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What is a Full Stack Developer?

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26th Nov, 2022
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What is a Full Stack Developer?

One of the recent buzzwords ‘full-stack developers’ must have grabbed your attention following its growing popularity among aspiring developers looking for lucrative career opportunities in the tech realm. As the work profile continues dominating the best jobs list around the world as a top contender year by year, you need to understand what is a full stack engineer, what is a full stack developer and the reason behind their popularity. 

To answer your question about what is a full stack developer, full stack developers are versatile players in the coding field, owning precision in various roles amid changing environments, which results in them juggling front and back-end development simultaneously. The multifaceted role makes it one of the most sought-after positions in the tech arena and a lucrative career, attracting countless aspiring developers to train for the position. 

If you are unfamiliar with the job role or want to know what is a full stack engineer or what does full stack mean in general, keep reading to learn all about full-stack and full-stack developers in the article to understand the job role closely. As full-stack development combines both front- and back-end development, let’s start by knowing more about these two!

Front-End Development

Front-end development refers to managing the development work that deals with the presentation of any website. It leverages HTML, CSS, and Javascript to build an architecture of complex web and software applications for user-friendly interaction. The front-end developer’s goal is to make the website as appealing as possible to receive more visitors and interactions. As a front-end developer’s work is the first thing one notices about the website, it demands precision to run high-quality work. 

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Back-End Development

Back-end development refers to managing the behind-the-scenes of any website or software that helps run it smoothly for rapid response. Developers managing the back-end are responsible for maintaining the server-side of the website by building the back-end database, testing, and debugging it repeatedly. It supports front-end processes by strengthening the server-side of the application while the front-end maintains a stable user interaction.  

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Full-stack development

Full-stack development combines the prowess of the back-end and front-end to create a seamless environment that deals with both aspects. Full-stack developers must be well-versed with the required software used in both fields. In simple words, full-stack development manages the interactive side of a website, works on designing web applications, and simultaneously owns coding proficiency to communicate with servers on the back and convey the message through front-end use. 

Full-stack development demands many years of experience to work on the job profile as it requires proficiency in two web development environments, making it a highly sought-after position for many candidates. As the web continues evolving into a more complex shape, deploying a single entity to manage it entirely can be challenging but not impossible, which is why a full-stack development career is pretty lucrative.

What is the role of a full-stack developer?

Managing a responsible position demands full-stack developers to work across multiple roles and responsibilities. Some of them are given below.

  • Coding error-free, smooth web applications and software using CSS, HTML, and Javascript
  • Analyzing, evaluating, testing in regulated environments, and finally deploying a web application
  • Working on the visual aspect of a web application with user experience design and other graphic software
  • Maintaining effective code for precision on front and back-end processes 
  • Database and server management
  • Working alongside other developers and design teams to maintain quality in all projects
  • Communicating with clients and stakeholders to understand their demands or changes and continue meeting them in a feasible way

The Demand for Full-Stack Developers Across the World

Full-stack development initially came into existence when computing and programming processes were still evolving, enabling only one entity to work on the end-to-end web development process. As computing prowess improved, more complex processes started being incorporated, hence dividing the task among different types of developers. This can be why many think full-stack developers might not be as popular as they were back in the day, but statistics differ. 

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In a report created by Glassdoor, full-stack development topped the list of best jobs in the year 2022, where it ranked number two for two reasons. First, being a heavily sought-after career, and two, as a lucrative career where candidates are willing to invest. Computing processes are still on the run to create a revolution and work along challenging aspects, though full-stack developers are still in demand and see a potential surge in the future. 

Skills Required to Become a Full-Stack Developer

Being a lucrative career opportunity for many developers, it also demands the job profile to uphold several critical responsibilities that one can only attain through a detailed set of skills. If you are interested in stepping into the full-stack development field, go through the given set of skills to understand what your resume demands. 

  • Front-end languages like HTML, CSS, and Javascript
  • Back-end development languages like Python, PHP, or Java
  • Web Architecture 
  • Fundamentals of design
  • Database management systems
  • Web hosting platforms
  • Version control systems
  • Soft skills like analytical thinking, problem-solving, communication, leadership, time management, creativity, and strategic planning.

Salaries Across Different Regions for Full-Stack Developers

Full-stack, being one of the most well-paid jobs, has various key factors affecting the salary range. From years of experience or skills to a place of employment, these directly affect the amount a full-stack developer is bound to receive. Let’s take a look at full-stack developer salaries across the USA. 

  • Average Full-stack developer salary in the US: $100,890
  • Experience Less Than a Year: $82,805
  • Experience (3-5 years): $122,108
Cities Salary Based on Cities in the US
New York$116,972/ annually
Seattle$113,262/ annually
Los Angeles$110,626/ annually
Chicago $109,458/ annually
Atlanta$106,041/ annually
Brooklyn$105,358/ annually
Dalla $105,129/ annually
Austin$104,540/ annually
San Antonio$98,093/ annually

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How to step into the full-stack development market?

Early preparation for a strong career in full-stack starts with completing basic education following the science stream to further cement a place in the leading STEM career opportunity as a full-stack developer. Candidates are recommended to obtain a bachelor’s degree in relevant subjects, including computer science, computer engineering, and other related computer courses. One can either obtain a master’s degree or not completely depends on them. However, a master’s degree does have its perks you might not want to miss.

Besides covering your basic educational requirements, the full-stack development market will require you to have prior work experience. Projects, side jobs, internships, or full-time jobs in relevant fields are considered when applying for a full-stack developer position in any leading brand. The more experience you have, the better salary and position you acquire. Additional certifications often extend diverse opportunities your way, and one such certification is offered under upGrad, India’s leading online education platform. 

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Software development is one of the most lucrative career options for young professionals. If you are already in the industry or looking to make a start, you must enroll in upGrad’s Executive PG Program in Software Development. The program teaches you in-demand skills and the ten highest paying coding languages and tools. You can choose from four specializations, including Blockchain Development, Full Stack Development, DevOps, and Cloud Backend Development. 

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Emerging as a current buzzword gaining attention from global entities, full-stack development is bound to receive a surge of massive candidates proficient in programming essentials required to work through complex full-stack projects. While it is good news for organizations, candidates are concerned about making their place future-proof. Certifications and keeping up with the industry trends is the only way to support your full-stack job in the future. 


Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1 What does a full-stack developer do?

A full-stack developer combines the skills of front-end and back-end developers to work on maintaining the server and client sides of the software. Full-stack developers are involved in the detailed process of software development and application creation which involves planning, testing, executing, and deploying the final product.

2What is the difference between web development and full-stack development?

Web development is a specialized field where the relevant engineers are limited to work on either the client or the server side with front-end or back-end. On the other hand, full-stack developers own a comprehensive insight of both the client and server side of the software, implementing the front and back-end processes independently.

3Which is better: software engineering or full-stack development?

Full-stack developers and software engineers play critical roles in organizations with their skillset. However, full-stack developers are often seen taking up leadership roles compared to software engineers who are made to work on specialized projects directly to use their subject expertise for high-quality work.

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