In software parlance, "front end" refers to the user-facing parts of a website, such as fonts, images and navigation menus, while "back end" consists of the behind-the-scenes elements that power the site, like servers and databases. Full stack developers wield expertise in both front-and-back-end development to build complex websites and web-based applications.
Benefits of Becoming a Full Stack Developer
- Project Ownership: You can feasibly take a project from inception to completion single handedly. In certain cases it's beneficial to delegate tasks, but it’s possible to create an application from start to finish using your own skill set. This 360 degree understanding is a huge advantage for full stack devs.
- Versatility: Because you have skills in both front-end and back-end development, you become exceedingly employable. You can pursue a career in full stack or decide to specialize in one or more targeted aspects of software engineering.
- Exciting Career: Full stack coding isn't for everyone, but for those computer science geeks who enjoy diving deep into new disciplines, it can be stimulating to learn and master the ever-changing platforms that go into creating a new software system or application.
Benefits to the Organization
Employing full stack developers is advantageous to the business because of these professionals' wide-ranging expertise. In a team environment, full stack professionals have the ability to jump in and help or lead a variety of tasks which can propel productivity, spur better collaboration, and boost ROI.
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Which Skills Do I Need to Become a Full Stack Developer?
To delve deeper into the most sought-after skills and platforms for full stack developers, we'll break them into three domains: front end, back end, and soft skills.
Front End Skills: Front end development controls the parts of a website that are visible and interactive for users. Many elements go into making the front end integrate seamlessly with the back end so the site looks and functions properly. Marketable front end skill sets for full stack developers include:
- Basic web page encoding in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
- Style control using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
- User experience (UX) & user interface (UI) design
- Mobile development in languages like Java & Objective-C
- Essential skills in graphic design concepts and platforms
Back End Skills: Back end development is vital and complex because it deals with the actual architecture of the database and website, i.e., the tools and structures that enable the whole thing to work. Some of the desirable back-end skills you need to become as a full stack developer include:
- Popular server-side programming languages like Ruby, PHP, Python, and .Net
- Database skills in leading platforms like SQL, MySQL, Oracle, and XML
- Version Control Systems such as SVN, Git, Apache & AWS CodeSummit
Soft Skills: Full stack developers will benefit from having a certain set of soft skills, a.k.a. communication skills. Desirable soft skills for this role include:
- Critical thinking
- Creative problem solving
- Team leadership and collaboration
- Verbal and written communication
Degree Programs for Full Stack Developers
Accredited colleges and universities offer a variety of degrees that align with full stack developers’ education requirements. Programs in computer science, web development, and software engineering cover the requisite skills to become a full stack developer along with a well-rounded education that can pay dividends for years to come. Degree programs for full stack developers typically take 2 to 4 years to complete.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science: Software Engineering
- Gain the Expertise to Pursue Sought-After Roles in Web and Mobile Application Development
- Full Stack Software Design and Engineering
- Build Systems Architectures to Meet Business Needs
- Design UIs for Embedded, Cloud & Mobile Systems
- Analyze and Design Data Structures & Algorithms
- Cybersecurity Tools & Techniques ft. Secure Coding
Bachelor of Science in Software Development
- Cross-Platform Application Development Training
- User Interface (UI) & User Experience (UX) Design
- Software Testing, Security and Quality Assurance
- Advanced Data Modeling and Database Development
- Manage Software Projects with Agile Best Practices
- Transfer Previous College Credit to Lower Tuition
Master's in Technology Management
- Prepare to Lead Personnel and Use Emerging Technologies to Achieve Organizational Goals
- Choose from courses such as:
- Business Intelligence and Data Analytics
- Cyber Security Threats & Vulnerabilities
- Managing Diverse Organizations in a Flat World
- Cloud Computing and Virtualization
- Cryptography & Network Security
- Computer Systems Analysis
- No GRE or GMAT Required for Admission
Full Stack Developer Job Outlook
The idea of working as a full stack developer has some exciting implications. First of all, the salary expectations and job outlook are very bright. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for web developers is nearly $77,200 with a projected job growth rate of 13% through 2030, much higher than the 8% national average. The BLS puts software developers at an average salary over $110, 000 with an even higher growth rate of 22%. We look at the combined labor stats of web and software developers in this case because full stack merges these two disciplines. Also there’s no listing for full stack developers in the BLS. If anything, the job outlook for this role is brighter.