Who the hack is a Full Stack developer?
Sachin Meena
Sachin Meena
Jun 23, 2021

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Full-Stack Web Development, according to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, is the most popular developer occupation today. It’s no wonder then that there are dozens of online and in-person programs that will help people become Full-Stack Developers and then even assist these new developers to land high-paying programming jobs.

There are some popular online programs and aside from these online programs, there are also in-person coding boot camps that are teaching people the skills required to become web developers.

But, the question that is arising in most of your mind now is that “Who the hack is a Full Stack developer?”

So, If we look through some theoretical aspects, we’ll learn the most widespread meaning of “the full stack developer”. It is a specialist who prefers working equally good in back-end and front-end.

Where Front-end generally refers to the portion of an application the user will see or interact with, and the Back-end is the part of the application that handles the logic, database interactions, user authentication, server configuration, etc.

Note: Being a Full-Stack Developer doesn’t mean that you have necessarily mastered everything required to work with the front-end or back-end, but it means that you are able to work on both sides and understand what is going on when building an application.

The demand for Full-Stack Developer

Before we start, let’s have a look at all the roles which exist in the software world from a very long period (and some of them are new ones) like:

System Analyst, Software Developer, Software Engineer, Database Analyst/ Admin, Data Analyst/ Scientist, Big Data Developer, Game developer, Network Security Professional, Operations Engineer, Front-end Developer, Web Developer, Full Stack Developer, Back-end Developer, DevOps Engineer, and others.

Out of these many specializations, only a few are very hot right now in this time. What is the reason? It is due to the saturation of certain technologies and discovery of new businesses in form of startups. The explosion of startups and micro-businesses caused a wide set of skills to be needed as a benchmark. In those, full stack web development is one.

But, How Full Stack Developer stands out in the group?

Well, as said earlier, “The term full-stack means developers who are comfortable working with both back-end and front-end technologies”.

Technically speaking it is not a standard set by the industry. It is an evolutionary facet of skills. A full stack developer always tries to learn open source technologies to apply them in his/her job. The demand for full-stack developers is related to the fact that the presence of one person with several skills, rather than several people with certain skills, is of real value for many organizations. In addition, there is a big time saving if you use a developer that can switch between levels and understand the whole process. This, in turn, means that full-stack developers work better in the team, because they know and understand the tools that other team members use, and this makes the team more flexible.

Pathway for this

What skills should a full-stack developer have to have?

To become a full-stack developer, one should understand a number of tools, languages, and systems such as:

Front-End Technologies:

1. HTML/CSS -Almost every single program, whether online or in-person, that is teaching you how to be a web developer will start with HTML and CSS because they are the building blocks of the web.

2. JavaScript — The JavaScript language is growing more popular every year and new libraries, frameworks, and tools are constantly being released. Based on the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, JavaScript is the most popular language in both Full-Stack, Front-end, and Back-end Development. It’s the only language that runs natively in the browser and can double up as a server-side language as well.

Back-End Technologies:

Once you feel you’ve gotten a good grasp on HTML/CSS and JavaScript, you’ll want to move on to a back-end language that will handle things like database operations, user authentication, and application logic.

1. Node.js: This is a great option because Node.js is itself just a JavaScript environment which means you don’t need to learn a new language. The most popular framework you’d most likely learn to aid you in developing web applications is Express.

2. Ruby: Some popular frameworks for developing in Ruby are Rails and Sinatra. Plenty of programs teach Ruby as a first back-end language.

3. Python: Some popular frameworks for developing in Python are Django and Flask.

4. Java: The Java language isn’t taught so much these days when it comes to Full-Stack Web Development, but some companies do use Java as their back-end and it is still a very in-demand language.

5. PHP: PHP is still very in-demand as it’s one of the popular languages from back in times and it is a cornerstone of the web today.

Databases & Web Storage:

When learning to build web applications, at some point you’ll probably want to store data somewhere and then access it later. And one should have a good grasp on the following topics related to databases and storage.

  1. Understand the benefits of relational data, e.g. SQL.

  2. Know how to connect a database with your chosen back-end language.

  3. Understand the benefits of in-memory data stores like Redis or memcached.

  4. Web storage to store sessions, cookies, and cached data in the browser.

  5. Scaling databases, ACID, and ORM (all optional)

Some most popular databases are:

Relational Databases — MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle DB

NoSQL Databases — MongoDB, DynamoDB

HTTP & REST (Web Services):

HTTP is a stateless application protocol on the Internet — it’s what allows clients to communicate with servers (e.g. your JavaScript code can make an AJAX request to some back-end code you have running on a server which will happen via HTTP)

Web Application Architecture:

Once you think you have a grasp on HTML/CSS, JavaScript, back-end programming, databases, and HTTP/REST, then comes the tricky part. At this point if you want to create a somewhat complex web application, you’ll need to know how to structure your code, how to separate your files, where to host your large media files, how to structure the data in your database, where to perform certain computational tasks (client-side vs server-side), and much more.

Git:

Git is a version control system that allows developers working on a team to keep track of all the changes being made to a codebase.

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