What Makes a Full Stack Web Developer?

Thanks to our ever-rising reliance on the internet and the need for more applications, full-stack web developers are in super high demand. For instance, full-stack developers are among the top 15 emerging jobs in the United States in 2020. It’s the same picture all over the world—businesses of all kinds and sizes, from hopeful startups to major corporations, need full-stack, web developers.

Let’s take a closer look at what they are, why they’re necessary, what they do, and what makes a good one.

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What is a Full Stack Web Developer?

Full-stack web developers are web engineers or web developers who deal with the front-end and back-end (and everything in-between) of an application or website. They can work with any stack—mobile, web, or native applications.

Front-end developers work with the visible parts of an application or website, including the features users interact with. 

Back-end developers deal with the behind the scenes aspects, the “nuts and bolts,” such as databases and infrastructure. 

In addition to the front- and back-ends, applications also have a database layer. This layer is the application’s core and contains all the processes in database management systems, including data administration, creation, deletion, and extraction. Full-stack web developers are trained to handle any stage of the development, from start to finish. 

Why Do Companies Want a Full Stack Web Developer on Staff?

Businesses that hire a full stack web developer (or train an in-house candidate) get a professional familiar with every stage of the application development process. This expansive knowledge makes this person an ideal whatever for whatever tasks are needed. 

Full-stack web developers are a cost-effective alternative to hiring specialized developers. Full-stack professionals have a better understanding of the big picture, making them better project managers and communicators. 

Smaller companies that may not have the resources, funds, or available space to hire multiple developers can circumvent this limitation by hiring a full stack web developer. Even if a full stack web developer’s salary is more than a front-end or back-end developer, it’s still cheaper, in the long run, to hire only one employee to fill a need instead of several. After all, it means only having to give perks and benefits to one professional instead of several.

What Kinds of Responsibilities Does a Full Stack Web Developer Have?

The jack-of-all-trades approach in this role means they have a wide range of responsibilities to tackle. They can handle projects that involve databases, build user-facing websites, or even work with clients during the planning phase of projects. 

Here’s a partial list of roles and responsibilities that they fulfill:

  • Write both front-end and back-end code
  • Design user interfaces on web pages
  • Generate a workable product on their own, with little or no help from others
  • Create databases and servers for functionality
  • Ensure cross-platform optimization (e.g., laptops, tablets, smartphones)
  • Have a high-level understanding of the organization’s systems and processes
  • Detect errors in the front or back ends
  • Maintain good communication with UX designers and other team members regarding matters such as user-experience issues and design rationale
  • Oversee a development project from start to finish 

Every organization has its unique needs and expectations. Some may not require all the above roles; others may have other responsibilities not listed. 

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What Does a Good Full Stack Web Developer Skill Set Consist Of?

Since businesses expect so much from these professionals, it’s unsurprising that a valued one needs a robust and diverse set of skills. The following is a good selection of the necessary skills and other suggested requirements. Although not every business or organization may expect the developer to have the entire list below, conventional wisdom says these are the most valuable skills for a capable person in this role:

  • A degree in computer science or related major
  • Detail-oriented
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Proven verbal communication skills
  • Proficiency in front end languages such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript
  • Familiarity with JavaScript frameworks like Amber, Angular JS, and React
  • Knowledge of server-side languages like Java, .Net, PHP, Python, and Ruby
  • Experience with database technology such as MongoDB, MySQL, and Oracle
  • Understanding of different APIs, database management systems, libraries, and web services
  • Good project management and organizational skills
  • Understanding of DevOps
  • Proficiency with tools relating to continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD)

If you’d like to take a more detailed look at full-stack web developer skills, check out this article.

The Three Stack-Building Standards

The software and application development world recognizes three prominent stack-building standards. A qualified full stack web developer is intimately familiar with any one of them. A great stack developer understands at least two, and the ultimate developer knows all of them.

LAMP

LAMP is an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python, and consists of all open-source elements. It’s ideal for dynamic websites and applications.

  • Front-end framework: JavaScript
  • Programming and Development: PHP
  • Web Server: Apache
  • Database: MySQL
  • Operating System: Linux

MEAN

MEAN is short for MongoDB, Express, AngularJS, and Node.js. The components are all JavaScript-based, which gives this standard the advantage of having all the stack layers use the same programming language.

  • Front-end framework: JavaScript and AngularJS
  • Back-end web framework: Express
  • Web server: Node.js
  • Database: MongoDB

MERN

MERN is like MEAN, except that React replaces Angular.js, so the acronym stands for MongoDB, Express.js, React, and Node.js. 

  • Front-end framework: React
  • Back-end web framework: Express
  • Web server: Node.js
  • Database: MongoDB

Making a Career as a Full Stack Web Developer a Reality

In summary, a person who can fulfill this role is fully equipped to handle every stage of application or web page creation and assumes additional roles such as mentor, project leader, trouble-shooter, or liaison to upper management. This range of challenges and responsibilities makes for an exciting and rewarding career.

If you’re part of an organization or business looking to train your staff in DevOps or other IT disciplines, consider Simplilearn’s corporate training options. Why spend time, energy, and resources looking for outsiders to fill your IT needs when you can just train your established in-house staff to do those tasks? 

However, if you want to work towards becoming a full stack web developer independently, check out Simplilearn’s Full Stack Web Developer Master’s program. The program familiarizes you with front-end, middleware, and back-end Java web developer technologies. You’ll learn how to build a complete application from end-to-end, test and deploy code, store data with MongoDB, and more. 

Since full-stack web developers are highly versatile IT professionals with an impressive collection of skills and knowledge, the compensation is appropriately generous. According to Payscale, a full stack developer in India can earn an average salary of ₹589,578. Indeed.com reports that in the United States, they make an average annual base salary of USD 112,822. 

So whether you’re looking to strengthen your organization’s IT staff or looking for a new career direction, visit Simplilearn and get started on the way to a better future.

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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