The road to becoming a skilled full-stack developer is an exciting one. Here’s a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know before starting your journey.
Understand the roles and responsibilities of a full-stack developer, along with tidbits on the necessary skills needed to succeed in this career.
Authored by: Mahipal Nehra
A technical content writer working for a Java development company.
Sharing knowledge about different tools and technologies used for software development with freshers in the industry, helping them sort out where they want to advance their careers.
Website: Decipher Zone
For quite some time, full-stack has been high in demand when it comes to developing software applications. If you are already in the software development field and work either as a frontend or backend developer, you might have heard about full-stack developers and are considering becoming one.
But who exactly is a full-stack developer, what does their role involve, and the skills do they acquire?
To sort it out for you, we will discuss everything you need to know about.
Who is a Full Stack Developer?
To understand who a full-stack developer is, you need to familiarise yourself with two web development concepts - frontend and backend.
Frontend is part of the website that refers to every element and component that a user interacts with. Put simply, it is the part of the website or web app users can see and interact with such as design, texts, images, menus, etc.
On the other hand, the backend of the website/web app is the combination of databases, logic, and servers. While users cannot see the backend, it ensures that the web app is working as expected.
The combination of both client-side and server-side technologies creates a full stack. A full-stack tech includes a server, database, operating system, integrated development environments, programming languages, frameworks, libraries, version control systems, etc.
That being said, a full-stack developer is a software engineer who is equally proficient in both frontend and backend technologies. They have extensive knowledge of each tech stack layer that goes into software development. The wide range of skills that a full-stack developer has, allows them to seamlessly design, build, implement, manage, scale, and improve the web app from scratch.
Role of a Full-Stack Developer
The responsibilities of a full-stack developer include:
- Designing, planning, and developing the front-end and back-end of the web application.
- Creating servers and databases for the system to be resilient.
- Ensuring cross-platform compatibility
- Developing and implementing REST/SOAP APIs
- Keeping the web app secure and scalable for better performance
- Automate testing and debugging of the code
- Meeting all client requirements
- Delivering the software project on time
Skills of a Full-Stack Developer
Now that you have a better understanding of who the full-stack developer is and their role in software development, let’s take a look at the skills that are must-haves for anyone who wants to become a full-stack developer.
Frontend Programming Languages and Frameworks
To work on the client side of the web application as a full-stack developer, you must learn the following programming languages:
- HTML: HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, which is the standard markup language for creating web pages. It is the basic building block that helps a developer define the meaning and structure of the web.
- CSS: Cascading Style Sheet is a language to style HTML-based web pages. With CSS, you can describe how different elements should appear on the screen.
Other than these major technologies, some of the frontend frameworks that might come in handy are ReactJS, Vue.js, Svelte, Angular, and Ember.js.
Backend Programming Languages
As a full-stack developer, you must learn at least one or more of the following backend programming languages and their relevant frameworks.
- Java: Java is an object-oriented, class-based, general-purpose, high-level language designed to have minimum implementation dependencies. It allows developers to write once and run the code anywhere. Put simply, using Java programming language, a developer can run compiled Java code on any platform that supports Java without recompiling it.
- Python: Similar to Java, Python is also a general-purpose, high-level programming language used for backend development. Python’s philosophy empowers code readability and significant indentation. It also supports multiple language paradigms and has a set of robust libraries that makes web app development dynamic and faster.
- PHP: HyperText PreProcessor or PHP is a general-purpose, server-side, scripting language that can be used with a database to build dynamic web pages. With PHP, developers can easily manage databases, dynamic content, and session tracking.
SQL is a structured query language. It is a computer language that employs queries to obtain information from databases. SQL may be used to get useful server-side details from databases and then utilize that information to conduct actions that allow the client side of an application or software to function effectively. This programming language is particularly handy for updating internal corporate databases or retrieving data for clients.
Back-end developers frequently utilize SQL to conduct administrative duties that enable a piece of software function, rather than to provide the groundwork for its features. It may be a good idea to learn this language if you want to comprehend how data retrieval and modifications might influence the back-end operation of a piece of software.
Ruby is a programming language frequently used with Ruby on Rails (RoR), enabling you to construct and carry out tasks with less code. Software architects usually find frameworks to be very useful tools, since they may streamline the development process by utilizing the framework's code repositories, and particular approaches.
Ruby is a popular language for novices to acquire and develop back-end programming. The ease with which tasks and functions may be created in RoR speeds up the process of constructing a piece of software, making Ruby helpful for swiftly creating prototypes of projects and testing their fundamental functionality.
Go, often known as Golang, is a programming language available for free that is easy to pick up and use. Because of its simplicity and readability, this language is well-liked among developers and is a wonderful option for honing your programming skills.
Developers use Go for a wide range of activities, including server-side back-end programming. In addition to assisting you in improving as a back-end developer, Go can assist you in applying your coding abilities to projects like game creation and data analysis. Learning this language may also improve work prospects for aspiring programmers.
The programming language C# may run on a variety of computer platforms. This language is used by programmers using frameworks like. NET to create the internal structure of websites and link client and server interactions to create fully functional programs. C# and similar frameworks are dependable options for web and software development due to their adaptability and reliability.
If you are familiar with the fundamentals of C and C++, two crucial back-end programming languages, you may find that learning C# is easier.
Programming languages like Ruby, NodeJS, Solidity, C#, etc can also be used.
Version Control Systems
Another essential technology that you as a full stack developer need to know and work with is the version control system/source control. These source control systems track, reverse, and manage all the changes made to the code. Each version comes with its description of the changes made along with the time and name of the developer committing those changes. Git and GitHub are two of the most popular version control systems that you can learn about.
As a proficient full-stack developer, one must know about web architecture design to build a backend structure that meets the client's needs. Web architecture involves understanding architecture principles, web identifiers, data structures, file categorization, protocols, code structure, application logic, operational tasks, etc.
To store all the day-to-day data, web apps require a database so that the information can be retrieved when required. As a full stack developer, concepts like relational (SQL) and NoSQL databases along with how data storage works and ways to connect databases with the code are crucial to learn.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are software programs that act as an intermediary between two or more disconnected computer programs and allow them to communicate with each other. APIs are responsible for sending client requests to the server side of the application and receiving responses. Some of the most used APIs that you should learn to work with are REST, SOAP, RPC, Open APIs, Partner APIs, Private APIs, and Private APIs.
While we have mentioned all the hard skills that you will require to become a full-stack developer, there are some soft skills that you must know about too. Attention to detail, communication, critical thinking, patience, problem-solving, and creativity are a few soft skills that one must work on to be a successful full-stack developer.
We have talked about them in detail here- 10 Qualities Companies look for while Hiring Developers
Although it sounds complicated, becoming a full-stack developer can be easier with a bit of learning and a lot of practice.