Our generation is very fortunate to have seen the development of the internet from just a fad to people’s primary income source. Yes, being a full-time YouTuber can actually pay more than some traditional income sources, which has been known to humankind. It is needless to say the technology we are surrounded with is essentially shaping up to our future, and that future is tech-driven.
Now, to suffice this growing need of an online presence and to serve the millions of users who are just making their first click on the internet, something needs to be done. The development of this something (which includes websites, web-based services, web apps, etc.) lies in developers’ hands. Everything that we interact with (electronically) daily is nothing but the thousands of code lines some developers wrote.
Now, traditionally the developers who focus on the web-based services usually either tend to stick with developing the Front-end (client-side) or the back-end (server-side). The main job of a front-end developer is to create and dictate the experience of the end-user. Meanwhile, the back-end developer ensures that the front-end we see is precisely how it works by linking it with the brains (i.e., the server). But, a Full-stack as the name might suggest is someone who is adept at managing both the client-side and the server-side.
What is Full Stack Development?
Full-stack development is the development of both the front-end and back-end of an application. A full stack developer tackles tasks that involve programming, design, databases, and debugging of websites or applications. The common responsibilities include:
- Procuring project requirements
- Creating databases and servers
- Testing the application
- Optimizing the product for various platforms
- Editing and modifying codes
Rising Demand for Full Stack Developers
It has been recognised that a team of skilled, experienced full-stack developers is more effective than a team of specialists who work on different layers of an application.
The following are the reasons for the increased demand for full-stack developers
- Full Stack Developers are Versatile
- Full Stack Developers Reduce Operational Costs
- Start-Ups Prefer Full Stack Developers Over Specialists
Tips to become a Full Stack Developer
1. Learn your tools
A full stack developer needs an array of tools to implement full stack development. Aside from the basic tools such as an Operating System, web browser, text editor, and a terminal, he or she needs to master the front-end tools, back-end tools, package managers, and databases.
Here are some of the important front-end and back-end tools:
- HTML and CSS
- Back-end tools
2. Perfect your Database Management Skills
Developers use databases to store the information pertaining to a website so that it can be accessed later. A full stack developer needs to learn and manipulate the following databases:
3. Learn the basics of design
It is imperative for a full-stack developer to understand the basics of designing prototypes. This minimises their dependency on designers and helps them simplify their tasks. Learning tools like Photoshop, Figma and Sketch will come in handy.
4. Master Web Deployment
Deployment refers to the whole process of packaging and pushing the product to different environments including the live server. A full stack developer cannot afford to have flawed deployment skills, a fault in the deployment can cause severe loss of assets. This is often countered with making multiple environments based on the complexity of the project.
Skills needed to be a full-stack developer
To become a successful full-stack developer, there are a number of skills (both front and back end) you would need. Listed below are some non-negotiable skills expected from any full-stack developer:
1. HyperText Markup Language/ Cascade Style Sheet (HTML/CSS)
These two languages are essentially the bread and butter for any front-end developer. HTML is used to add any content that we want onto the website, and CSS is used to make everything look pretty. The proper use of both HTML and CSS is required to create the website’s entire look and feel and eventually dictate the traffic.
So, a full stack developer who has to be adept in both the front and back end needs to control both of these languages. They must be able to use HTML through which they should be able to dictate the structure of the web page (using the markup language). They also should be able to use CSS to control the look and feel of the HTML elements that they add.
3. Git and GitHub
Git and GitHub is one name that every developer or even the ones aspiring to be a developer have either heard of or used for themselves. Git happens to be an open-source “Distributed Version Control System” that can handle almost every developer’s needs. The prominent feature of using Git or GitHub is because of the promise of speed and efficiency that Git promises independent of the size and the scale of the project. By using Git, any developer can very easily manage and make the changes to any application, script, website, or even text documents.
Git just makes life easier for any team working to build any tech-related solution. So, for a full stack developer, Git can come in handy in many ways. First, it will help you and the team with whom you are working within tracking any changes that are being made and who is the proprietor of the change. Secondly, it enables full-stack developers to explore the possibility, which was obscure to think of in the era before Git. So, knowledge of Git and GitHub, along with all its commands, is essential for a career in a full-stack
4. Backend Languages
Yes, so far, we have only covered the front-end aspect of being a full stack developer. However, as we already know that developing the client’s side is not the only job of any full-stack developer. So, listed below are some of the imperative languages that any full-stack developer must have in their toolkit:
PHP is, by far, one of the most popular choices when it comes to developing the backend for any web-based service. PHP happens to be open-source, has cross-platform compatibility, and can work seamlessly with any operating system. Thus, helping PHP cement its position as one of the most loved languages for backend development.
Python is essentially English. So, in the sea of languages with scary-looking syntax to master python stands out as being by far one of the easiest languages to learn. Due to its syntax, many developers love python, and because of this love that python receives from the community, there are many open-source libraries available. These libraries allow many developers to do very daunting tasks like web automation possible with only a few code lines. The python library of Django and Flask would prove useful for any full stack developer.
Ruby is all in all a powerful language. It has a fantastic community backing it alongside excellent documentation and dependencies. Thus, making Ruby a sought-after language in writing backend code.
Java is essentially like a full stack developer because this language is also a jack of all trades. This language is used in web development, development of android, and desktop apps. Moreover, many frameworks are available in Java, which makes the job of a backend developer easier. This makes Java an essential language to be present in any full-stack developer’s arsenal.
9. Web Architecture
A full-stack developer is supposed to be the master of software development mainly because they know both the front and back-end development. They should be aware of all the various web architectures because they usually would be involved in developing complex software applications from ground zero. They should know what the best practices in writing clean and reusable code are, and they should also be aware of how the files are structured and how the databases store the data because they would be required to perform such tasks on a daily basis.
10. Basic Design Skills
Since any full-stack developer’s job also includes the position of any front-end developer; thus, full-stack developers should also have the knowledge of basic designing. They should know what is appealing and how to make the website appealing. They should also keep a close look at the industry standard and the industry’s path in terms of the design languages of the websites they are tasked to create.
Various career opportunities in full-stack development
Now that we know what basic skills are necessary to become a full-stack developer, let us take a look at what all career opportunities in full-stack you have:
1. Full-Stack Developer
Yes, this is very obvious. You can use the skills you have gained to become the full stack developer. As already mentioned, you would be tasked with working with both the front and the back-end frameworks. Being a full-stack developer is something to be proud of because of the demand in the industry and the skills they possess.
2. Back-End Developer
You can use your knowledge of server-side languages such as Python, Ruby, Java, and PHP to the server-side scripting for the company which employs you. As a server-side developer, you would be responsible for making the brains of any technology that the organization is currently working on. The pay as a backend developer is generally higher than a full stack developer because of the precise job requirements and the level of expertise needed to be a backend developer.
3. Front-End Developer
4. Web Developer
Web developers differentiate themselves with the front-end developer by developing the backend more than a front-end developer. They should be adept in backed languages like Python, Ruby, etc.
5. Web Designer
The web designers are responsible for working extensively with the look and feel of the websites. They share a lot of their workload with the frontend developers.
In conclusion, being a full stack developer comes with a high skill ceiling. They are supposed to be adept at handling everything in the domain of web development. There are a lot of skills that are crucial for a career in a full-stack. However, once you have the necessary skills, you can apply it to become basically anyone you want. Thus, there are a lot of career opportunities in a full-stack. You can use part of your knowledge to serve as either front or backend developer, or you can obviously, by making use of the entire spectrum of your knowledge, can become a full stack developer.