How to Become a Full Stack Developer? [ Job & Future ]
Last updated on 09th Jul 2020, Blog, General
- First off, what really makes a developer full stack?
- Before we dive in, let’s talk about that focus
- So where do we start?
- Front End
- Back End
First off, what really makes a developer full stack?
- It’s fun and buzz to say any front end developer is a full stack developer, but being able to deploy a website to Netlify doesn’t make you full stack.
- This isn’t meant to be discouraging – just realistically, only having that experience won’t hold up well to that job title in your next interview. While you’re technically creating and deploying your work from start to finish, Netlify, Zeit, and other providers give you the power to do this with their magical tools that take the majority of the stack operations work out of the equation.
- That’s not to take away from what we’re all able to accomplish now as front end Devs. The growing movement to compile and deploy static websites has just made this process simpler on the later half of the stack with benefits across the board.
- Additionally, with the flexibility of tooling options like being able to run JS on a server, our skill sets are able to transfer to more use cases than ever before.
- The web development landscape has been changing rapidly. WordPress has been king CMS for a little while now, representing over a third of websites who use a CMS and helping PHP gain popularity. But others worked off of homegrown solutions.
- These represented a more traditional web stack like LAMP. In these cases, you had web servers usually running some kind of content management system and a server side language (like PHP) that would interface with the databases and produce the code that would ultimately be delivered to the browser.
- While WordPress isn’t going anywhere, the server less and JAMstack architectures are building momentum. For those unfamiliar, the idea isn’t that there are literally no servers, but it’s more about using servers that are managed for you in the cloud.
- Services like AWS Lambda let you build a “function” that processes simple input and output. Attach that to API Gateway and you immediately have an endpoint you can interface with without ever having to actually manage a server.
- Others like S3 let you dump HTML, CSS, JS, images, and whatever other static assets into storage and serve the site directly from it. Nothing gets processed on the server, you’re simply serving the static files to the client.
- The brilliant part about this is there’s a lot less overhead and it’s typically a whole heck of a lot cheaper. Many cases, you’ll also get a huge performance boost, where serving a site from s3 will require less processing to get that first response to the browser, which can directly equate to improved user experience.
- This isn’t to push you to the JAMstack, but to show that the full stack paradigm is shifting and it’s something worth looking at. There still is a traditional sense of the difference in work, but it’s becoming a bit different.
- While there is still a split sense of duties, the line is blurring and makes it more manageable to spread your focus.
Before we dive in, let’s talk about that focus
- It can be pretty tempting to want to dive right in and cover the full spectrum of a full stack developer, but there’s something to be said about focus. This is the basis of the expression “jack of all trades, master of none,” where you try to learn a little bit of each part of the full stack and never really master anything.
- This can be dangerous when starting off trying to build your strengths as a new developer. So try to evaluate what type of learner you are and lend your focus where it matters. If you’re struggling with a spread out curriculum, that might not necessarily help get you the experience you need to land that first job or that dream job you’re reaching for.
- A novel approach, for example, could be having an individual focus, but building the full stack skills around that strength. This might be a front end developer who can deploy their own web apps and continuing to build on that fundamental knowledge.
- On top of that, part of being a full stack developer isn’t necessarily being able to say that you know x, y, and z languages. Understanding code and software design concepts as well as being able to tackle any challenge at hand, stack aside, is what makes a great developer.
- The bottom line, try to figure out what’s best for you and don’t let your high ambition get in the way of mastering your journey.
So where do we start?
- For the purposes of this article, we’re going to keep with the traditional breakpoints of what break up the stack (front end, back end, etc.). Though some people say it’s not really a thing anymore, realistically, there are tons of jobs for full stack developers and day to day, they refer to the traditional breakpoints. “Full stack developer” definitely isn’t going anywhere.
- As far as the stack goes, we’re going to lean on the serverless / JAMstack architectures, as that’s just going to keep growing. And if you learn them, it will only make you more marketable with the number of jobs popping up around it.
- As you’ll notice below, this isn’t meant to be all encompassing with every type of database and every type of rendering solution. A strong developer should be able to be flexible with their tooling, reaching to understand the concepts of their work rather than being single minded and only being able to be productive in one framework.
- While you may be working in React and comfortable with it in your current job (that’s okay!), your next job could be heavy on Vue or “surprise!” your team lead wants to rewrite the app in Svelte. Try to understand why you’re using a UI framework in the first place and how it’s helping you solve the problem at hand.
- Using these UI frameworks will allow you to create “components”, essentially blocks of code, that will end up producing HTML with the ability to create interactions and dynamic states right along with your code. This becomes really powerful, and while there might be a little curve to start, it becomes pretty delightful to work with once you get the hang of it.
- It will also make your life easier when you’re trying to understand some of the complexities of different patterns and the concepts behind the frameworks you’ll use.
- Speaking of frameworks, React and Vue are probably the best candidates given their popularity. React is the most popular out of the bunch and is just going to keep growing. Its team is constantly working to mature the framework and produce APIs that will help build modern, fast web apps.
- Getting started with Create React App or Gatsby will even help you easily spin up a React app and immediately get into a position where you can tinker around in the code.
- While there would be benefits to call out CSS preprocessors and tools like Sass, there are a ton of solutions now for CSS including CSS-in-JS.
- While putting CSS inside of JS has some pros and cons, it isn’t necessarily worth pointing out what to use as a particular direction, as it’s really going to be team dependent.
- Understanding the basics and power of CSS and how to use it in it’s vanilla form will help prepare you for utilizing it no matter the framework.
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- In the JAMstack world, the back end will generally refer to the APIs that our front ends use to create dynamic experiences by interacting with endpoints from the client Being able to make those requests from the client will remove the need to have to do any of that processing before the page is served to the browser.
- NodeJS is a common runtime that you’ll find in most cloud environments as an option and will give you a similar experience to what you’d expect in a browser. The main difference is that you won’t have access to certain browser APIs nor will there be a window object and the APIs associated with it.
Skill sets required to become a Full Stack Developer
Full Stack Developer Skill Set
1) Front-end technology
2) Development Languages
Full stack engineer should know at least one server-side programming languages like Java, Python, Ruby, .Net etc.
3) Database and cache
Knowledge of various DBMS technology is another important need of full stack developer. MySQL, MongoDB, Oracle, SQLServer are widely used for this purpose. Knowledge of caching mechanisms like varnish, Memcached, Redis is a plus.
4) Basic design ability
In order to become a successful full stack developer, the knowledge of designing is also recommended. Moreover, the person should know the principle of basic prototype design and UI /UX design.
Exposure to handling Apache or Nginx servers is desirable. A good background in Linux helps tremendously in administering servers.
6) Version control system (VCS)
A version control system allows full stack developers to keep track of all the changes made in the code base. The knowledge of Git helps full stack developers to understand how to get the latest code, update parts of the code, make changes in other developer’s code without breaking things.
7) Working with API (REST & SOAP):
Knowledge of web services or API is also important for full stack developers. Knowledge of creations and consumption of REST and SOAP services is desirable.
Other Pieces of the Puzzle:
- Ability to write quality unit tests
- He or she should have a complete understanding of automated processes for building testing, document, and deploying it at scale
- An awareness of security concerns is important, as each layer has its own vulnerabilities
- Knowledge of Algorithms and data structures is also an essential need for professional full stack developers