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How to Become a Full-Stack Developer?

The demand for full stack developers is growing as the world increasingly relies on apps. Becoming a full stack developer isn’t challenging if you’re committed and willing to put in the effort. 

So, if you’ve your heart set on handling the most sought-after role in the IT industry, here’s a guide to get you started.

What is a Full Stack Developer?

A full stack developer is a professional versed in front-end and back-end engineering.

Generally, the development of software applications falls into two categories: front-end and back-end development. 

The front-end development, also called the client side, includes elements of the application that people directly interact with. 

On the flip side, back-end development is the behind-the-scenes technology that stores and calculates business data and completes user requests. In other words, it powers the server side of the application. 

Front-end developers ensure the end product is user-friendly and visually compelling. In doing so, they refine different visible website parts and make elements responsive to distinctive environments like tablets, laptops, smartphones, desktops, etc. 

In contrast, back-end developers use programming languages to exchange information between the end databases and the browser. They create and optimise the internal software that handles a business’s servers, proprietary software, and databases. 

On the other hand, full stack developers are multi-talented professionals who develop both the front-end and back-end of a website. However, they aren’t required to be skilled in all facets of frontends and backends. Knowledge of the technologies involved and understanding of the processes within an application are enough.

Here are a few responsibilities of a full stack developer:

  • They work with a site from beginning to launch.

  • They work closely with user interface teams to prototype and build websites. 

  • They manage server and database administration responsibilities. 

  • They communicate with end-users to learn about a product’s efficiency.

A guide to becoming a Full Stack Developer 

The surge in demand is encouraging tech-savvy and aspiring candidates to hone their skills and break into a full stack developer career as soon as possible. If you’re on the same page, here’s what it takes to become one.

Choose your learning method

Online courses are convenient and flexible because they allow you to adjust your study schedule per your preferences. This means you can juggle a full-stack developer course besides your full-time job or family responsibilities. 

UCD Professional Academy Diploma in Full-Stack Software Development, gives you the flexibility to suit your study to your busy life. In general the course runs over 11 months with 2x3 hour live online lectures per week. The course gives you ample opportunities to interact with your fellow classmates, industry experts and your lecturer.

Full-Stack Software Development Skills

Your learning path might differ from others depending on your experience and current skill set. As a budding developer, you must acquire specialised skills and project experience. 

In contrast, those who desire to level up their careers must upskill more than professional developers. 

To begin with, you must learn different programming languages. The more programming languages you know, the more they’ll add to your resume.

Front-End Developer Programming Languages 

Front-end development involves everything the user hears, views, and does. To earn the title of a competent full-stack developer, you must get to grips with the programming languages that optimise an app’s functionality and make it visually appealing. 

Some popular languages include the following. 

  • CSS 

  • Javascript 

  • HTML 

  • Jquery 

  • React JS

Back-End Developer Programming Languages 

What good is the user experience if behind-the-scenes tech isn’t working efficiently? To ensure a website remains practical, you must thoroughly understand the back-end programming frameworks and technologies. 

Here’s what an employer expects you to know as a full-stack developer. 

  • Ruby 

  • PHP 

  • Python 

  • SQL 

  • Java

Soft skills 

Besides the necessary technical skills, a list of soft skills is always welcome and appreciated. They allow you to maximise your existing knowledge and perform well inside an organisation

Generally, employees expect you to have excellent attention-to-detail, problem-solving, and communication skills. 

Developers are required to pay close attention when creating a code to keep the app or site functional - hence the need for attention-to-detail skills. 

Likewise, much creativity goes into designing the website, handling records, and structuring codes. In addition, efficient communication with seniors and peers guarantees quality work and the best outcomes.

Create your portfolio 

A sensible employer wants to believe you’re the next ideal candidate they’ve been looking for. However, you must provide evidence to showcase your abilities and make them BELIEVE. 

Therefore, having a sound portfolio makes sense. You can present your work about your role in the project and the technologies you used. 

It goes without saying that your work must depict technical proficiency and a flair for design. Consider publishing your code to a public repository or a code versioning site. Also, do not hesitate to include the projects you’re currently working on.

Perfect your CV

Experts recommend modifying your CV to apply for different jobs. Customising your CV lets you convey information in line with the company’s requirements. 

It’s because a relevant CV makes your potential employer feel you’ve put in the effort and are passionate about the role. 

Make sure you write about your education, professional history, skill set, and any relevant courses you’ve taken. 

The key is to fill the gaps that were left in your portfolio. Though you cannot do much to add your personality to a single document, a well-organised CV speaks volumes about you as a candidate. 

A CV with mistakes and errors would quickly turn off your potential employer and undermine the value of your portfolio - regardless of how attractive it was.

Grow your professional network 

A professional network is critical to scaling your career and landing your dream job. 

LinkedIn is one of the best platforms to connect and meet like-minded people. You can join a community of professional full-stack developers and communicate with them regularly to gain helpful insights and let the experts know you’re looking for a job. 

Consider adding projects to your portfolio and keep an eye on the recent jobs. Apply for a job as soon as you find one that aligns with your skills and experience. 

Besides, who knows, a recruiter might stumble upon your profile and suggest you to a company looking for a full-stack developer.

Know your tools 

You must familiarise yourself with fundamental tools that an employer expects you to know as a full-stack developer. 

  • A text editor allows you to enter, edit, and save text characters. Most operating systems and software development packages include them. As a full-stack developer, you can use them to edit the programming language code. 

  • Computer and OS. Because it is impossible to program without an operating system and computer, you must know how to go about them. 

  • Terminal. It lets you boost your work efficiency. The terminal is an interface where you can implement commands. Although you cannot acquire source code with terminals, you can execute text-based commands. Common examples include iTerm, PowerShell, and Git Bash. 

  • Browser. Full-stack developers troubleshoot issues that may arise during work using browsers. Firefox and Chrome are two popular browsers. 

  • Design tools. Though it isn’t mandatory, basic know-how of design tools comes in handy as a full-stack developer. So, if you have time, consider familiarising yourself with front-end design tools like AdobeXD, Photoshop, or Figma. 

We recommend exploring tools specific to front and back-end development. Bootstrap, Angular.js, Foundation, and Elixir are a few software to check as a front-end developer. Contrarily, Django, Lodash, Ember.js, and React are some handy back-end tools.

Practice consistently 

Understanding the necessary technologies isn’t enough; you must use this knowledge in an application. 

For instance, you should learn about the correct method to structure code, ways to separate files, appropriate data structures to utilise, the environment to host extensive media files, and more. 

Yes, online materials help you gain theoretical knowledge; implementing a web application in real time will polish your skills better. 

Make sure you dedicate daily hours to full-stack development learning and practice persistently before applying for a job.

Ace your interview 

Pat yourself on the back if you’ve come this far. Now is the time to explore ways to do well in your interview. The success of your interview heavily relies on your personality and preparation. Here are a few tips to remember. 

Refresh your existing skills

Almost all full-stack developer interviews include a technical part that enables potential employers to test your coding skills. 

You might assume you’re still familiar with the code you implemented a month ago. However, getting confused and forgetting even the basic things during an interview isn't uncommon. 

Therefore, ensure to practise your coding skills and take up challenges to complete tasks within 30-40 minutes. Know how to identify bugs and fix them within a limited timeframe. The more you practise, the better you’ll do at your interview. 

Prepare for Full-Stack Developer Interview Questions 

It is impossible to predict the precise questions a hiring manager would ask you during an interview. However, knowing your way around general questions can eliminate confusion, uncertainty, and stress. 

The hiring manager may, for instance, ask you if you’re currently working on any projects. This helps them know about your passion and determination toward your field. Are you applying for the job only to earn money, or are you enthusiastic about the role? 

Besides, questions regarding the essential qualities of a full-stack developer give them an insight into your qualities as a developer. 

Also, they may ask you about a project that went wrong to know how you handle project uncertainties. 

Finally, a question regarding the “latest” technological developments is also common. This helps them understand whether you’re serious about your field and what you do to keep yourself abreast of the changing trends.

Reasons why you should consider a Full-Stack Development career

A full-stack developer is a jack of all trades. They blend an application's practical and creative sides to enhance user experience. This requires them to manage different development processes, from database to presentation and logic. 

Here’s what makes full-stack development worth considering.

Full-Stack Development offers a competitive salary 

Because full-stack development directly impacts marketing and business, it has become a crucial part of all sectors. It can help firms stand out from the crowd and outpace their competitors. This explains why companies are quick to offer a market-competitive salary. 

The average salary of a full-stack developer in Ireland is around €68,000+ annually. However, this varies depending on your skill, experience, location, and company. 

You can expect better pay with an extensive skill set and vast experience.

The field is versatile 

Full-stack developers provide multiple end-to-end solutions. This explains why they’re well-liked among IT and software development companies.

 

As a full-stack developer, you understand CSS, HTML, JavaScript, data storage, HTTP, and back-end programming languages (PHP, Python, SQL). 

Also, the constantly evolving tech requires developers to stay updated regarding the languages, tools, and programs to up their game.

There’s room for growth 

Companies no longer pursue specific roles. In fact, they are open to selecting and training multifaceted full-stack developers. Companies worldwide value their end-to-end solutions, which pave the way to career progression. 

Most full-stack developers start with the basic know-how of front and back-end technologies. 

However, years of exposure give them a deeper insight into each aspect. 

Many full-stack developers start at the entry-level, but the experience teaches them to master skills quickly and climb the ladder.

Higher productivity 

Full-stack developers handle both the client-side and server-side of the application. This gives them control over the product and allows them to add creativity to each project. 

The title of full-stack developer has the edge over other developers for obvious reasons. They can view both sides of the application and provide a better judgement of the right and wrong approach. 

Creativity blended with judgement skills boosts their overall productivity.

FAQs 

Is it hard to become a Full-Stack Developer?

Becoming a full-stack developer isn’t challenging if you’re willing to gut out the learning curve. There is no overnight success in any career path, and the same applies to full-stack development. However, perseverance and dedication will make your journey less taxing and more bright. 

What do you need to become a Full Stack Developer?

You need to learn a set of hard and soft skills to become a full-stack developer. The technical skills include a blend of front-end and back-end languages and frameworks, from CSS and JavaScript to NodeJS, Flask, and C++. Contrarily, soft skills include excellent communication, attention to detail, and creative skills.

Conclusion

A full-stack software development career enables you to explore the latest solutions with prestigious companies and be at the forefront of emerging technologies.

But how to become a full-stack developer? 

Gladly, you do not need extensive coding experience to kickstart your career in the field. In fact, a full-stack software development course from the UCD Professional Academy can help you draw a straight line from beginner to pro. 

The course equips you with all the front and back-end development skills you need to begin your career and advance. 

So, what are you waiting for? Enrol in one today and embark on your new journey with confidence!