The Pretty Good Guide to Full Stack Development

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With attractive salaries, excellent growth potential and a holistic nature
enabling a wide range of creative opportunities, it’s no wonder the role of
full stack developer is among the most desirable in the world of tech.

From the precise role that these all-round engineers play within an
organization, to the technical and non-technical skills needed to become a
full stack developer, we take a detailed look at one of the most enduringly
in-demand jobs in tech.

What is full stack development?

Full stack development has a comprehensive approach to web and software development,
taking in every aspect of the process.

From the server code at the back-end of development, to the API code in the middle, all the
way up to the user’s front-end experience, a full stack developer puts their mark on every
element of the development chain.

Not only do full stack developers work with front-end and back-end development, but they
understand how these two distinct pieces fit together. They bridge the gap. And the more
robust and seamless that bridge is, the more effective the flow of communication is
throughout the application.

An easy way to think of full stack development is by picturing a restaurant. The frontend of a
restaurant is the first thing a customer experiences – the host who greets you at the door,
the comfy furniture that’s so inviting, the vibrant design that catches the eye and the
easy-to-follow menu. Behind the scenes, at the back-end, is the kitchen, where the chef
cooks up the food. In between, is the waiter who bridges the gap and facilitates
communication between the front of house and back of house.

Now, imagine if your job was to do all of these things. You would need to have an all-round
skill set, being able to build an intuitive, fluid experience for the customer, while ensuring the
foundations are stable, robust and reliable.

This, in simplified terms, is the role of a full stack developer.

Where does the term full stack developer come from?

The term “full stack developer” has its origins in the late 90s early 2000s. In the early days of
the internet, smaller, less complicated websites enabled a single person to build a site from
end to end, dealing with every aspect of the development process.

Nowadays, with the advancement of technologies such as machine learning, as well as the
sheer complexity of web architecture, having a fully rounded development skill set is a lot
more difficult.

The term “stack” refers to a single component within a development project – hence full stack
being the combination of all the elements of the project.

What exactly does a full stack developer do?

A full stack developer is the key person involved in producing a website or app. They have a
deep influence over every step of the development process, from the creation all the way
through to the final launch.

A full stack developer’s responsibilities include:

Communicating with clients and stakeholders to get a clear idea of project
expectations and requirements
Analyzing those requirements and creating a project plan
Collaborating with a graphic design team to develop concepts and prototypes
Creating client-facing platforms using web-building programming languages
Coding across multiple platforms and programming languages
Building database and server architecture
Testing and evaluating the responsiveness of the website or app for end-users.
Testing and debugging software for optimization
Modifying codes using hardware and software
Managing databases and servers
Learning about emerging technologies
Understanding the vision of their company/business

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