scale up and down. An ideal way of doing that would be to create a modular and domain-driven one.

  • Web Page User Interaction Designing

User interaction design is more than just the interaction between the user and the application or design. It may very well be about multiple users connecting through that device. It is all about how a product works than the way that it appears.

  • Back End Website Application Development

This is literally the skill that is behind the power of the web. Yet, back-end development happens unobtrusively enabling users to go about the business of browsing myriad sites unmindful of the skills and effort required to make that possible.

  • Server and Database Creation From the Functionality Viewpoint

Full-stack developers should be able to plan the structure as well as create a new project in this regard. They should possess the ability to prepare the web interface, as well as the communication between the application and the database.

They should be able to run the completed application, as well as manage the troubleshooting.[3] 

  • Cross-Platform Optimization for Mobiles

In the mobile-first era, it is a no-brainer that cross-platform optimization for mobiles is a skill that a full stack developer most certainly has to possess.

One should have the ability to make a mobile-optimized site look equally great on an iPhone, Android, Symbian and Blackberry mobiles.

  • Making Applications Responsive

Full-stack developers are expected to be on the ball when it comes to ensuring that applications don’t exhibit any manner of sluggishness with regard to user responsiveness.

This should be regardless of whether resources or service available to the users is at par or below it.

  • Working in Tandem With Graphic Designers

A full-stack developer would do well to work in tandem with a graphic designer in order to create a site that is brilliant both in terms of its functionality and aesthetics.

  • A to Z Project Implementation

A full-stack developer is expected to be involved in a project right from the stage of initiation to its completion.  Needless to say, this requires excellent organizational skills, as well as an eye for the last detail.

  • Designing and Development of APIs

An  API is a critically important piece of technology, on account of it being a platform that empowers diverse software or applications to communicate with one another. It is critical that a full-stack developer be able to design and develop them very well.

  • Catering to Technical and Consumer Needs

These are really the fundamental responsibilities of a full-stack developer. They are absolutely expected to cater to both the technical and consumer needs with equal facility. That is the reason, why they are so highly prized.

  • Keeping Oneself Updated About Developments in Web Application and Programming Languages

Considering the high rate of obsolescence in the technology sector, a full-stack developer has to stay in the know about the latest developments in the realm of webs applications and programming.

This will ensure that the sites they develop are both contemporary and optimized to deliver.

Most Popular Tech Stacks Full Stack Developers Can Choose From

Let us first understand what stack really stands for.

It is a term used to describe a set of programming languages or software products.[4] Full-stack developers these days are expected to be past masters at managing all manner of issues across myriad streams of software development.

That is the reason why there is such a large demand for full-stack developers possessing the wherewithal capable of web and app designing from the start to the finish, without disrupting any process.

The reason that full-stack developers are the flavour of the times is the fact that they are able to perform a large number of important development functions that they can efficiently perform.

Let’s examine the most sought after stacks that are popular with full-stack developers.

1. MEAN Stack

This comprises MongoDB, Express.js, Angular and Node.js. It is the preferred stack among full stack developers engaged in mobile and responsive web apps.

MongoDB is deployed by the back end for storing data in the shape of JavaScript Object Notation documents.  Express JS on the other hand is the back end web application mounted on Node.js.

Angular enables the front-end web app framework that runs the JavaScript code in the user’s browser empowering an application UI to assume a dynamic form.

Node.js enables a JavaScript runtime environment that allows one to implement an application back end in JavaScript.

This stack is popular not only because it melds four great enabling technologies, but also because it covers the entire gamut of the full web development cycle.

It ranges from the client-side front end development to the server-side back end with the help of JavaScript.

2. MERN Stack

Another very popular stack with full-stack developers, this one consists of MongoDB, Express, React, and Node.js open source components.

These together provide the entire framework of support required by developers to carry out their functions. Quite similar to the MEAN stack, its noticeable difference is that it uses Angular to create front-end web applications, whereas this one uses React.

Like the MEAN stack, the MERN stack too encompasses the full range of the web development cycle including client-side front-end development and the server-side back-end development using JavaScript.

3. MEVIN Stack

This is another version of MEAN, where Angular is replaced with Vue.js as the front-end framework.

The advantage that accrues from using Vue.js is the fact that it combines the best features of React and Angular. Not only is it easy to master, but it also performs exceedingly well, has a clean programming style and a handful of great tools.

4. LAMP

Again, quite a popular stack with full-stack developers on account of its stellar performance, malleability and open-source origins. It is the stack of choice for many on account of its ability to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.[5]

Structurally it is comprised of Linux as the basic layer of the stack and Apache an open-source and free HTTP server that enables the movement of content between the server and the users’ browsers.

Other components include MySQL a relational database management system and the programming languages like PHP, Pearl or Python.

Going beyond these open-source systems one can use different combinations and variations of the same stack which can run seamlessly on any operating system.

When to Hire a Full Stack Developer?

In today’s fraught times most businesses run lean operations. They seek to test and validate ideas by creating a bare-bones but viable product, a full stack developer is definitely the one to turn to.

They possess both the ability and the wherewithal to turn an idea or a feature into a viable and functional prototype.

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We are in the middle of a technological revolution that has made the world of business a hyper-efficient and extremely competitive place.

Over here the best value at the best prices is the name of the game.

In a scenario like this, you could say that full-stack developers are a prized community who are valued for the skills they bring to the table.

The Bottom Line

The role of a developer is key in the world of technology and this is truer today than ever before. A developer needs to update his or her skills regularly to be able to keep pace with the rapid technological changes that have become the norm in today’s times.

That is the precise reason why a full-stack developer is so important.

With their ability to leverage their knowledge of both the front end and the back end they are able to deal with the technical issues pertaining to both the client as well as the server software in use.

They possess the wherewithal to work in a seamlessly coordinated matter with other stakeholders and obtain optimal results.

In the old paradigm development work used to be divided amongst specialist front end and back end developers, testers, database engineers and so on who constituted the various parts of the software development life cycle.[6]

But with the emergence of multiple frameworks, tools as well as libraries it has become possible for software developers to carry out turnkey application development encompassing building, testing and deploying applications.

The number of organizations seeking the services of full stack developers to help them in the implementation of agile projects by leveraging their skill-sets has grown manifold.

Full-stack developers are valued for their extreme flexibility of skills, with regard to both front-end and back-end technologies.

That apart, the fact that they possess a vast amount of know-how and deep experience in an array of technologies makes them the right candidates for entrusting the ownership of a project and expecting total accountability for every aspect of the project.

A full-stack developer goes beyond the development of the code and actually goes ahead and provides it with a structure, besides coming up with the user interface designs. Not just that, they actually go ahead and optimize as well as maintain the existing systems.

Add to that their immense problem-solving abilities, on account of their deep knowledge about every development stage and a firm handle on technology to efficiently zero in on any issues and providing and deploying optimal long-term solutions.

With their extensive bouquet of skills cutting across domains, they are able to both hasten and improve project delivery.

Any organization would be happy to hire full-stack developers for their innate ability to resolve problems pertaining to various aspects of web and app development. Full-stack developers are hot property all right and they are likely to stay that way in the time ahead.

 

 

   [1] https://www.w3schools.com/whatis/whatis_fullstack.asp

[2] https://www.guru99.com/full-stack-developer.html

[3] https://netbeans.org/kb/docs/web/mysql-webapp.html

[4] https://medium.com/datadriveninvestor/most-popular-technology-stack-to-choose-from-full-stack-vs-mean-stack-vs-mern-stack-in-2019-d12c0a17439a

[5] https://www.webdatarocks.com/blog/which-tech-stack-to-choose-for-your-project-in-2020/#:~:text=Undoubtedly%2C%20the%20MEAN%20stack%20is,are%20free%20and%20open%2Dsource.

[6] http://agiliztech.com/2019/09/17/how-important-is-it-to-hire-a-full-stack-developer-5-best-reasons/

 

 

 

 

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