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What Does a Full Stack Developer Do?

05th Sep, 2023
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    What Does a Full Stack Developer Do?

    Whether you are only a beginner in tech or not, you must have come across the word ‘Full-stack development’ before. Full-stack development encompasses everything in the world of software development. Sometimes you think someone might just be skilled at front-end or back-end, but it just so happens that they are skilled at even more. Design, front-end, back-end, databases, etc. 

    The purpose of this article is to introduce you to who a full stack developer is, and what the job involves. We will be going through what it means to become a full stack developer, what a full stack developer should know, and the different languages that full stack developers commonly use. If you want to pursue full stack development as a career, then I definitely suggest that you go through this article. 

    What Is a Full Stack Developer?

    They can handle frontend, but then again they are also skilled at designing and handling backend and software structure. 

    So, what does it mean to be a full stack developer?

    A full-stack developer is someone who is experienced at handling entire software applications, from the system requirements to the design, right down to deployment. Software development involves the implementation of multiple layers of tech stacks, and a full stack developer understands and can implement these stacks. 

    Full Stack Developer

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    What Does a Full Stack Developer Do? 

    Being a full-stack developer is a rather big responsibility. While they are usually being associated with a jack of all trades, don’t get confused. A full-stack developer is only proficient if he selects at least a specialty from each domain and works on that. Forcing yourself to know every frontend technology will not only overwhelm you, but the amount of time you spend learning might also just discourage you instead. 

    In this section, we answer the question ‘what can a full stack developer do?’ These are day to day activities that are involved such a high demanding career.  

    • Understanding the Client 

    The customer is always right is something we hear countless times. Before anything else, the developer has to listen to the customer and get his viewpoint of the product he wants to have delivered. Though this task is not generally assigned to a full stack developer, it is just one of the many things they do. They collect the customer and system requirements and make sure that the final product is built based on that.  

    • Data Modeling

    This involves drawing a basis for the application. Establishing the best strategies and what will be needed during implementation. This could involve knowing how to build databases that can store information, create tables, and corresponding relations between them.   

    • Create Better User Experiences

    Knowing how the user thinks when going through an interface is important. Creating better user experiences involves minimizing user actions as much as impossible, providing helpful/guiding messages, and more.   

    • Integrating Frontend And Backend Together

    Besides knowing how to handle both frontend and backend, a full stack developer should be able to integrate these two. The backend should be able to collect, store, and respond to data from the frontend, and vice versa.  

    • Testing and Debugging

    This is probably the most important step of a development process. A full-stack developer is usually tasked with checking the design algorithm, checking for correctness, going through for possible bugs, and giving code reviews.  

    • Developing APIs and RESTful Services

    In the course of development, data is sometimes needed from multiple sources. This involves writing computer programs to request data and/or services from the operating system and other applications.

    How Do Full Stack Developers Stay Up to Date? 

    Technology is constantly evolving as we all know. The world of technology in itself is about constant learning. It is both crucial and important for full-stack developers to update their skills, so as to deliver up-to-date products as well. 

    1. Curiosity 

    When a new technology is released, people rush online to write about it. Full-stack developers put in the time to go through the recent blogs and social posts to see what is trending. Whether it's a software update or a new release of a programming language, they are always curious enough to catch the news before long. 

    2. Attending local and virtual events 

    This is not only essential to growth, it is a very helpful learning method. By talking with like-minded folks, developers get to discover what is hot in the tech market and possibly make friends with some pretty cool people. Don't be afraid to get out of your shell if you manage to get opportunities like this. 

    3. Learning 

    If a framework gets updated for example, then a developer would need to know how to adjust to any changes that come with the newest release. It's not the entire framework that is updated, only small parts of it. Going through Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is the best way to catch up to the latest advancements, as anyone is free to enroll. 

    Speaking of learning, we offer multiple web design and development courses. Beginner-friendly courses that take you through UI/UX design, frontend, backend, all the way to full-stack. 

    4. Social Media life

    It's not mandatory to be active on social media. Following tech influencers and organizations on social media platforms is also another way for full-stack developers to stay updated. Some of these tech influencers hang out on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, and Stack Overflow. They write blogs and even share posts from bigger tech organizations concerning trending stuff. 

    5. Building projects  

    As you build, you learn. While working on projects, the developer would likely find something they had no idea about. One activity of a full-stack developer is to test and debug. Some bugs give more headaches than others, and while trying to find solutions, the developers unearth new information and even discover new ways of implementing these solutions. 

    6. Networking membership  

    By joining small tech networks on technologies that they use, full-stack developers can get the latest information about those technologies. Say you were part of a small group of PHP developers. It's only obvious that if a new version of PHP was released, you would quickly catch on to the news.

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    What Do Full-Stack Developers Need to Know?

    Becoming a full-stack developer takes years of experience. It's all about accumulating a set of skills based on a good roadmap.  

    While there are many answers to what languages should a full stack developer know, HTML, CSS and JavaScript are the core. The other languages are based on the developer and the current technology in demand. 

    Below are a few back-end and front-end skills that a full stack needs to know, to be able to scale full applications and drive them from the design phase to deployment.

    • Gathering System requirements

    Communication is key at this stage. A full-stack developer should know how to communicate with the client, take note of system requirements, and work towards delivering the best product based on those requirements.   

    • HTML/CSS

    This is the very basic step of your full-stack journey. Knowing the basic structure of a web page and basic markup language. HTML defines the foundation of every web page. It is considered the building block for web development. 

    After HTML, a full stack developer should be proficient in CSS as well. A simple standing block is not enough to draw customers' attention. The block needs style, and CSS is what adds that factor. A good full-stack developer should start with these two, and then they'll be ready to scale up to even more complex ones. 

    • Javascript

    This would probably be the most important language in a full-stack developer's tech journey. This is a scripting language that adds functionality to HTML pages, thereby creating way more responsiveness than just CSS alone.

    Beyond javascript are the various frameworks and libraries that come with it. React, Vue, Svelte, just to name a few. The purpose of these frameworks is to write javascript faster, and more efficiently. As mentioned above, developers need to keep up to date with new releases of these frameworks. 

    • Git and Github

    Git is an open-source version control system that enables teams to manage small and large-scale projects together. With git, teams can track changes made to projects, provide feedback, build different parts of an application, and then merge their contributions. 

    A full-stack developer should be skilled at using basic git commands to track changes in the code base, review and merge pull requests from team members. Git enables full-stack developers to collaborate with people who are working on the same project. 

    • Basic design skills 

    Before detailed functionalities of an application, users come in contact with the application interface first. Frontend knowledge is not enough in this aspect, because you could be a good frontend developer, but you just lack the eye for good design.  

    A full-stack developer should understand the basic principles of UX, human psychology and color schemes, and UI design to top it all off. This skill is very essential, as it eases the coding phase. 

    • Backend languages

    We've gone through the necessities of front-end development. For an application to fully work, it must be connected to some backend. A full-stack developer must know at least one of the following backend languages. 

    • Python 
    • Ruby 
    • Java 
    • PHP 

    In order to increase speed, and somehow reduce the workload, frameworks such as Laravel, Spring Boot, Ruby on Rails, Django and Flask are also widely used. 

    • Web architecture

    This is the conceptual structure of the world wide web. A full-stack developer must first comprehend how the web functions before they can start building on it. This involves learning about how information gets to move around, and how to organize files to ensure that they are not only secure but accessible by everybody.  

    • Familiarity with Database Technology such as MySQL, Oracle, and MongoDB   

    One of the most important skills for a full-stack developer is familiarity with database technology. This is because databases often store information critical to your application's functionality. For example, if you're writing an app that allows people to book flights or hotels, then you'll need to be able to store their flight details in a database so they can easily search for and retrieve them later on. 

    A good full-stack developer, equipped with knowledge gained from the best full-stack developer courses, will know what databases are available (such as MySQL, Oracle) and how each one works (for example, Oracle is suited for large-scale enterprise applications). They should also understand how to use each database platform to make informed decisions about how best to implement them in their projects. 

    • Development and Operations (DevOps)

    Applications don't just appear out of thin air. It takes time, and a process to build. This is where DevOps comes in. DevOps is a chronological process meant to improve work throughout the software development lifecycle. Different DevOps tools that can be employed here are Jenkins, Docker, Phantom, Kubernetes, Github and Slack.  

    Development & Operations

    Developers follow various types of software development life cycles to deliver final products. The DevOps process can be described as a loop comprising of;  plan, code, build, test, release, deploy, operate, monitor, and then back to planning again after receiving feedback.  

    • Soft skills

    Technical skills aside, it would be difficult for you to work in a team if you do not have certain behavioral attributes. These are known as soft skills, and a full-stack developer should be able to harness these skills to ensure maximum productivity. A few soft skills that could come in handy are; 

    a. Excellent Verbal Communication Skills

    As a full-stack developer, you'll be working with many different people. You may work closely with your team members, but you'll also need to communicate with clients, stakeholders, and other team members who aren't on your immediate team. Your ability to communicate clearly and effectively is critical to your success in this role. This means that you should be able to write clearly and succinctly and speak effectively in person or over the phone.  

    b. Problem-solving skills

    The last full-stack developer prerequisite is that you must be able to identify and solve problems, whether those problems are related to code or something else entirely. You'll need to understand basic programming concepts like variables and functions, but good problem-solving skills will allow you to understand how these concepts can be applied in new situations. 

    If you have good problem-solving skills, you'll be able to identify where your code is not working correctly and fix it before your users notice any issues. You'll also understand how different parts of your application interact with each other—this means that when a customer reports a bug in their experience on your website, you know exactly where they are getting stuck and how they can get unstuck again without having them contact support directly. 

    c. Curiosity for learning 

    d. Patience 

    e. Good time management skills 

    f. Team spirit 

    What is Full-stack Development Eligibility?  

    Bachelor's degree in computer science, Information Systems, or a Related Field 

    A bachelor's degree is not a strict full-stack developer education requirement, but 72% of software developers possess it. The job requires a broad knowledge base, and most employers require that you have completed at least one year of college before you apply for the position. 

    While some companies may hire candidates with only an associate's degree, it is important to note that these positions are typically entry-level. Most full-stack developers have a bachelor's degree in computer science or information systems. 

    Reasons Why You Should be a Full-stack Developer 

    If you want to be in demand, being a full-stack developer is the way 

    It's no wonder why this role has become so popular: there's no shortage of opportunities for full-stack developers. From startups to large companies, there's always someone looking for someone who can satisfy all the full-stack development requirements. There's never been a better time than now to be a full-stack developer! Here's why? 

    1. Full-stack Development is All About Versatility 

    The full-stack software developer requirements state that you can do it all—you don't need any specialists because you're the one who takes care of everything! If a project needs a UI update, you can handle it. If there's an issue with the database, you know how to fix that too. You're not just limited to your specialties. You're also experienced in all of them. 

    Being full-stack makes learning new languages and technologies easier since you already have an existing foundation. The more languages and frameworks you know how to use well, the more valuable you'll be as an employee or contractor. 

    2. One of the Highest-paying Jobs 

    One of the highest-paid jobs in the world is that of a full-stack developer. The average salary for a full-stack developer is INR 5.5 LPA per year. This is nearly twice as much as the average salary for a software engineer, which comes in at INR 3.4 LPA. 

    This high salary is because full-stack developers can work with any aspect of software development, from back-end programming to front-end design. They can create and maintain both websites and applications. They also have experience with server administration and infrastructure, which allows them to manage everything from data storage to user authentication. 

    3. Faster Delivery of Projects 

    There's a lot of truth in the saying, "the more you do, the more you can do." When working as a full-stack developer, you have a more complete picture of your project than if you were just focused on one small part. If something goes wrong in one area of your code, it can affect everything else.  

    4. Greater responsibility Comes with Greater Productivity 

    As a full-stack developer, you're responsible for more than just the front end of your application. You're also responsible for its back end (the database), APIs, and the protocols that connect it to other systems. This means that you have to be able to juggle multiple tasks at once—and that's where your speed and efficiency come in! 

    You'll have to work on everything from user accounts to payment processing systems, which means fewer people can help you debug or troubleshoot issues. Know how to code! Check out KnowledgeHut best Full-stack Developer bootcamp with placement now! 

    Stacking for Development

    Full-stack developers are highly skilled personnel, who have experience in all areas touching web and software development. Combining their knowledge on frontend and backend is what differentiates them from frontend and backend developers.  

    So, what does it take to become a full stack developer? 

    It takes grit, and consistency. Working hard, fighting to meet deadlines, and enormous amounts of coffee. Most of all, it takes patience and time. 

    Though the path to full-stack development is lengthy, with time and consistency, it is possible to become a full-stack developer. To prepare yourself, you might want to do the following; 

    • Find internship placements to further strengthen your skills. Working in an industry setting is the perfect advantage for you if becoming a full-stack developer is your goal. You get to learn the best practices from experts while leveraging your hard skills. 
    • Continue learning. This is the best way to grow your skills. There are free resources on the internet that could help you strengthen your skills and online courses that have full-stack development tracks.  

    You can take a step, by joining Knowledgehut’s full-stack developer course with placement. An online BootCamp that takes you from zero to hero. Build that portfolio, and get hired in 3-6 months. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What Does a Full Stack Developer Do?

    A full-stack developer is required to handle customer requirements, build the foundation for the code base, design user interactions, and build servers and databases for software.  

    2What skills does a full-stack developer need?

    A full-stack developer should have skills related to front-end technologies, basic designing skills, working with servers, backend, and APIs, and version control to be able to handle teamwork.

    3Is full-stack development a good career?

    Full-stack development is a very promising career in terms of demand in the job market and salary. Full-stack developers are of great importance to the market these days, especially in leading startups. 


    Njong Emy

    Blog Author

    Njong is a frontend web developer, constantly building her skills and aspiring to get better. Her hobbies include reading fiction, watching movies, and perusing Google, Stack Overflow, and Quora for even the tiniest tech-related queries. She also enjoys referring to herself in the third person, as that is definitely not weird at all.

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