The Day-to-Day as a Full Stack Developer
Full Stack Developers build web applications for both the visible front end that users see and the back end that powers the applications. Full Stack Developers can work alone but often work on a team with Front End and or Back End Developers as well as Designers. They work in any industry that uses web-based applications or sites. There are full-time, part-time, and freelance opportunities available for Full Stack Developers. They can work in-person or remotely.
Some Full Stack Developers will work on a small team of less than 10 while others will find themselves on a team of a dozen at a large company with multiple development teams. Some days will focus on the front end, others on the back end, some on the architecture, while some might be a general full stack day. On a day-to-day basis, Full Stack Developers might find themselves coding, working through a scrum board or ticket system, doing code sprints, attending stand up meetings, pair programming with other engineers, whiteboarding, troubleshooting, fixing bugs, optimizing algorithms, or learning new technologies or languages.
What Skills Should Full Stack Developers Have?
Because each employer will use their own specific tech stack the Full Stack Developer should be ready to learn new languages and technologies for each new position. The “tech stack” is a specific combination of languages and technologies that an organization or individual uses to build an application. A Full Stack Developer should be proficient in at least one front end focused language and one back end focused language but most recruiters will expect more. Many Full Stack Developers learn their third and fourth languages on the job. Each employer will expect you to become proficient in their tech stack whether you were proficient in it when they hired you or not.
Learn the Skills You Need to Become a Full Stack Developer
Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. It is used to write scripts, automations, algorithms, manipulate data, and create frameworks. Python prioritizes simplicity, easy to learn syntax, readability, and versatility.
SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a computer language used to store, manipulate, and retrieve data which is stored in a relational database.
Web development is the practice of building, creating, and maintaining websites. Web development uses coding languages to build a website for the internet.
Ruby is a dynamic, interpreted, high-level, open-source programming language which emphasizes simplicity and productivity. The syntax is designed to be natural to read and easy to write. It is used to build web applications. The development framework, Ruby on Rails, is the most popular implementation of Ruby.
Git is a distributed version control system that is standard in software and web development. Git allows multiple developers to work on the same project at once or a single developer to keep track of changes. It also creates a simple environment to conduct A/B testing. Git is designed to optimize speed, data integrity, as well as distributed and non-linear workflows.
PHP & MySQL
PHP is a free, open-source, and server-side scripting language for web development. MySQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that uses Structure Query Language (SQL).
Developer tools are tools typically created by developers to do tasks like debug code, edit code more efficiently, test code, test interface, and more efficiently build websites and applications.
Full Stack Developer Salaries
A Full Stack Developer in the United States makes, on average, $101,081 annually, according to Indeed.com.
Salaries for Full Stack Developers vary by region within the the United States. Listed below are some Full Stack Developer salaries for specific areas with the United States compared with the average national salary:
- U.S. Average $101K source n/a
New York City
Los Angeles, CA
Orange County, CA
- U.S. Average $101K source n/a
Typical Qualifications to Become a Full Stack Developer
Many Full Stack Developers have four-year computer science degrees but graduating from a coding bootcamp is rapidly becoming a commonly accepted qualification for this position. Most employers will do multiple rounds of interviewing with specific topics including culture-fit, coding challenges, whiteboarding, and an offer meeting. Practice articulating how your former jobs prepared transferable skills that you will use in this new position. With a strong portfolio, clear motivation, and actively sharpening your skills during the job hunt, a Junior Full Stack Developer position should be attainable even without a college degree.
Searching for Full Stack Developer Jobs
Full Stack Developers can find positions in almost every industry from big tech companies to small startups. Nonprofits, medical companies, and government entities are also options. There are almost always opportunities for remote Full Stack Developer positions. Freelancing can also be quite lucrative for this specialization. There are flexible and abundant opportunities globally for the Full Stack Developer.
Here are some places you can find Full Stack Developer positions:
Here are some place you can find remote or freelance Full Stack Developer positions:
Tips to Become a Full Stack Developer
To land a position as a Full Stack Developer, you should have a polished resume, a portfolio with at least one full stack application built from start to finish, and a well rounded LinkedIn profile that clearly shows how your previous positions’ skills are transferable.
LinkedIn can be a great resource for Developers looking to secure a position as a Full Stack Developer. You can use LinkedIn to connect with potential future supervisors at companies that you’re applying to, connect with other Developers, and share the work you’re doing while you’re looking for a job.
Some education institutions recommend job seekers post at least one blog post each week about their thought process behind a portfolio piece or something they’ve worked on that week, make at least three LinkedIn connections per day, and make at least five git commits per week on personal or open-source projects. These actions will help you build momentum, community, and practice your skills in a manageable and demonstrable way.
Above all, the job-seeking Full Stack Developer needs to be ready to learn. Each employer will expect you to become proficient in their tech stack whether you were proficient in it when they hired you or not. Many Full Stack Developers learn their third, fourth, and fifth languages on the job during their first Junior positions.
What Job Titles Would a Full Stack Developer Hold?
Full Stack Developer is a general position title. Each company will have its own unique requirements for this position whether that’s a specific tech stack, experience, or task list. Some employers will be looking to fill high-level positions that involve more architecture and design while others will have you solely focused on integrating back end and front end technologies. Still others might require focusing more on one side of the tech stack which might change throughout the lifecycle of your position. You’ll find Full Stack positions at small startups, large corporations, banks, government entities, medical practices, software companies, remotely, freelance, and more. The opportunities for a particular work environment are nearly endless with this position.
Full Stack Developers should look for positions with these titles:
- Full Stack Engineer
- Full Stack Web Developer
- Full Stack Software Engineer
- Full Stack Architect
- Junior Developer
- Associate Developer
- Web Development Apprentice
Additional Full Stack Developer Resources
Depending on the employer, Software Engineer and Full Stack Developer could mean the same thing or two completely different things. Some employers define the Software Developer as someone who works almost solely with back end development while the Full Stack Developer works on every part of a program. Others believe that Software Engineers are people who only build software that does not include web applications. Then there are some employers who assign only coding to Software Engineers while Full Stack Developers will also be responsible for some user experience research, front end design, and deployment on top of their coding responsibilities. The latter typically happens at startups. When looking for full stack positions, you may want to also consider Software Engineer positions – check the position requirements to be sure you’re a good fit.
If you notice that you enjoy working specifically on front or back end components, try specializing. You’ll need to dive deeper into your code, architecture, and brush up on new technologies but it will likely be a simple transition. For Full Stack Developers interested in focusing on the front end you should also focus on Design skills. Full Stack Developers looking to specialize in the back end should dive deeper with servers, databases, scripting, and algorithms.
If you already know Java, Android Mobile Developer would be a simple career transition as well with about the same amount of opportunities as Full Stack Developer positions. Full Stack Developers could also learn Objective-C or dive into the more user-friendly Swift to pivot to iOS development. These positions will also require understanding user experience and user interfacing on a basic level.
Salary Comparison to Full Stack Developer
Python Developers typically choose to focus on back end web development, data science or analysis, scripting, or product development. They build the server side of websites, processes for data analysis, and create automation scripts.Learn about becoming a Python Developer
Product managers guide product development from ideation to market. Starting with consumer and market research, they use their understanding of customer wants and needs to inform product development and go-to-market strategy. They will work closely with engineering, marketing, sales, and other teams to launch products. After launch, they solicit and analyze feedback on the product to inform future iterations.Learn about becoming a Product Manager
Back End Developer
A Back End Developer builds the server-side of a web application and integrates front end development components.Learn about becoming a Back End Developer
Web designers design the appearance and workings of a website. They use their understanding of both visual design and technical design principles to create functional web layouts. Some web designers work from home and enjoy the flexibility of freelance work, while others work for agencies or businesses. Good web designers have the experience and foresight to anticipate the end-user experience and design for ease of use and navigation.Learn about becoming a Web Designer
Software engineers use their extensive knowledge of user experience design, operating systems, and programming languages to develop software. They can create different types of software, from games to operating systems. After analyzing a client's needs, they design, develop, and test software to meet that need. Software engineers can be divided into two distinct career categories: application engineers and systems engineers.Learn about becoming a Software Engineer