What is a full stack developer?

A full stack developer works with the entire depth of a computer system application, from the front-end to the back-end (hence the nomenclature “full stack”). Since you will straddle both domains of web development, you need to understand the programming languages used in the front-end and back-end sides of a website.

what does a full stack developer do?

When it comes to the front end of an application, your job as a full stack developer is to design web pages that improve the user experience. You create the layout and add artistic features to improve the website's usability. Apart from enhancing the appearance of websites, you ensure they are responsive to various devices and run at optimal speeds.

On the back end of things, your job focuses on creating structures that allow the front end of a website to exist. You refine the code that communicates with databases, servers, and application programming interfaces. Hence, you need to learn how to code in back-end programming languages and how to manage databases.

Most companies rely on full stack developers to spot errors affecting a website's front and back ends. Your versatility is crucial in solving issues, performing upkeep, and incorporating new technologies into a webpage.

Would working as a full stack developer suit your passion for coding and web design? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a full stack developer role.

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average full stack developer salary

Would you like to know what a full stack developer earns? Where the highest salaries are paid for full stack developers? Then check out this full stack developer salary page, and find out all about the salary of a full stack developer in the USA.

close up, typing on keyboard
close up, typing on keyboard

types of full stack developer

As a full stack developer, you can specialize in the following types of web development:

  • front-end developer: As a full stack developer in charge of the front-end design, your job is to improve the web layout and enhance users' experience. Since your focus is on the client side, you use your artistic creativity to boost appearance and functionality. It is also essential to optimize the speed of the website.
  • back-end developer: Your job is to build the code that runs the website and enables the front-end functionality. You also connect the website to the databases to ensure data flows properly and that functions are processed accurately.

However, aside from the type of web development you will do, full stack developers often specialize in the particular frameworks of a coding language. There are dozens and dozens of frameworks within the most popular coding languages of JavaScript, Python, CSS, and more.

The great thing about being a full stack developer is that there are a lot of overlaps and similarities between frameworks, so you will be able to apply your skills between many different areas, industries, and companies.


working as a full stack developer

If you’re interested in finding out about what a full stack developer’s job entails, the following section has you covered. Read on to learn about your duties, responsibilities, and general work environment as a full stack developer.


full stack developer skills and education

Many full stack developers go the university route and get at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or information technology. Classes in digital media and design or graphic design are also helpful in acquiring skills and increasing job prospects. During and after college, full stack developers may take on internships. This can lead to full-time positions.

It is possible to become a full stack developer without a degree. Accredited universities or established institutions offer “boot camps” or certification courses and can even help you get an entry-level job. If you choose to go this route, it is important to build a strong portfolio of work and to study hard to stand out from the competition.

skills and competencies

You need the following skills to advance your career as a full stack developer:

  • programming skills: A full stack developer needs exceptional coding skills to develop website frameworks and incorporate various functions. For instance, it is important to be conversant with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) which you would use to create user interfaces and decide how a web page should look.
  • fluency in various programming languages: You will need to know multiple coding languages in order to be a full stack developer. There are dozens of commonly used languages in web development, including Python, Java, JavaScript, PHP, C#, CSS, and HTML.
  • web architecture: As a full stack developer, you should be an expert in web architecture and understand how to make a website that is optimal for users and is search engine friendly.
  • attention to detail: Writing code requires great attention to detail. Being detail-oriented ensures you create a functional application and save yourself the pain of having to go back and find errors in your coding.
  • creative thinking: As a front-end developer, you need to design visually appealing web pages with optimal functionality. Creative thinking will help you envision the perfect website and get into the minds of users.
  • problem-solving skills: You will face obstacles and challenges as a full stack developer. Sometimes, you may hit a snag in the coding phase. You need problem-solving skills to resolve the issue and work efficiently.
hand navigating a touch screen showing data
hand navigating a touch screen showing data

FAQs about working as a full stack developer

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about full stack development.

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