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What is a Full-Stack Developer and what do they do?

The term “full-stack developer” is relatively popular in the realm of tech. But what are full-stack developers and what do they do? 

These professionals are masters of numerous programming languages and help with various stages of web development. Their functional knowledge helps the development team take a concept and turn it into a final product. 

Besides, their versatile nature helps them seamlessly transition from one development environment to another. 

Here’s a comprehensive guide about full-stack developers and their responsibilities.

Full-Stack Developers: Everything you need to know

Full-stack development entails two general fields, namely front-end and back-end development. Understanding those is crucial to learn about full-stack developers. 

Front-End Development 

Front-end development is about representing your website - how does the information appear in the browsers, and how is it laid out on other devices?

A front-end developer must consider everything one sees on the website, from layout to font and colours to images and text. 

A knowledgeable front-end developer would be proficient with CSS, HTML, and scripting languages like JavaScript. Such languages help developers execute information on a website to make it visually appealing. 

The primary role of a front-end developer is to give customers a user-friendly platform to interact with and exchange information. 

As such, an understanding of web design and relevant software is crucial. 

Besides, the know-how of user interface design helps them evaluate the best methods to display and gather information. 

Back-End Development

Back-end development is about the coding that happens “under the hood.” It involves creating, editing, and collecting data. 

Back-end developers use scripting languages like Ruby, PHP, and Python to develop algorithms and business logic. This helps to manage previously received data - during the front-end development phase. 

A back-end developer knows how to write code to receive the information from the end user and store it in a database. 

Two primary database types include relational and non-relational. SQL is a popular language used for database management because it makes interaction easier. 

Server management is yet another aspect of back-end development. They are applications that host databases and serve the site. Managing servers using cloud-based platforms with infrastructure is also possible. 

The better the developer understands server management, the better they can troubleshoot complex applications and determine their website scalability.

What does a Full-Stack Developer do?

A full-stack developer juggles both the client-side and server side of the application. So, it makes sense that they have an array of responsibilities. 

It is worth noting that a full-stack developer working as a freelancer would work on more aspects of a project than someone working as a part of a team for a larger organisation - because the firm assigns specific roles to each team member. 

However, here’s a general overview of tasks you can expect to perform as a full-stack developer actively working for a company. 

  • Optimise the web pages for different devices

  • Use frontend code to design user interactions 

  • Develop and maintain databases and servers 

  • Write documentation 

  • Design and create practical APIs

  • Receive designs from UI and UX designers and code them 

  • Work closely with data analysts and scientists on data structure 

  • Stay abreast of the technological developments to optimise the software accordingly

Why become a Full-Stack Developer?

Full-stack developers can evaluate website visuals and manipulate data while knowing the technical limitations of such executions. They are henceforth more valued than someone familiar with one side of the coin.

There are, however, other factors that make this career path more desirable among aspiring candidates. 

Great pay 

Everybody loves a high-paying job in an inflation-stricken world like today. 

So, a reason to consider full-stack development is that it pays. The professionals are paid better because they offer more to an organisation. In fact, a skilled full-stack developer has the potential to up a company’s revenue and add to its reputation. 

According to Indeed, the average salary of full-stack developers in Ireland is around €68000 yearly

Comparatively, the national average salary in Ireland is around €44,202 annually

So, you can make much more than the national average as a full-stack developer working with an organisation. 

High demand 

Who wouldn’t want to break into a sought-after career? The high demand demonstrates the value associated with the position. 

More and more businesses are becoming aware of the importance of full-stack developers and their role in upgrading the company.

Popular sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Irishjobs have 413, 392, and 153 open full-stack developer positions. 

So, companies are actively looking for competent people. You only need to polish your skills, get out there, and apply to relevant positions. 

More productivity 

Full-stack developers know multiple technologies. Whether they want to create a database or add images to a web page, they’ll do everything efficiently. 

This gives them an edge over other developers because they can make quick technical decisions and focus on the bigger picture. 

For instance, how a specific change would impact the entire project is something a full-stack developer can quickly understand and address. Quick decision-making and control over the project enhances their productivity and saves them time. 

The more productive you are, the higher your demand. It’s because companies want to save time and optimise their processes to gain a competitive edge. If you can help them achieve that, expect to feel valued as soon as you enter the industry. 

Better flexibility 

Everybody appreciates a flexible work environment; gladly, you can enjoy it as a full-stack developer. 

Full-stack developers know about several aspects of development, allowing them to work at their convenience. They can work on the client side or server side of the application. 

As a result, they have better control over the product they want to develop. They can experiment with different tools and software for the desired outcome.

What makes a good Full-Stack Developer?

A good full-stack developer seeks self-improvement strategies and is willing to work hard. Due to the ever-changing nature of technology, developers are expected to learn actively and consistently about emerging trends. 

If you want to maximise your abilities as a full-stack developer, keep the following tips in mind. 

Sticking to a few technologies only because they are the ones you’ll use daily isn’t wise. No amount of knowledge is enough. 

You must learn different technologies and programming languages and step out of your comfort zone. Maybe you won’t use your additional knowledge regularly; you’ll need it down the road. 

Staying abreast of the changing trends 

Technology is constantly evolving. So, your existing knowledge isn’t enough to excel in the field and grow your career. You must stay on top of the changes to alter your development practices accordingly. 

Yes, the new technology won’t replace the existing software anytime soon, but you must be willing to explore it to assess how it can contribute to your product. 

Having non-technical skills

Gone are the days when technical skills alone were enough to land your favourite job and grow your career. It’s 2023, and employers value soft skills just like hard ones. 

As a full-stack developer, you must have problem-solving, creative, and communication skills. 

Challenges are inevitable during web development. Those with better problem-solving skills do well as developers. Likewise, designing the website requires creativity, and addressing concerns with peers and seniors demands communication skills. 

Besides, patience is a plus. Coding doesn’t happen in a snap. You must maintain a calm attitude to create a clean code. 

Here are a few other personality traits that’ll come in handy when working as a full-stack developer. 

  • Time management. Full-stack developers are multitasking for the most part. They constantly shift between the client and server sides of the application to get the job done. It isn’t unlikely to mess up with so much on your plate. Therefore, you must have excellent time management and multitasking skills to nail each project. 

  • Curiosity. Good full-stack developers want to learn more about the industry and user interactions with the app to tweak their existing strategies. 

  • Creativity. The ability to think out of the box enables full-stack developers to present creative solutions. This, in turn, helps create web apps that stand out from the competitors. As such, there is no room for repetition, and the developers must have solid creative skills to offer something unique for each project. 

  • Communication. Full-stack developers are often a point of contact between front and back-end development teams. Therefore, they are expected to be proficient communicators in verbal and written communication. 

Knowing tools and software full-stack developers use 

If you’re willing to advance as a full-stack developer, you must learn the tricks of this career. Make sure you polish your technical skills and include them in your CV to show your competence in the field. Become familiar with the following:

  • Front-end languages like Javascript, HTML, CSS, and more

  • Back-end programming languages like PHP, Python, and Ruby 

  • SOAP and REST APIs and protocols like HTTP 

  • Version control systems like GitHub and Git to handle project files 

  • Graphic designing skills 

  • Database management systems MySQL and MongoDB 

  • Web hosting platforms like Microsoft Azure and Amazon web services to deploy products on a cloud service provider.

FAQs 

What language do Full Stack Developers use? 

Full-stack developers use various languages, from PHP to Node.js and Python to ASP.NET. Experts believe that CSS and HTML and newer languages like React.js and Agular JS will become more common among full-stack developers in the coming years. 

What’s the difference between a software developer and a full-stack developer?

A software developer builds complicated software, while a full-stack developer works with web applications and websites. Software developers need extensive computer science knowledge, whereas full-stack developers must be proficient in programming languages and frameworks. 

How much does a Full-Stack Developer get? 

The annual wage of a full-stack developer in Ireland is €68,000. However, your experience, skill set, and location determine your precise salary. A newbie with limited experience would likely get less than a professional with a vast skill set and extensive experience.

Conclusion

The surge in demand for full-stack developers in recent years has everyone asking, “What is a full-stack developer and what do they do?” 

Full-stack developers are professionals working on both the front and back-end of software development. The all-rounders are highly valued among companies today - hence the rising interest in the field. 

If you’re willing to break into this career but aren’t sure how to go about it, consider taking a Full-Stack Software Development Course by UCD Professional Academy

By the end of the UCD Professional Academy professional diploma, you’ll have enough knowledge and experience to secure a position in a reliable company. Besides, the flexible hours of the course let you learn at your convenience, which is a plus.