What is a Full-Stack Developer?

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: December 1, 2021  •  7 min read  •  Tech
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Going into a career in web development may include becoming a full-stack developer. However, there are many different types of developers with different duties.

Before you can start a career in web development, you should understand the different types of developers. These include:

Let’s look at all three of these types of developers, especially the full stack developer.

What is a Full-Stack Developer?

What is a Front-End Developer?

A front-end developer will work on the front-end of websites. This includes the things users see when they use an application or browser. You will deal with the user interface if you go into this type of career.

As a front-end developer, you will work to increase user engagement. Therefore, it’s necessary to know specific programming languages, such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

Common job titles for front-end developers include:

The role will vary a bit, but front-end developers will always deal with the look and engagement of a website or app.

What is a Back-End Developer?

On the other hand, a back-end developer will deal with the things not seen by users. If you go into this type of web development, you will deal with writing code that communicates with the browser. It will be your job to ensure the website works properly, along with testing frameworks, dealing with network scalability and cybersecurity.

As a back-end developer, you will need to know coding languages, such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, SQL, Python, and Java. Creating a seamless experience for users of a website or app will be your job.

Some of the common job titles for back-end developers include:

Regardless of the job title, you will work behind the scenes to properly make a website or app function.

What is a Full Stack Developer?

A full-stack developer offers the ability to work on both the front-end and the back-end of a website or application. This type of position means you will create a great user experience both from the aesthetics of a website or app and working on the back-end.

As a full-stack developer, you won’t need to know everything. However, you should have a good understanding of some of the key things for the front-end or the back-end. Some of the common job titles for full-stack developers include:

This type of developer will know aspects of the front-end and back-end of a website or application.

Skills a Full-Stack Developer Should Have

There are many different skills a full-stack developer should have. Of course, some of the skills you will develop with the right training and education. Other skills are usually a part of who you are.

Some of the skills you need to have to go into a career as a full-stack developer include:

Different Types of Stacks

Full-stack developers will likely work with specific types of stacks. Some of the most common stacks include:

LAMP is the most common model used for web service stacks. The four components will support each other. Many very popular websites and applications run on a LAMP stack, including Facebook.

MERN offers another very popular stack as a collection of JavaScript-based technology. It’s in high demand for web applications.

While MEAN isn’t a super popular stack, it’s gaining usage.

A Few Common Myths About Full-Stack Developers

While there is plenty of information about web development, some myths are also found about full-stack developers. Some of the most common ones include:

Frequently Asked Questions About Full Stack Developers

How much do full-stack developers make?

The average salary of a full-stack developer is about $112K per year. This salary can range based on experience, training, and education. Of course, the location you work in and the company you work for can make a difference in your actual salary.

The salary range runs from $54K to about $144K. It’s also a growing field with a projection to grow at about 8% over the next 10 years.

What is necessary to become a full-stack developer?

If you want to become a full-stack developer, you should gain some experience in the industry. Working as a front-end or back-end developer can help, but it’s not necessary. You won’t be able to just get the right education to become a full-stack developer.

Instead, you will need to be learning and gain all the experience you can constantly. You should gain as much experience with front-end and back-end development as possible.

How common are full-stack developers?

The only type of developer more common than a full-stack developer is a back-end developer. About 58% of developers will be back-end developers, while about 48% are full-stack developers.

Why should you consider becoming a full-stack developer?

If you can’t choose between specializing in back-end or front-end development, you might not want to choose. Maybe you prefer to work with both sides of web development. If so, becoming a full-stack developer makes quite a bit of sense. You will get to work with both the front-end and the back-end.

What does your skillset need to be if you want to be a full-stack developer?

You must understand both front-end and back-end technology. This includes development language and databases. It’s also a good idea to understand VCS, API and have server knowledge. Cybersecurity, website design, algorithm structure, and testing are also good to understand as a full-stack developer.

How long will it take to become a full-stack developer?

It’s a rather short amount of time to become a full-stack developer. It may only take three months if you apply yourself and work full-time to learn what you need.

Do I need to get a degree to become a full-stack developer?

It’s not common for a full-stack developer to have a bachelor’s degree. Many only have an associate degree and specific certifications. Therefore, there is no true education level necessary. However, you will need the right certifications and training to become a full-stack developer.

Some colleges offer full-stack web development training programs. You can also take certification courses online.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story is coming soon!