You may have seen “full-stack developer” on job applications or education sites. And maybe you’re wondering what exactly a full-stack developer does or how you can become a full-stack developer.
We’re here with the answers for you.
In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about full-stack development, from types of full stacks to potential job titles and salary information.
Keep reading to learn more about this career path option and whether you might enjoy working as a full-stack developer.
What Is a Full-Stack Developer?
In a nutshell, a full-stack developer is someone who develops web applications from start to finish. They have deep knowledge in various programming languages and frameworks, and they also understand user experience.
Full-stack developers are fluent in both the front-end (client side) and back-end (server side) — hence the name “full-stack.”
Employers look for these professionals because they can handle projects from beginning to end without relying on other specialists.
If you’re hoping to work from home, this could be a great career path for you. Self-employed and freelance full-stack developers usually work remotely. However, depending on their employer, full-stack developers may also work in an office setting.
Full-stack developers also collaborate often with their cohorts in different departments. They need to be able to communicate succinctly and clearly since not everyone may have the same tech knowledge as them.
For more information on these professionals, check out our guide to Java full-stack.
What Does a Full-Stack Developer Do?
A typical day for a full-stack developer varies by employer and industry. On any given day, these professionals may:
- Write functional, clean code
- Design and create sites or software
- Upgrade and debug software
- Meet with colleagues and clients
- Write technical documentation
From a high-level perspective, full-stack developers are tasked with designing and creating websites and platforms. Companies turn to them as the authority in all things involving application development.
Full-stack developers work with members of design teams to make sure web pages are attractive and easy to use. They also oversee backend functionality.
Why Study Full-Stack Development?
There are many advantages to working in the tech field — especially as a full-stack developer. Here are a few reasons you may want to study full-stack development:
- You can work in an ever-changing industry. There’s always something new to learn, so you shouldn’t have to worry about getting bored on the job. You can also potentially work in many industries, from financial services to healthcare and education.
- Opportunity for Growth. Companies hoping to boost productivity and cut costs need full-stack developers. This demand can translate into growth opportunities as practically every organization relies on technology of some kind.
Types of Full-Stacks and Frameworks
Today’s full-stack developers are well-versed in numerous programming languages like Python, a popular programming language, and Java, another common programming language. This post covers how to become a Java full-stack developer, if you’re thinking about going that route.
In addition to programming languages, full-stack developers also understand different frameworks. Not sure exactly what a framework is? Check out our post that explains programming frameworks and why they’re helpful.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to be an expert in multiple programming languages and frameworks. However, if you aspire to work as a full-stack developer, you should at least be familiar with them.
Some of the popular full-stacks and frameworks include:
- LAMP stack. Most open-source web applications run on a LAMP tech stack, which is a stack of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
- LEMP stack. Like LAMP, this stack is also used for building high-performance web applications. It’s a collection of Linux OS, Nginx Server, MySQL Database, and PHP.
- Django stack. Django is a well-established software that helps developers build better web apps quicker and with less code. Developers tend to like Django because they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. They can use modules to create apps and websites from an existing source.
- Ruby on Rails. This full-stack framework is open-source software that helps developers build different web applications. Ruby on Rails (RoR) is considered among the top programming languages in web development because it can be used to build practically anything.
What Is the Full-Stack Developer Career Path?
The full-stack developer career path isn’t as complicated as you might think. Anyone interested in a tech career can become a full-stack developer — you just need to develop the right skills.
Here’s the basic breakdown of how you can become a full-stack developer.
- Determine what skills you should learn. Enrolling in a coding bootcamp is one effective way to learn web development. You could also enroll in a four-year university to earn an industry-relevant degree. Many full-stack developers are also self-taught.
- Map out your ideal timeline. Coding bootcamps often take just months, while earning a college degree can take years.
- Choose whether you want to learn in person or online. People with family or work obligations may find learning online to be a bit more convenient. But others may enjoy learning alongside their peers. Think about your lifestyle and how you learn best.
- Create a portfolio. Aim to include a homepage, skills page, resume, and projects page. This is your chance to show your skills and wow potential employers.
- Prepare for interviews. Scroll to the section below to see some common interview questions or check out this post on seven full-stack developer interview questions.
- Apply for jobs. The demand for web developers is on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment of web developers and digital designers to grow 23% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Web Developers and Digital Designers, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm (visited March 13, 2023). This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.
Potential Full-Stack Developer Jobs
What kind of full-stack developer jobs can you apply for? Both entry-level and experienced full-stack developers are in demand.
Most full-stack developers work in — you guessed it — full-stack development. Full-stack developers are respected professionals in the tech field since they are experienced in both the frontend and backend of web development.
Potential career paths for full-stack developers may also include:
- Computer Programmer
- Software Developer
- Web Developer
- Video Game Designer
- Software Quality Assurance Analyst and Tester
*Coding Dojo cannot guarantee employment, salary, or career advancement. The list of career paths related to this program is based on a subset from the Bureau of Labor Statistics CIP to SOC Crosswalk. Some career paths listed above may require further education or job experience.
Full-Stack Developer Salary
The annual median wage for web and digital interface designers was $79,890 in May 2021.*Of course, many factors may influence your pay, including where you live.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Web Developers and Digital Designers, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm (visited March 13, 2023). This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.
Full-Stack Developer Interview Questions
As you’re learning about what it takes to be a full-stack developer, remember to think about the interview process.
Yes, you’ll want to think about what to wear to an interview. (As a general rule, aim to wear apparel that’s slightly dressier than the organization’s dress code.) But you should also think about what questions you may get asked once you’re face-to-face with a potential employer.
You can start any interview off on the right foot by practicing your responses to some common full-stack developer interview questions.
Here are a few other questions you should be ready to answer thoughtfully:
- What’s something interesting about yourself?
- What are your biggest strengths? And weaknesses?
- What programming languages do you feel most comfortable with?
- How do you stay current on the industry’s latest trends?
- How do you code when SEO is a priority?
- What’s the difference between thread and process?
- What does ACID mean in database systems?
Study to Become a Full-Stack Developer
Like what you see about this career path? Think it might be a good fit for you? We can help you study the skills for full-stack development.
As a programming and software academy, Coding Dojo helps aspiring developers and coders like you prepare to pursue a career path in tech.
Depending on your schedule, you can enroll in one of our bootcamps full-time or part- time. See how a typical bootcamp runs here.
Now’s a great time to get started — and Coding Dojo can help. Start your application today.
Coding Dojo cannot guarantee employment, salary, or career advancement. Not all programs are available to residents of all states. REQ1918390 3/2023