What is a Full Stack Developer?

 

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.

 

Photo: Casper Camille Rubin/Unsplash

 

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/

 

 

 

 

Is it the Best Time to Phase Out Fossil-Fuel-Powered Vehicles ?

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Electric Charging Stations

Fossil fuel-run vehicles are smothering the life out of the planet and its inhabitants. Nobody even debates or questions the fact(except for conspiracy theorists and nutty climate skeptics).

In cities of northern India, the pollution is so bad in the winter months that one routinely sees AQI measurements breach even the 700 numerical value, even when 50 is the upper limit of what constitutes clean breathing air.

The air in the Western countries might be more breathable, but they are the progenitors of this whole culture of using fossil fuel consuming personal automobiles.

Besides, their contribution towards vitiating the environment across planet Earth by their mindless pursuit of ever-increasing growth has been extraordinarily large.

Clearly, things have reached a point of no return and the world cannot continue to use fossil fuel to fuel its own growth. It needs to make a clean break from the way it has fulfilled its energy needs.

Vehicles may not be the only source of environmental pollution, but most definitely are a major source of it-especially in urban areas.

The phasing out of fossil fuel-based vehicles is most certainly one of the major steps that the world has to take towards a gradual replacement of all fossil fuel-powered activity on planet Earth.

As a matter of fact, over 14 countries and 20 cities worldwide have committed themselves to stop the selling of passenger vehicles that run on fossil fuels.

Significantly, these include major economies like the U.K., China, Germany, France, Japan and India. All of these nations plan to replace fossil fuel-powered passenger vehicles that run on non-polluting sources of power in the next ten to thirty years.

Can Electric Vehicles Be The Savior?

Though it is highly fashionable both amongst some climate change activists and increasingly Tesla fans among the rich and the famous to tout electric vehicles as the definitive solution for our environmental pollution woes, things are not as straight forwards as they seem.

As long as the electricity that is needed to charge the batteries of electric vehicles comes from coal-run power plants, making the move to electric vehicles is going to be a non-starter. What makes things just as bad is the fact that the electric power consumed by electric automobile plants may again be coming from coal-powered electricity plants.

With major economic powerhouses like China and Japan sourcing most of their electricity from such power plants, one clearly has a problem on one’s hands with regard to adopting electric vehicles on a massive scale.

India, which is the fifth-biggest economy in the world and the third-largest energy consumer in the world too sources a significant 58% of its electric power from coal-burning power plants.

Sources of Global Electric Power

Globally too coal accounts for 36.7% of the global electricity mix, which is by far the biggest single source of electric power. So clearly a very significant part of the total electricity produced in the world is sourced from coal-based power plants.

Therefore any large-scale move to electricity powered passenger vehicles will have to factor this in.

The Path Ahead for Electric Vehicles

The departure of President Trump from office has breathed a new life into the very sane move away from the use of fossil fuels to meet one’s energy needs.

With President Joe Biden’s resolve to return to a position that is more amenable to reversing the impact of global warming by rejoining the Paris climate accord, the chances for finding success on that path have dramatically risen. Critical to the success of that policy is the electrification of road transport, accounting for about 70% of the US’s total oil consumption in 2019.

The electrification of transportation is going to define the 21st century and this is reflected in the performance of major players in the segment like the electric car maker Tesla whose stock value recently exceeded that of Facebook. Electric Vehicles presently comprise 10% of the global passenger market, which figure is expected to hit a healthy 40% by 2040.

The fact that electric vehicles and cars powered by the traditional internal combusting engine will bear the same price tag by the mid-2020s, will have a lot to do with this growth in the adoption of the former.

Photo by Austin Ramsay on Unsplash

Tesla-Classy Electric Ride of the Well-Heeled

Photo by Austin Ramsay on Unsplash

The U.S. in particular is expected to see a year on year, over 70% increase in the sales of electric vehicles in 2021, when compared with 2020. That roughly corresponds to a 50% increase in the sales of electric vehicles, which is the same as the global increase in that category of vehicles in the same year.

The expected corresponding increase in the sale of conventional internal combustion engine vehicles is going to be only 2 to 5%. Even though as a percentage of the total number of electric vehicles sold the sales of the electric vehicles are currently small, the trends show a healthy rate of adoption of electric vehicles as each year passes by.

This is particularly true of China and Europe, which are together expected to account for 72% of all-electric cars sold in 2030.

The U.S. would have a total of 18.7 million electric vehicles on its roads by 2030 up from the over one million such vehicles at the end of 2018.

All in all the road to a total global move to electric vehicles is a long-winded one, but the heartening fact is that the auto companies around the world are stepping up to the plate by investing massively in the technologies that will power this revolution, even though they would likely not see any returns on the large amounts of money spent for quite some time.

Conclusion

Even though we are not likely to see traditional internal combustion engine-powered vehicles go out of production in the near future, the fact of the matter is that the process is inexorably rolling forward in that direction.

This is something that is known to those who are going to be enormously impacted by this change- the oil and the auto industry and they are preparing for it.

Consumers now need to do their bit to hasten the move to phase out fossil fuel-powered vehicles, sooner, rather than later.

 

Where Are Electric Vehicles Headed?

 

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2019 was the year that the sale of battery-electric as well as plug-in-battery cars first crossed the two million mark according to a report by Deloitte. This very significant milestone of the automotive industry  lost its sheen, however on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 
Falling Electric Vehicle Prices to Be on Par With Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles in 2024

Among the important trends that are likely to emerge with regard to the demand for electrical vehicles are their falling prices in keeping with an accompanying drop in battery prices. This is borne out by the fact that the average price of an EV battery pack fell from $1,160 per kWh in 2010 to $176 per kWh in 2018. Going ahead this could fall to about $94 per kWh in 2024 and $62 per kWh by 2030 according to BloombergNEF. Furthermore they estimate that there will be price parity between electric vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles as early as 2024.

 

 

Electrification of Vehicles to Extend to Heavy Vehicles 

Right up to 2019 most of the electric vehicles moving on the roads of the world comprised cars and two wheelers. A year earlier the total number of electric cars in the world stood at more than 5 million, while the number of two wheelers was 260 million. In comparison there were only 460,000 electric buses and 250,000 light commercial vehicles worldwide. These numbers are expected to increase substantially going forward, thanks to cheaper and more efficient batteries as well as the more stringent emission norms being put in place worldwide. BloombergNEF further estimates that electric busses will comprise just a little less than 70% of the total number of busses in the world by 2040.
Zero Emission PolicyCountries around the world are pushing for a transition to electric vehicles by moving away from cash purchase incentives to mandatory zero emission mandates or other regulations covering fuel efficiency, pollution and GHG (Greenhouse Gas Emissions).

Better Access to Public Charging

Increased access to efficient public charging is going to drive the move to electric vehicles to a very large extent. Things like super fast chargers, wireless charging, as well as battery swapping are going to cause a paradigm shift in the way the whole battery charging business is viewed. They will increasingly be viewed no more inconvenient than the time it takes to fuel up an internal combustion engine vehicle.