How to Become a Full Stack Developer – Career of the Future

As the IT market grows and becomes more complex, the number of specialists expands as well. A decade ago, there were only two types of web specialists: those who worked on design and code. But with time, as the market evolved, we started noticing new and new occupations, such as front-end, back-end, and even full stack development. If you are only new to the industry, let us define what the difference between these three directions is:

  • Front-end. Development of the visible parts of an application, product, or website
  • Back-end. Development of the infrastructure and databases
  • Full stack. Development of both parts. You can often hear such terms as a mobile stack or web stack, meaning a turn-key solution created by a single specialist

Nowadays, full-stack specialists are in high demand as companies want to reduce costs and make the performance more efficient. That is why we have created a comprehensive article and are going to tell you everything about full-stack specialists, their difference from other IT experts, as well as the skills needed to succeed. As a bonus, you’ll find out how much full-stack developers earn.

What is a full stack developer?

Let us start the post by answering your main question: what is full stack expert? It is a specialist who is skilled both in front- and back-end development. A person who can work both on the databases and visual parts of the site (layout, buttons, etc.). A full stack web developer knows the peculiarities of coding languages, frameworks, servers, hosting, and other environments. To master all these subjects, developers might need years and years of studies and work in different positions. As a rule, full-stack specialists are also good in business logic and marketing, which means that they can give customers valuable advice on launching and maintaining the product.

Full stack developer vs T-Shaped Developer

A full stack engineer is a great asset for a company because they have a deep knowledge of numerous areas, platforms, and systems. They specialize in at least several fields and can be a real glue that engages the company. Quite often, such an expert is called a t-shaped developer. The title derives from the list of specializations. While an I-shaped programmer masters only one field, a T-shaped one has an understanding of related topics but remains an expert in a single one.

Here are the advantages that a full-stack or T-shaped expert can offer:

  • They are more rounded
  • Can help colleagues
  • Understand other coders
  • Are open-minded and easily adjustable

Should I start a full stack development career?

The list of new full stack developer jobs is impressive, and the salaries are rather high. It’s not surprising why so many people want to join the industry, but considering the requirements and workload, the sphere might not be suitable for everyone.

If you want to work for a big tech company like Google, becoming a full-stack engineer is a good idea. However, if you are more interested in design or don’t have much time to master the specialty in detail, it is better to start with front- or back-end and gradually gain new skills. One of the drawbacks is that you might feel stressed or even paralyzed by the volumes of information that you should master. Don’t be! Learn one topic at a time, and you will surely succeed.

Full stack developer vs Back-End developer

You have surely seen the back end developer salary and know that it is rather attractive. That is why you might wonder whether there is a point in becoming a full-stack specialist if back-end development pays well enough. Let us start with explain who a back end developer is by enumerating their main responsibilities:

  • Creation and recollection of data
  • Python/PHP/Ruby coding
  • Creation of business logic
  • SQL for database management

Databases make up the biggest field of work for a back-end developer. There are two main types: relational and non-relational, each of which is based on goals and convenience. A back-end specialist should also master server management. These are apps that host the chosen database and serve the website. Modern engineers also use cloud-based technologies to support the infrastructure—for example, Amazon Web Services.

A full stack software engineer knows all the above but, in addition, works on the visual aspects of the website. That is why the main difference is the set of skills and responsibilities they have.

Full stack developer vs Front-End developer

Front-end is a part of the full stack web development, so it is a bit incorrect to compare them. To give you more information, let us discuss what front-end specialists do. First of all, they are responsible for how the website looks: its color scheme, layout, and operation both on desktop and mobile. A good front-end developer has outstanding knowledge of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. Using these languages and approaches, they can make the website attractive and convenient to use. Even though front end developer salary is a bit lower, these experts should master huge volumes of information.

Just imagine: everything that people see on a website, including images and buttons, is created by front-end developers. Their main goal is to create a platform that is easy to interact with. A website that is appealing, simple, and convenient. Thus, these specialists should also have a deep knowledge of web design and Illustrator/Photoshop, as well as possess a good sense of style.

Another skill that engages a front-end and a full-stack developer is UI/UX design which allows finding the best ways of gathering and showing data. Front-end engineers with such knowledge are usually more valuable because they understand what users are searching for and know how to give it to them. However, the latest tendencies show that more and more companies decide to hire UX/UI designers to let front-end developers concentrate on the main tasks.

Where to search for front end developer jobs

If you want to become a front end web developer or a full stack developer, you should know where to search for the offers. Fortunately, there are lots of opportunities because most of the vacancies are published on the Internet. Here are the main sources to use:

  • Job boards where you can filter the results by experience, location, and salary
  • Social media platforms and professional groups
  • LinkedIn
  • Websites of the companies you are interested in

Full stack developer vs full stack engineer

If you are new to the IT world, you might be confused by the usage of both developers and engineers. However, as a rule, they have the same meaning and are applied to specialists with a comprehensive set of skills. The only slight difference is that engineers might additionally have experience in project management and system administrators. For example:

  • Configuring networks
  • Managing infrastructure
  • Maintaining systems

Main reasons to be a full-stack web developer

In the paragraphs above we have already discussed the advantages of full stack development. They are rather significant and can make you a universal specialist that will always be in demand. Now, let us once again highlight the main reasons of choosing a career as a full stack developer:

  • They are highly valued in a team
  • Can work in numerous fields and positions
  • Understand how the product works from A to Z
  • Can participate in decision making on the highest level

Full stack developer salary

Now let us tell you about the average full-stack specialist salary. We are sure you will be rather impressed! According to Indeed, the average salary is $108,045 per year, which is almost $30,000 higher than web engineers in general. And that is only the average salary! The same website indicates that you can earn $130,000+ annually with more than 5 years of experience.

Full-stack Web Developer: how to master the profession

Becoming a full stack web developer is not an easy task. It consists of numerous stages and involves regular improvement of skills and knowledge. However, if you want to start a career in this field, be sure that everything is possible if you have enough motivation and persistence. Here is a list of proficiencies that you should have:

  • JavaScript, CSS, HTML
  • At least two third-party libraries. For example, Angular
  • Python, PHP, or Ruby
  • Mastership of databases
  • Knowledge of security practices
  • Web design

To become a full stack developer, you need to be patient because obtaining the skills and knowledge enumerate above takes months or even years. You’ll need to learn front- and back-end languages, as well as peculiarities of design and databases. Another important remark: you can’t become a full-stack dev because the process of learning is never-ending.

Fortunately, there are lots of resources on the Internet, and many of them are absolutely free from any charges. If you are limited in funds, start with Youtube videos, online courses, and tutorials that will help to understand what you should begin with. Pick languages, libraries, and frameworks that you want to study at first. Our article can give you some valuable hints!

Becoming a full-stack specialist can open numerous doors and opportunities: you can work on the development of all stages of the process without a need for reviews and assistance. You become a universal soldier that is capable of anything!

Published by Dana Adams
Content Marketing Manager