Full Stack Developers have steadily become one of the most sought-after positions in the technology sector. They are programmer’s adept in coding both the front and the backend of web applications, with the skills to build projects from the ground up. It is this comprehensive knowledge that makes them extremely desirable to established businesses and start-ups alike.
In the early days of the internet, it would be quite typical for one person to code an entire project. However, with the advancement of technology, this work has since intensified and diversified. Resulting in a development split which saw people move into front and back end camps.
Today, few people take the time to learn the entirety of the skillset required to become a Full Stack Developer. Those who do are in high demand. Full Stack Engineers were listed as the 4th emerging top job for 2020 and listings for Full Stack Development roles have increased by 35% each year since 2015.
The time and effort required to become a Full Stack Developer will depend on your current knowledge, experience and available time to learn. If you haven’t worked in development before, you will have a deeper learning curve than say someone who is a hobbyist or industry professional.
Though with the right education, anyone from a beginner to professional developer can gain the skills and savvy needed to tackle the ‘Full Stack’ role.
Working as a Full Stack Developer
A Full Stack Developer can design and construct entire web applications and websites. Whether it is a web stack, mobile stack or a native application stack. They work with both the front end that is seen by the user and the back end that communicates with the server.
They must have a robust understanding of every layer of computer software development, allowing them to look at the 'big picture' of each project they are assigned. This is because they must consider all aspects of the build such as how to handle user interactions, data processing, APIs, layout, presentation, site structuring and security. All the while bearing in mind the user experience, customer and business needs.
To become successful in this role, they must be proficient in each aspect of the web development process. Their expertise allows them to work with clients in the planning phase of the project. Strategizing and moving forward in line with best practices, while ensuring their work will deliver the right results.
They must also be able to communicate with others as often Full Stack Developers work alongside designers, front end and back end developers. Plus, they can be tasked with assisting the wider team with technical issues.
A strong developer must be flexible with the tools they use and understand the concept of what they are building as opposed to simply how to build it. They must stay up to date with the advancements of the industry, continuously training themselves in new software’s that may deliver a better result and experience.
You don’t need a degree or any set qualifications to become a Full Stack Developer. You just need the right skillset and be very good at using it. However, that skillset is broad, and the level of knowledge required is deep.
While Full Stack Developers are not expected to be experts in every area, they must understand how each software works and communicates with others. For example, you should understand the basics of design to ensure your build is appealing and works well. That does not mean you need to be a designer.
Should you have prior qualifications in any of the many areas that will aid your development career, naturally this will help. However, people without qualifications can move into full stack positions so long as they can demonstrate they have the skills and ability to do the job.
In this instance, it would be wise to research areas involved with the role, taking what you learn and applying it to building projects that expand your portfolio. This way you can show employers exactly what you are capable of, despite never officially working as a Full Stack Developer.
Full Stack Developers have a broad skill set and extensive knowledge base. While software’s continue to develop, the skills that are currently non-negotiable for these developers are:
These frontend languages govern the look and feel of a website, which is extremely important in attracting prospective customers. You must have extensive knowledge in both to create an interactive, intuitive, and engaging frontend for applications.
This mandatory object-oriented scripting language is generally used for adding behaviours using HTML. It is very popular for writing frontend and backend server code. You must have detailed knowledge of this along with its concepts and features such as React and Angular.
Git and GitHub
The commonly known open source “distributed version control system” allows developers to seamlessly manage and track all application, code, website, document and other information changes related to the software or application development. Knowledge of all the basic Git commands and examples is essential.
It is imperative you understand at least a few of these languages for backend development:
PHP - An open-source, cross-platform compatible language that works well with Unix, macOS, and Windows.
Python – A simple, easy to learn syntax that promotes readability. It has a wide range of libraries and frameworks and is a popular choice among developers and coders.
Ruby – A robust programming language with excellent documentation and dependencies.
Java – A multipurpose programming language used for web, desktop and mobile application development.
As your main responsibility is to create complex software applications from scratch, you need to understand how to structure code, categorise files, assemble the data in databases and perform the required computational tasks.
HTTP and REST
HTTP - the protocol used for enabling communication with the client.
REST - A translator between the frontend and the backend. REST acts as an interface between systems and uses the HTTP protocol to collect data or perform different operations (in various formats) on it.
As every web application require a database to store data for access, Full Stack Developers have to know how to manage them. Designing, understanding and manipulating database queries, while knowing how to work with f XML and JSON.
Basic design skills
Fundamental design skills are essential to ensure a website looks attractive while also having a well-organised user-friendly design. Therefore, understanding basic design principles like UI & UX design, prototypes and scalability is vital.
The package manager designed for Node.js. helps you to install different packages. It provides relevant solutions for various dependencies and allows developers to place modules optimally to help the node find and manage the dependency conflicts appropriately.
To be successful in this role you will need more than just technical skills. A creative yet analytical mind is essential. While good time management, a thirst for knowledge, attention to detail, patience and communication are indispensable to your ability to do well as a Full Stack Developer.
As you can see there is a lot that aspiring Full Stack Developers must learn. While qualifications aren’t essential to securing a position, the right educational programme can greatly assist your learning journey. No matter your previous experience or education level, taking a course dedicated to becoming a Full Stack Developer can give you the marketable skills you need to become employable.
A career in Full Stack Development provides plenty of opportunities for growth, development and job satisfaction. If you have an aptitude for technical work, but you haven’t yet explored the extent of your capabilities, consider studying the Full Stack Developer: Professional Diploma in Software Development with learndirect.
It teaches you everything you need to become a capable Full Stack Software Developer, taking students from novice to pro-coder in a matter of months.
To find out more about this flexible online qualification, click the link to the course specification below.