FULL-STACK : DEMAND AND OPPORUNITIES
“AN ALL-TIME HIGH OR A SINKING SHIP”
“You are a computer. If you become front-end, you’ll count the likes on Social media. If you become back-end, you’ll be breathing deep on a mountain. Listen! One life man. Become a full-stack.”
While this quote by Chetan M Kumbher is more on the rhetorical side but still, it gives a fair bit of perspective on what a full-stack developer actually means. In this article, we shall deep-dive into the world of full-stack developers- What they do, what advantages and disadvantages they bring to the table and what’s the current demand of full-stack developers in modern industries. So, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, and let’s begin!
So, before we discuss further about this exciting set of skilled people, let’s first understand what is a full-stack developer:
To understand the meaning of a full-stack developer, let’s take a brief look at how a website is built. First, the idea or vision of website is crafted, then the design guys come up with User-Interface and User-Experience Specialists to plan the overall structure and feel of the website. After the design is done, the stage is set for the front-end & back-end developers to transform the vision into a reality with one set focusing on technologies that shall make the website look good while the other works on the system that shall provide the website a much-needed functionality.
So, if every part has its own specialists, what does a full-stack developer do then?
A full-stack developer or commonly referred to as jack-of-all trades is a combination of these all. He is someone who can work on a mix of technologies and stacks to have the ability to create, build and design a product through all the different stages and layers of engineering by himself.
Now, having learn about the basic meaning, we shall proceed to the next section where we discuss what skills are required in order to be a full-stack developer
Full Stack Developers: Must Required Skills
In order to be a full-stack developer, one needs to be familiar with all the layers of the 3-tier application system model. In other words, he must be aware of all the different tech-languages which may be required to create front-end or back-end parts of an application.
Let us know a bit more about the skills required for each of these layers of the application system-model one-by-one:
Presentation layer ( or the Front-End)
Business Logic layer( or the Back-End)
If the front-end deals with user-interface, the back-end deals with everything other than that. It basically deals with data validation and is concerned to the core-logic that makes things work. For the logic layer, stack developers must possess a fluency in different programming languages like Python, Ruby, Java, PHP and .net. A skill-set in frameworks like Django and Flask would be a bonus.
The central data part of the system application usually concerned with database management. It constitutes how the data is created, extracted, read, updated or deleted from the database. To master this layer, a fluency in Database Management System technologies like MongoDB, Oracle, Postgre SQL, mySQL etc. Is a must.
Full stack Developers: Other useful skills
Those above discussed are the must required skills in order to be a full-stack developer but other than that there exists a list of other skills that are recommended to become a successful full-stack developer. So, lets have a look:
A full-stack developer should have a basic designing skill-set and should understand UI/UX design-sets
For better administrating of servers, a decent background in Linux may be really helpful
A full-stack developer should have achieved a mastery in APIs and web-services like REST or SOAP.
A stack developer should be aware of and familiar with all the various components that are needed in the making of a final product
An in-depth understanding of Data structure and Algorithm is also required in case someone aspires to be a professional Full-stack developer
Other than that, a full-stack developer should have an awareness of security standards, the ability to write Quality unit tests, knowledge of GIT, Version Control Systems and much more.
As Daniel Broski said
“Being a Full-Stack Developer doesn’t mean that you have necessarily mastered everything required to work with the front-end or back-end, but it means that you are able to work on both sides and understand what is going on when building an application,”
So far, we have discussed what a full-stack developer means, what he does and what skills are required to be a full-stack developer. It’s time to move to the interesting part- what does a full-stack developer brings to the table I.e. an analysis on the advantages and disadvantages one can have with having a full-stack developer in their team. So, lets begin with the good part: the advantages!
ADVANTAGES OF FULL-STACK DEVELOPERS
We have already seen what a full-stack developer does. Lets now see one by one about the benefits companies can reap by having a full-stack developer-:
A full-stack developer possesses a professional skill-set in both front-end and back-end, thus enabling them to easily switch between client and server side. This provides a much-needed versatility and prevents loss in quality due to gaps in communication or background knowledge
Full-stack developers have a lot of skills and they must have spent significant time in learning those skills. This experience of learning makes them quick-learners who learn from their mistakes very swiftly and therefore, good for the company.
A full-stack developer can fulfill a lot of roles in the organization and hence can save you bucks. He can be your front-end developer, a back-end developer or a designer: thus saving you from the cost of hiring all of them individually. This can be incredibly useful if you want a MVP(Minimum Viable Product) out soon.
4. Updated with latest technology
A full-stack developer is familiar with most of the technologies in the market. The web-development industry has always seen new technologies being introduced in the industry at regular intervals. Having a knowledge of the related technologies make these developers better at upgrading to new technologies.
5. Best in troubleshooting
Having an all-round understanding of almost all the technologies involved, a full-stack developer has the potential to identify the root of any problem, thus enabling the organisation to have long-term solutions.
6. Can assume ownership-
As already discussed, a full-stack developer is familiar with most of the technologies required in product development. So, they are capable of taking the ownership for the complete design and implementation process. For startups, they can take the entire accountability for MVP development.
Disadvantages to full-stack developers
Despite all the versatility and the cost-effectiveness the full-stack developers provide, there do exist some disadvantages with having them-:
1.Less skills than specialists
Being a Jack of all trades also mean that you are a master of none. This means full-stack developers can be able to perform as good as a specialist in a separate language/domain, so one has to compromise a bit with quality
2.Can’t catch up with all technologies
Being a full-stack developer requires you to work on many domains at the same time. Despite being a quick learner, it’s incredibly difficult for these developers to be up-to-date with all the latest technologies in all these domains.
3.Dependency on team members
A full-stack developer doesn’t have the capability and time to deep-dive into problems of specific areas. So, when a very difficult problem pops out in specific languages, they have to look out for their team members.
Also, bringing up different technologies together also stacks their disadvantages together. This also is a big disadvantage with full-stack developers.
So, after discussing the advantages and disadvantages, now we shall look a the industry demand of full-stack developers and is it increasing or decreasing with time.
DEMAND OF FULL-STACK DEVELOPERS
From startups to big MNCs, the versatility of full-stack developers is surely luring everyone today.
According to LinkedIn’s Emerging Jobs Report, there has been a rise of 35% in the number of jobs for full-stack developers every year since 2015, and it ranks as the 4th most emerging job on the same coveted list.
Supporting the trend, Indeed also ranks full-stack developers as 2nd best job by demand and remuneration while U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports’ cite an enormous rise from 1,35,000 to 8,53,000 jobs as full-stack developers in 2024.
One thing is pretty clear- the demand for full stack developers is higher than ever and this trend doesn’t seem to stop soon. A possible supply-demand gap can be an obstacle in future but if one is properly skilled, that shouldn’t be a big problem.
We have seen in detail what a full-stack developer does, its advantages and disadvantages and the industry demands too. One thing is obvious and the industry demands support it too- The advantages provided by a full-stack developer far outweighs its disadvantages and this profession indeed is at an all-time high.
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This article is contributed by Akshay Akash. Writing has been his hobby from school days and still remains his favorite way to be relieved from stress.For now, He mostly write on Quora, since he find it pretty interactive and engaging. Other than writing, the things that interest him include developing websites or spending time on Twitter.