WHAT IS A FULL-STACK DEVELOPER: Definition, Job Description, Required Skills, and More

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You may be someone who is considering making a change in their career and who has noticed the phrase “full-stack web developer” appearing on a variety of technical educational websites as well as job applications. Although full-stack developers make up nearly half of all professional coders polled for the 2022 Stack Overflow survey, the responsibilities associated with this position are sometimes unclear. If you are interested in pursuing a career in web development, you should give some thought to the possibility of becoming a full-stack developer. It is essential to have a solid understanding of the skills required for this function and how knowledge of the front end and back end of an application is incorporated into it. In this guide, we will discuss how to become a full-stack developer, their salary, certification, and the difference between a software engineer.

Before proceeding, a definition of “full stack” is in order.

Websites are now a crucial part of everyday life due to the widespread adoption of various forms of technology. The necessity for an appealing website that is also easy to navigate has increased significantly. Creating a functional and attractive website, however, is no simple process and necessitates specific expertise and skills. Individuals with these abilities are known as web developers, and they are responsible for creating both the user interface and the underlying infrastructure of a website. “Full stack” describes this configuration.

The term “full stack” is used to describe a developer’s familiarity with both the visible and invisible aspects of a website (the front end) and the components (the back end) that enable the website to function (the invisible but essential software, data processing, and other elements.

This brings us to our next inquiry.

Who Is a Full-Stack Developer?

A full-stack developer is a software engineer who is proficient in both the user interface and the underlying infrastructure of an application. They use their many talents to produce an intuitive interface for users. They also have a firm grasp of database management, server administration, and user interface design.

Furthermore, a full-stack developer need not be an expert in every area of web development; nonetheless, familiarity with both the front and back ends is essential.

Some of the responsibilities of a Full Stack Developer include:

  • Contributing to the creation of software
  • Optimizing software through testing and fixing bugs
  • Coding the front and back ends of software in a pristine fashion
  • Creating the web app’s internal user interface
  • Making the software’s back-end servers and databases
  • Maintaining performance and compatibility across several platforms
  • Implementing and sustaining a mobile-friendly interface
  • Developing brand new functions in collaboration with visual artists
  • Implementing RESTful and API-based services
  • Optimizing their program in light of recent technical developments
  • Educating policymakers on the value of cutting-edge technologies
  • Designed with safety, upkeep, and scalability in mind.

How to Become a Full-Stack Developer

Every website or app has a potential downside that you should be aware of. The front end is the part of an application that users actually interact with; it’s also known as the “client side” because it’s the part of the program that the user sees. There is also the “server-side” or “back end,” which is the “real” workings of the system. 

Furthermore, there are developers that focus solely on the front end or the back end, but there are also “full-stack” developers who can handle both ends. Due to their in-depth familiarity with both the front- and back-ends of an application, full-stack developer commands a greater salary than their more specialist counterparts. Here is the step-by-step on how to become a full-stack developer.

#1. Get the Necessary Training

A good education will set you up for success in full-stack programming, but there are various ways to get there. Take a look at a few of them with me. 

  • Essential Information. To get the most out of a degree or online course, it helps to have a basic understanding of full-stack development. This involves the ability to use a computer, a comprehension of fundamental design ideas, and an introduction to markup languages like CSS and HTML. Also, you will acquire a deeper understanding of each of these areas in due time, but for now, a surface-level understanding is sufficient. 
  • Educational Background / College Degree. A Full-stack developer can enter the field in a variety of ways, but the most common begins with a four-year degree. A bachelor’s degree in computer science, software development, or software engineering might be useful if you choose this path.
  • Full Stack Developer Training. A full-stack development boot camp might help you improve your current abilities or teach you entirely new ones. Their time frames of three to six months allow for a productive educational experience. However, boot camps are ideal for students who are in a hurry to learn, as they pack a lot of information into a short period of time. In addition, they are also much cheaper than university studies.
  • Independent Study. This is probably the hardest way to go about things, so be ready. And you’ll need to put in a lot more preparation time than if you went to a boot camp or college. You can learn the basics of full-stack programming from the many videos available on YouTube, but if you’re serious about teaching yourself, you should also look at working code, which you can find in abundance on GitHub.   

#2. Master the Essential Languages of Programming

The greater your knowledge of programming languages, the more marketable you will be to prospective employers. However, the nature of the technology sector is such that it is always evolving, and web development is no exception. This is why a web developer’s ability to adapt to changing technologies and languages is so crucial to their career. Nonetheless, there is still a set of front- and back-end languages that any serious full-stack developer should know. 

  • Front End Programming Languages. The front-end developer is responsible for everything the user experiences. To become a full-stack developer, you need to be fluent in the languages responsible for an app’s graphical user interface. Also, the front-end languages and frameworks a full-stack developer should be familiar with are as follows: HTML, CSS, Javascript, React JS, and Jquery.
  • Back-End Programming Languages. If the mechanisms behind the scenes aren’t functioning properly, the user experience won’t amount to anything. Maintaining the websites requires expertise in the most popular back-end programming frameworks and technologies. The back-end technologies and frameworks that a full-stack developer should be familiar with are as follows: Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, and SQL

#3. Hone Your Skills

Your formal education is only the beginning of the process of improving your skills as a full-stack developer. In order to continue your education, you will require the following:

Technical Skills

The following skill sets are absolutely necessary:

  • Integrating the software into web hosting platforms’ workflows. Services like AWS, Heroku, Azure, and others are examples.
  • Using JavaScript frameworks and environments such as NodeJS and ExpressJS
  • Possessing an intimate familiarity with the front-end development process, including the use of UI and API libraries.

Soft Skills

Being a full-stack developer requires more than just technical skills. The following “soft skills” are also necessary:

  • Project management skills. This is an important skill to have, especially as your career progresses and you begin to oversee front- and back-end development teams.
  • Communication. Non-technical stakeholders need to understand your work, and you’ll need to interact with multiple groups to complete each project. Also, having open lines of communication is essential. 
  • Adaptability. A full-stack developer is someone who works on both the user interface and the underlying infrastructure of an app. You’ll need to be flexible as you switch back and forth between the two. 

#4. Build Your Portfolio with Volunteer, Open-Source, or Freelance Work and Coding Challenges

As a full-stack developer, your skills can be demonstrated through a portfolio. Create this by providing free app and website design services to local companies. Freelancing on the side is another option. In addition, Hackathon and HackerEarth are two places to look for competitions to test your programming skills.

#5. Make a Public Account on GitHub

A profile on GitHub is an excellent choice for displaying your work portfolio. You also have the option of connecting with other developers and working alongside them. Also, you can simply monitor multiple versions of your code inside each project by using GitHub, which also allows you to exchange and distribute code files.

Every professional software developer has a profile on GitHub. Because this is frequently required by companies, having a working knowledge of GitHub, which is one of the most important version control systems, is essential.

#6. Get an Internship in Full-Stack Development

After gaining some experience and education, you can begin applying for internships where you can put your skills to use.

#7. Get a Role Model

Mentors have the potential to be an invaluable resource. Finding one is a little bit more difficult. Allow this kind of relationship to develop naturally over the course of time rather than actively pursuing a complete stranger; an internship is an excellent setting for this to take place. 

#8. Create a Resumé for Full-Stack Developer Experience

What your portfolio doesn’t include, your resume will. Your career background, academic background, and skill set can all be discussed in greater detail here. Although most resumes don’t allow for many expressions, a polished and well-structured application can speak volumes. Even the best portfolio would be useless if the applicant include numerous typos on their résumé. 

#9. Practice Daily Coding Exercises

You will likely be asked to complete a coding exercise lasting 30 to 40 minutes as part of the interview process. So, if you want to impress potential employers, you should code every day. It’s a fantastic method of enhancing your knowledge and helps calm the nerves that typically accompany the job search.

What Are the Skills Required for Full-Stack Developers?

Full Stack Developers are the epitome of professional adaptability in the modern era. Those that can work on both the front and back ends of a website’s development are referred to as “Full Stack Developers,” and they are the highly sought-after professionals of every business and brand. 

Furthermore, since the beginning of the information age, a growing number of businesses and organizations have developed their own distinct web presence. Of course, with unprecedented expansion in the web development industry comes a skyrocketing need for qualified Full Stack Developers. Here are the top skills a full-stack developer needs to have.


The acronyms HTML and CSS refer to the Hypertext Markup Language and Cascading Style Sheets, respectively. HTML is used to add content to a website, whereas CSS is used to modify the look and feel of a website. Customers are drawn to a website in large part due to its design, which is determined by both HTML and CSS. 

Furthermore, HTML is used by Full Stack Developers to specify the structure of web pages using markup. For the HTML elements to be properly shown, they must also be knowledgeable in CSS. If they want to build an application’s front end that is as dynamic, intuitive, and engaging as possible, Full Stack Developers need to be fluent in each of these languages. 

#2. JavaScript

JavaScript is a crucial competency for every self-respecting Full Stack Developer working in the realm of web and software development. Most commonly, HTML actions are extended with this OO scripting language. It’s a popular choice for both front- and back-end development on servers. It’s also worth noting that JavaScript is the only language that works equally well in the browser and on the server (through Node.js). 

Full Stack Developers need not only to be familiar with JavaScript but also its concepts and features, such as React and Angular. Functions, prototypes, higher-order event delegation, and closure are just a few of JavaScript’s many important characteristics that contribute to its effectiveness in developing mobile-friendly websites.

As new JavaScript-related frameworks, libraries, and tools become available, it is essential for Full Stack Developers to learn how to use them. Full Stack Developers also need to know how to work with DOM and JSON.

#3. Git and GitHub 

Everyone who is or wants to be a full-stack developer is familiar with Git. It’s a free and open-source “distributed version control system” that can take care of everything you throw at it during development. It’s a great option for projects of any size, promising speed, and effectiveness. Git makes it easy for programmers to track and organize the history of modifications made to source code, website content, and other files used in the software development process. In the world of professional development, a GitHub profile is almost required. 

Full Stack Developers, meanwhile, can use Git to monitor any and all changes made to the codebase. They need to understand the fundamentals of Git and be able to use it with confidence. When it comes to security, productivity, and management, Git gives Full Stack Developers incredible freedom. Full Stack Developers that are familiar with Git are better able to work together with other programmers and developers on the same project. 

#4. Soft Skills

The responsibilities of a full-stack developer are vast. Many of the soft skills are required for this, in addition to the hard skills. For example: 

  • Effective Leader 
  • Patient 
  • Creative Mindset 
  • Attentive to Detail
  • Communication 
  • Multi-Tasking 
  • Manages Time 
  • Inquisitive 
  • Team Player 

#5. Database Storage

A database is essential for the storage and retrieval of information in any web-based application. This is done so that data can be accessible to developers in the future. A knowledgeable Full Stack Developer with extensive expertise working with relational databases is essential for effective database storage. Database management is a crucial skill for full-stack developers, and they should be able to construct, interpret, and alter database queries. In addition, XML and JSON proficiency is also necessary. 

Data storage and management skills a Full Stack Developer should have:

  • Relational and non-relational data characteristics
  • The ability to learn about and work with NoSQL databases
  • Web storage knowledge.

#6. Basic Design Skills

Given that a Full Stack Developer’s focus is on both the front end and the back end, it follows that they should be proficient in design basics. In order to create a visually pleasing website, an understanding of front-end design is essential. Users are more likely to stick with a site that looks nice and is easy to use. 

As a result, Full Stack Developers need to be familiar with the fundamentals of design, such as user interface and user experience design, prototyping, scalability, etc.

What Is a Full Stack Developer Salary

Web developers who are comfortable in both the front and back ends of a project are invaluable to any team. In order to remain competitive, a full-stack developer’s wage should take into account a number of factors.

A Full-stack developer in the United States earns a salary of an average of $85,469 a year on average. However, the salary for a full-stack software developer varies, though, depending on factors such as position, region, and years of experience.

What Is the Average Full-Stack Developer Salary?

As mentioned before, the average annual salary for a full-stack developer in the United States is $85,469. The typical base salary was $79,399, with a median of $6,071 in bonuses and other compensation. Commissions, profit-sharing, and bonuses are all possible forms of supplemental compensation. We’ll look at wage ranges by industry, experience level, and city in the following sections. Here is a Full-stack developer salary by location.

  • New York, NY: $130,107
  • Chicago, IL: $126,995
  • Atlanta, GA: $113,073 
  • McLean, VA: $138,122
  • Denver, CO: $120,394
  • San Francisco, CA: $144,714
  • Austin, TX: $127,830
  • Irving, TX: $119,450

Salary Ranges for Different Levels of a Full-Stack Developer.

In the United States, the salary of a full-stack developer may be tied to the developer’s level of professional experience; as the developer advances in their career, their salary is likely to increase. Here is a breakdown of full-stack developers’ average salaries by industry, position, and number of years in the field.

  • Senior full-stack engineer (4-6 years of experience): $72,000-$113,000
  • Full-stack developer (0-1 year of experience): $61,000-$99,000
  • Principal Full-stack engineer (8+ years of experience): $146,000-$248,000
  • Vice-president of engineering (8+ years of experience): $227,000-$396,000
  • Mid-level full-stack developer (1-3 years of experience): $67,000-$106,000

Full-Stack Developer Certification

If you want to be more of a “jack of all trades” in the field of software development rather than specializing, then the full-stack developer certification is for you.

A full-stack developer is an expert in all aspects of software creation and upkeep. They are capable of all stages of product creation, from conceptualization to design to coding and beyond.

The computing industry is evolving. When you stop to consider it, the state of what we know currently differs greatly from even ten years ago. Software developers are in high demand these days, and many organizations are advertising for programmers to fill open positions in the technology sector. In addition, certification as a full-stack developer allows one to go further in the development process than someone with only one set of skills. Here is the top full-stack developer certification.

#1. Full Stack Web Developer Nanodegree

Learn how to create responsive web apps from scratch and keep them running smoothly with the Full Stack Web Developer Nanodegree.

You can learn both back-end languages like Python and front-end languages like Ruby. By applying what you’ve learned in the form of practical projects and a culminating capstone, you’ll get a firm grounding in the fundamentals of design, programming, and the development process.


  • SQL and Data Modeling for the Web
  • API Development and Documentation
  • Server Deployment and Containerization

One of the few online programs that give students a thorough grounding in theory and hands-on experience is the Full Stack Web Developer Nanodegree. Learn the ropes as a web developer from the ground up and take that knowledge with you wherever your career takes you.

#2. Professional Certificate in Full Stack Cloud Developer (IBM)

Developers interested in becoming cloud computing specialists will benefit greatly from the new IBM professional certification in Full Stack Cloud Developer. Ten different courses designed to hone your cloud programming chops cover everything from designing Cloud Native apps to protecting sensitive data in the cloud. In the end, you’ll be able to use the knowledge you gained from this certificate in the context of your own projects or those of a business.


  • Developing Cloud Native Applications
  • Python Basics for Data Science
  • Python for AI & Development Project

The need for competent computer scientists is growing as new technologies emerge. Because of this, the most challenging and rewarding positions in the business are open to those who have completed IBM’s new professional certification in Full Stack Cloud Developer. This course will provide you with more than just a basic grounding in cloud development concepts. 

However, you’ll also learn production-ready cloud application development, update, and deployment skills from this book. At last, you’ll find out how a full stack approach involving front- and back-end technologies is used to structure and develop software.

#3. Full-Stack Web Development with React Specialization

Complete your education on web programming with React with the Full-Stack Web programming with React Specialization. With these three courses under your belt, you’ll be well on your way to establishing yourself in the working world. Front-end web development, hybrid app creation, and server-side programming are all covered in detail.


  • React Forms, Flow Architecture, and Introduction to Redux
  • Introduction to React
  • React Router and Single Page Applications

The Full-Stack Web Development with React Specialization is a great resource for anyone who needs help with either creating a brand-new project or updating an existing one to make use of React. There are still some rough spots in the curriculum, but this specialization is a good place to start learning React.

Do Full Stack Developers Get Paid More?

There is a significant pay gap between the salaries of front- and back-end engineers and that of a full-stack developer. Because it is more cost-effective to hire a single person with both front and back-end skills rather than splitting the work between two people, companies are willing to pay more for a full-stack developer. Also, read BACK END DEVELOPER: Definition & All You Need to Know.

Full Stack Developer vs Software Engineer

Knowing the difference between a full-stack developer and a software engineer can be helpful for those already working in or considering a career in the computer science business. Although there are some commonalities between these positions, there are also significant differences in the areas of focus, the types of projects they work on, and the amount of leadership they are expected to provide. Here are some differences between a full-stack developer and a software engineer.

#1. Roles

A full-stack developer and a software engineer often share responsibilities, and the lines between them can blur depending on the nature of the project or the business. In a large-scale project, for instance, there may be clearer differences between a software engineer and a full-stack developer. Common responsibilities between the two roles could be shared in smaller teams.

Both software engineers and full-stack developers labor to complete a project and satisfy the client’s needs. In contrast, a full-stack developer frequently takes on managerial responsibilities, while a software engineer may work under their direction to build out specialized aspects of a project. In addition, many software engineers and full-stack developers work independently rather than as part of a larger team.

A full-stack developer often does the following.

  • Managing the creation of new products
  • Client consultation
  • Developing software for server-side processes
  • Building Working Models of Software
  • Designing applications

Some of the roles of a software engineer include.

  • Cycle management in software development
  • Making use of scientific and mathematical methods in the software industry
  • Planning and executing tests for complex software systems
  • Informing clients and coworkers about project developments
  • Tracking the Status of a System

#2. Skills

In most cases, the skill sets needed by a full-stack developer and a software engineer are different. Both professions call for experts in their field as well as strong interpersonal and communication abilities. When compared to a software engineer, a full-stack developer may benefit from having experience managing projects.

Essential skills that can aid the success of a full-stack developer and a software engineer include the following.

Full-stack developer skills:

  • Technical Skills
  • Project Management Skills
  • Soft Skills

Software Engineer Skills

  • Technical Skills
  • Soft Skills
  • Design Skills

#3. Accessibility

It’s possible that a project’s full-stack developers and software engineers will have varying degrees of access to the same set of code resources. Differences between a full-stack developer and a software engineer in terms of code accessibility are as follows:

  • Full-stack developer program accessibility: Since full-stack developers are responsible for the majority, if not the entirety, of a project, they are typically given access to all of the software’s features. Developers who work across the entire stack are in the best position to help out when issues arise. Also, troubleshooting efforts from individuals without this access could be shortened if they had it.
  • Software engineer program accessibility: It’s not uncommon for software developers to be denied complete access to a program’s features. They typically need only the tools relevant to their segment of the software development lifecycle. However, software engineers may gain access to useful program resources when working in a team.

Can I Become a Full-Stack Developer With No Experience?

No, the reason is that a full-stack developer has experience in both front- and back-end languages, frameworks, and tools. Therefore, it is not sufficient to simply know how to construct apps and websites; knowledge of the back-end processes is also essential. Improving your non-technical talents also has a positive impact on your job.

How Many Years Does It Take To Become a Full-Stack Developer?

Even if you may already have a career that requires you to work full-time or have extensive family commitments, you are still able to devote some time each week to furthering your education in full-stack development. The majority of programs that complete on a part-time basis last between six months and one year.


With full stack development, you may work with innovative firms on the cutting edge of technology, discovering creative solutions. The sector is expanding rapidly, which is great news for programmers who are looking to make their mark and who are technically adept. 

Why have you put off starting your career as a web developer if you really want to do that? Now is the moment to start thinking about your educational options; tomorrow may never come if you don’t take action today.

Full-Stack Developer FAQ

Is Full Stack Developer an It Job?

Full Stack Developers work in an organization’s IT department and are responsible for both the front-end and back-end development of the company’s websites and internal computer systems. Front-end developers create the framework for a website’s front end and coordinate closely with the company’s graphic designers to ensure that the site’s apps mesh nicely with the visual style of the site.

Is the full-stack developer job easy or difficult?

The path to becoming a full-stack developer is not an easy one. It calls for a wide range of expertise and experience. You need to understand both front-end and back-end development, for instance. You also need expertise in database management, web server installation, and framework development.

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