2 min read

Full stack developer has been named as one of the most common developer roles according to the latest stack overflow survey. But what exactly does a full stack developer do and what does a typical full stack developer job description look like?

Full stack developers bridge the gap between the font end and back end

Full stack developers deal with the full spectrum of development, from back end to front end development. They are hugely versatile technical professionals, and because they work on both the client and server side, they need to be able to learn new frameworks, libraries and tools very quickly.

There’s a common misconception that full stack developers are experts in every area of web development. They’re not – they’re often generalists with broad knowledge that doesn’t necessarily run deep.

However, this lack of depth isn’t necessarily a disadvantage. Because they have experience in both back end and front end development they know how to provide solutions to working with both. But most importantly, as Agile becomes integral to modern development practices, developers who are able to properly understand and move between front and back ends is vital. From an economic perspective it also makes sense – with a team of full-stack developers you have a team of people able to perform multiple roles.

What a full stack developer job description looks like

Every full-stack developer job description looks different. The role is continually evolving and different organizations will require different skills. Here are some of the things you’re likely to see:

  • HTML / CSS
  • JavaScript
  • JavaScript frameworks like Angular or React
  • Experience of UI and API design
  • SQL and experience with other databases
  • At least one backend programming language (python, ruby, java etc)
  • Backend framework experience (for example, ASP.NET Core, Flask)
  • Build and release management or automation tools such as Jenkins
  • Virtualization and containerization knowledge (and today possibly serverless too)

Essentially, it’s up to the individual to build upon their knowledge by learning new technologies in order to become an expert full stack developer.

Full stack developers need soft skills

But soft skills are also important for full-stack developers. Being able to communicate effectively, manage projects and stakeholders is essential. Of course, knowledge of Agile and Scrum are always in-demand; being collaborative is also vital, as software development is never really a solitary exercise. Similarly, commercial awareness is highly valued – a full stack developer that understands they are solving business problems, not just software problems is invaluable.

Co-editor of the Packt Hub. Interested in politics, tech culture, and how software and business are changing each other.


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