According to the Stack Overflow 2016 Developer Survey, Full Stack Web Developer is the most popular developer occupation today. It’s no wonder then that there are dozens of online and in-person programs. Especially, that will help people become more creative, adept and creative enough as Full Stack Web Developer gurus.
And then even assist these new developers to land high-paying programming jobs. Moreover, as one of the hottest topics for developers, the discussions have never stopped online. For instance, on LinkedIn and Facebook platforms, lots of people put their job title as a full stack developer. Besides, it seems that the “Full Stack Web Development” topic has already become a new job trend.
Some popular online programs can be found on Lynda, Udacity, Coursera, Thinkful, General Assembly, and so much more. Aside from these online programs, there are also in-person coding boot camps. In particular, that are teaching people the skills required to become web developers.
Who is a Full Stack Web Developer?
A Full Stack Web Developer is someone who is able to work on both the front-end and back-end portions of an application. In general, front-end 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.
Being the full stack web 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.
Simply put, front end and back end are terms used by programmers and computer professionals such as jmexclusives to describe the layers that makeup hardware, a computer program or a website. So to say, which are delineated based on how accessible they are to a user. In this context, the user refers to an entity that could be human or digital.
An article on Medium has discussed the full stack designer getting both praise and blame. Whereby, some people think that the full stack web developer is just a title. Arguably, what he/she should focus on is the real personal ability and technology.
Full-Stack Design & Development Emergence
The come out of the full stack designer is not accidental according to the current situation. With the outbreak of mobile Apps and the arrival of the entrepreneurship tide, there are many small development teams who cannot set full positions. That forced the team members to play multiple characters in one position.
You can always see the developers not only coding but also building prototypes with the prototyping tools (Mockplus, Axure, Proto.io). Comprehensive thinking is the biggest advantage of the full stack designers. A designer who is familiar with the product development and design process, he knows the limitation of product design.
So that he can clearly control the expectation of the product design. Familiarity with the process can make the team more convenient to understand the development, marketing, and user experience details. This will make cooperation more seamless, reduce rework and unexpected situations.
Is a Full Stack Web Developer important?
In the first place, the full stack designer can analyze and customize his own “skill tree” according to his own situation. He can clearly know the structure of the product, the progress of the design and the development process. And then, he is a multi-skill person who can use user experience, design patterns, techniques, and tools to complete product development.
Secondly, the whole progress will be more systematically, and the product will be better. Focusing on the whole program, that is the most obvious difference between the normal designers and the full stack designer. If you are one of them, it will undoubtedly add a great value to your team. And if you are a freelance designer, it is necessary to be a full-stack designer.
What every Full Stack Web Developer needs to know
On the other hand, the developer or the agency would be able to create a unique code for multiple technologies. Because of course, as they could work with various kinds of software tools that are complex as well as simple. This would give an extra edge to the company or organization opting for full-stack development.
Equally important, a full-stack development professional would be proficient in numerous programs too. Like JS, HTML, PHP, CSS, etc. among many others. Not forgetting, he or she would be proficient to work with all these programs and incorporate well into the site design.
And also, it would be an add-on to the capabilities of the full-stack developer if he or she knows how to work with animation and graphics. Some professionals would also be able to convert complex Photoshop designs to front end code. This will reduce the dependency of the organization on various technical professionals, thereby, enhancing their business efficiency.
How do you become a Full Stack Web Developer?
Compared to the Full Stack Web Designer, we seem to be more familiar with the Full Stack Web Developer. So, What is a full-stack design exactly? Can we simply think he/she is a versatile designer? In the past, web designers and developers have a clear role assignment. And therefore, they rarely do both at the same time.
While with the changes in product design and the evolution of team collaboration, many web designers are able to manage web developing and UX design at present. So, there comes a question:
- What’s the character of the so-called full-stack designer?
- Is he or she only a designer?
- Also coding while being a designer?
- Or he or she is a designer as well as a web developer?
In fact, the concept of Full Stack Web Developer came out earlier than the Full Stack Web Designer. But, full-stack does not mean to do all. Specifically, it refers to a person who masters multi-skills. And he can use them to independently complete a design or product development.
Are there Basics for a Full Stack Web Developer?
Full Stack Web Development is an ushering technology gradually unfolding new innovations. Concisely, this process involves three layers — Presentation, Business Logic, and Database. A full-stack developer takes care of the steps from conception of an idea to an actual finished product. Eventually, many big companies are hiring full-stack developers to meet their project demands.
Also, it would be a wise decision to opt for Full Stack Web Development as a competent Job or Career. It won’t be just learning various technologies but experiencing how to work on real projects.
A full-stack web developer must be able to;
- Create and use APIs
- Write backend code in Ruby, Python/ Java, PHP
- Know about working with infrastructure including hardware and OS
- Solve and understand queries related to databases
- Manage Project and coordinate with the Client
A full-stack web application developer must know the architecture of a web application. It would allow him/her to figure out the structure of the code, the type of data that needs to be structured, where and how to perform sundry computational tasks. This would help in developing complex applications.
5 Topmost & Essential Skills for the Developer
For instance, a version control system is a component of software configuration management, which allows you to manage the changes that you make in the documents, computer programs, large websites, etc.
Not to mention, the changes are usually identified by a number of letter codes such as ‘revision level or the number’. It requires a Full Stack Developer to be well versed with the version control system. Further, an understanding of GIT will help you in tracking the changes made to the codebase.
Below are more additional essential skills a developer requires.
1. HTML and CSS Coding
The first thing to be learned in becoming a Full Stack Web Developer is HTML and CSS. These are the basic building blocks to design and develop websites. It enables you to add content and styles to your project site.
It is a very popular technology which is unveiling innovations quite frequently. Every year some new tools and frameworks get released. Hence, a strong knowledge of JS would be an added advantage. Also, knowledge of JS frameworks like Angular JS and React JS, and jQuery would allow the full stack developers to write long codes easily.
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. Simply put, HTML allows you to add content to a website and CSS is what allows you to style your content.
All online programs and boot camps usually focus on a specific back-end language, and in reality, it doesn’t matter which one you learn so much. As long as you understand what is going on and you learn the nuances of your chosen language. Surprisingly, you’ll get a ton of different responses if you ask someone which back-end language is the best to learn.
3. Web Storage Database, HTTP & REST
When learning to build web applications, at some point you’ll probably want to store data somewhere and then access it later. You should have a good grasp on the following topics related to databases and storage.
- Understand the benefits of relational data, e.g. SQL
- Learn about NoSQL databases, e.g. MongoDB
- Scaling databases, ACID, and ORM (all optional)
- Understand which would be better in certain situations
- Web storage to store sessions, cookies, and cached data in the browser
- Understand the benefits of in-memory data stores like Redis or Memcached
- Know how to connect a database with your chosen back-end language (e.g. Node.js + MongoDB), etc.
What is HTTP & REST?
- What is REST and why is it important in regards to the HTTP protocol and web applications.
- WebSockets, Web Workers, and Service Workers (all optional).
4. Web Application Architecture
- 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.
There are best practices that you can read about online, but the best way to actually learn about application architecture is by working on a large application yourself. In that case, containing several moving parts. Or even better, working on a team and together developing a somewhat large/complex application.
5. Git, Basic Algorithms and Data Structures
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. It’s important to know a few important things related to Git so that you understand how to properly get the latest code that you’ve missed.
Additionally, update parts of the code, make fixes and change other people’s code without breaking things. You should definitely learn the concept behind Git and play around with it yourself.
This topic on Basic Algorithms and Data Structures is somewhat polarizing in the web development world. Because there are developers who don’t think there should be such a heavy focus on computer science topics. Like tree traversal, sorting, algorithm analysis, matrix manipulation, etc. in web development.
What should Developers know?
However, there are companies like Google that are notorious for asking these types of questions in their interviews. While there are companies that practically require applicants to have a computer science degree or equivalent, there are plenty of companies that will hire people without this technical qualification.
For instance, if they can prove that they know how to develop applications and show an understanding of the whole domain. But, part of being a competent developer and not writing inefficient code or using the wrong tools is an understanding of some basic algorithms and data structures and being able to analyze trade-offs.
Looking at the present scenario of the virtual world, there has been a growing demand for full-stack developers. You might be wondering why a company or organization would require a full stack developer. Well, with transient technology and ever-growing hunger for new and better things, organizations like to hire full-stack development professionals.
As can be seen, a full-stack web development professional is the one who is having sound technical knowledge of each and every aspect of development. May it be, front end, back end, various operating systems among other details of the technology. These people are usually termed as “developer generalists”. The significant thing to be noted here is that full-stack developers should not be confused with senior developers.
In nutshell, this stack of developers can create any complex application from scratch. As a matter of fact, provided they would have understood how each technical layer should interact with the other.
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