What is a Full Stack Developer?

A full stack developer is someone who works on both the front end (client-side) and the back end (server-side) of software development. They are incredibly valuable and versatile all-round developers who can handle both ends of a web application. Jack of all trades, master of many.

Full Stack developers are equipped to take on a myriad of tasks. Depending on where a full stack developer learns their trade, they will come equipped with skills in many coding languages. They will understand languages, technologies, libraries and frameworks like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, Python, Bootstrap, Github, jQuery, APIs, MongoDB, Django, and much more. 

Full stack developers are also known as T-shaped developers. ‘T-shaped’ refers to an individual with generalized skills across an area, with specializations in some specific fields. This applies well to full stack developers who will have knowledge across a broad range of development languages and aspects, alongside well-developed advanced skills in a select set.

Full Stack vs Back End vs Front End

Most developmental responsibilities can be split into the broad groups of ‘front end’ and ‘back end’. Developer roles for each of these areas alone exist. Full stack developers are those who can fulfil both sets of responsibilities, making them more versatile and employable.  A top level break down of what each role deals with is below:

Front end developers: Build user-facing interfaces. They will help develop the look and interactivity of the site or application and heavily focus ons JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

Back end developers: Build applications for the server side of development to store and user data, largely using Python, Ruby and PHP.

Full stack developers: Work across both front end and back end to deliver a complete, well-rounded website or application, utilizing knowledge of a wide variety of programming languages.

What does a Full Stack developer do?

Having been trained in both front and back end programming tasks, a full stack developer has a fairly significant scope in comparison to other software development positions. This means that full stack developers will cover a variety of tasks, including: 

  • Developing and designing applications from end to end
  • Working with multiple technologies
  • Working on both front end and back end applications
  • Managing both front and back end teams
  • Testing, debugging and maintaining software
  • Increasing efficiency by using React
  • Seamlessly working with version control systems
  • Working with databases and servers for the back end of applications & sites
  • Developing and integrating APIs
  • Working with media queries
  • Using their knowledge to see the bigger picture when working on a project
  • Troubleshooting more effectively

This is by no means an exhaustive list but rather a general overview of some of the things a Full Stack developer will oversee.

What skills does a full stack developer need?

If you are looking to become a full stack developer, the skills below will set you in good stead to get started in your new career:

  • Ability to work in a variety of front end and back end coding languages including:
  • Experience of database storage solutions and related languages:
  • Experience of Git, GitHub and other version control systems
  • Ability to interact with and build API including REST
  • Understanding of common servers and issues with the,

Our Full Stack Developer Course covers these major skills groups to set you up for a career in this field.

What makes a good full stack developer?

A good full stack developer is one who values self-development, is willing to learn, and is also willing to work hard. Technology brings change very quickly, and you’ll be having to change with it. Here we’ve put together some advice for being the best full stack developer you can be:

  • Keep up to date
    Technology is changing all the time, and keeping on top of these changes is vitally important. It’s not just good for the business you work for, but it is also good for your self-esteem and value as a full stack developer. 
  • Always be learning
    Apart from staying on top of technology changes, as developers, there are endless other technologies that you can learn – that can be incredibly useful. So start dabbling in different languages and technologies. It’s sometimes important to step out of your comfort zone. Looking for the next language you should learn? Head to our article on The Best Coding Languages for Web Development.  
  • Stay healthy
    It’s an obvious one, but sitting in front of a computer all day can be difficult. It can be bad for the mind, and of course, your eyes and body. So take the breaks you deserve, and try to have a bit of fun! 
  • Learn more than technology
    Employers value full stack developer skills highly, but just as necessary are other soft skills that a developer can bring to the table. Learn more about other angles of the business you work for; for example, become an expert on the product you are designing your applications and sites for. Be a good communicator, a problem-solver, and understand your business.

Benefits of being a Full Stack Developer

Full stack development can be a rewarding career path for those who are willing to build up the skills of both front end and back end development. While it takes a lot of learning and self-development,, rest assured that there are a number of benefits to becoming a full stack developer, such as: 

  • Well-paid
    Often, full stack developers are better paid because they can offer more to an organisation. However, like with any role, you’ve got to work hard, grow and shine to keep climbing the pay scale. 
  • In-demand
    The demand for software developers is huge. However, the opportunities for full stack developers are even bigger. They are experienced in front-end, back-end, and full stack development and are suited to more roles. They are well rounded and have a better understanding of the fuller picture. 
  • Versatility
    Working with both the front end and back end means that a full stack developer is more versatile when it comes to web development. They should have a broader understanding of projects, and as a result, many go on to manage teams and projects.  This means that you’re never working on just one project at a time, which can be good for diversifying your experience and keeping your skills up to date.
  • Expands your knowledge
    Because you understand the full stack, your knowledge should make you an indispensable employee. In addition, as a full stack developer, you will understand a wide range of languages, frameworks, technologies and more.

Want to know more?

Becoming a full stack developer is an achievable task, and in recent years, many people have decided to change their careers to software development. Code Institute teaches Full Stack Software Development with Specializations to its students. We have helped thousands of people to become full stack software developers. Because of our amazing Learning Management System and our support pillars, our students complete their education within 52 weeks.

However, we don’t just stop there. We also assist our developers in landing a new career in software development. With the help of our careers team, 98% of our career services users are employed within one year of graduation.

Our full stack development programme is the only university credit-rated online coding bootcamp in Europe and the UK. It is also the only programme that offers its students a choice of specialist skill areas to study after they learn the skills of a full stack developer. Our students can specialise in:

To find out more, download our brochure through the form below. 

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