‘Developer’ is a composite term in the IT industry because the knowledge of different developers can vary to a great extent. Development is a tree having countless branches; you can grab one or maybe eleven, perhaps not all. Every once in a while we hear of a new computer language, framework, tool or a newer version of the former two. There are thousands of development jobs listed everywhere online, but they don’t require the same skills. One company demands a game developer, another seeks a JavaScript developer, someone out there is asking for an Android developer, and the list goes on.

So who is a Full Stack Developer?

In order to answer that question, we first need to figure out the difference between a Front-end and Back-end developer.

Front-end developer – What you’re reading write now is published on Xoho Tech’s official website. All the fonts and colors you see, the logo and menus above, the design altogether has been brought to you by a front-end developer. The basic skills of a front-end developer include HTML, CSS and JavaScript. HTML and CSS can be referred to as the primary units that procreate the scaffolding. JavaScript is required for dynamic content, i.e it adds the gloss. For example, you can visit our homepage and see the text that appears and disappears – that is the magic of JS.

Front-end developers are more likely to get a chance for exploring their creativity, so it is highly beneficial if they learn to use a few designing tools as well. Generally, all content including text, photos, media files etc. are already provided. The front-end developer is supposed to organize and decorate them for users to see; their job is similar to an interior designer.

Back-end Developer – Back-end Developers are in charge of everything going on in the background of an application. Front and Back-end developers work together like alliances. Background development is usually needed to enhance or optimize front-end features. It forms the central architecture of a business, whereas front-end is entirely focused on the outer appeal.

Back-end developers are in control of the server, database and core elements within an application. They are commonly fluent in computer languages like Python, PHP, JavaScript and Ruby; moreover they should be acquainted with tools such as MySQL and Oracle.

And now let’s talk about the Full Stack Developer…

Combine the skills of a Front-end developer with the skills of a Back-end developer – the fusion product is a Full Stack Developer. A Full Stack developer is considered the master of both worlds. Although many people call themselves full stack developers because they are merely familiar with the skills of front-end and back-end.

Many big organizations like Facebook were known for hiring full stack developers only. This is genuinely convenient as one person can handle all the work and there is no chance of clash between two different parties. They are particularly ideal for small startups that have a limited budget and space to accommodate multiple candidates. The job market for full stack developers is relatively abundant and their annual income is naturally higher. However, it is quite rare to find a full stack developer who is actually an all-rounder. In most cases, every developer is either better at front-end or leans more towards back-end.

How to become a Full Stack Developer?

A beginner in programming is likely to feel excited over the mention of “Full Stack Developer” and believe he/she can be one. That kind of optimism is good, but only if mastering development is your one and only goal in life. No one can become a full stack developer overnight. It takes years of study, practice and experience; let’s say about ten years to be fair.

The skills of a genuine Full-Stack Developer:

  • Managing Servers, Database and hosting environments
  • Networking
  • Leading DevOps
  • Data Modeling
  • Knowledge of APIs, MVC & MVP
  • UI & UX
  • Testing & QA
  • App security

Precisely, a Full Stack developer does everything at front-end and back-end, also little things in between and around. They have to learn a greater number of computer languages, explore more code libraries, get familiar with a wider range of tools, and most importantly maintain a balance within each department.

Is it Okay to stick to Front-End or Back-End?

Yes, of course! There is no denying that going full stack has its advantages, but it can be a tiresome path. It is best to do what you’re comfortable with and sometimes over-exerting oneself is simply not worth it. If you do a random job search for developing, you’ll notice the number of vacancies for front-end developers is huge. Several firms are even offering to pay as much as any full stack developer would get.

On the contrary, you might not see jobs using ‘back-end’ developer as a keyword. Instead you’ll come across titles such as ‘Python developer’, “Ruby developer” or “PHP developer”; these are among leading languages used for back-end development. Many big corporations with complex and growing databases heavily depend on back-end developers. Thus, it’s needless to say that they are equally important and valuable to the IT industry.

It’s commendable to try and be versatile; but you can even do within a smaller spectrum. If you truly think that you have what it takes, go ahead and become a full-stack lord. Just remember not to be too arrogant about it, once you succeed!


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