Full Stack Developer: Expectation Vs Reality

The fast paced world of IT is constantly raising the standards of people’s skills. An IT professional is expected to know much more now than before. In this scenario, a full stack developer will be appreciated a lot. But, what exactly is a full stack developer? A full stack developer is a person who can code the frontend as well as the backend of a website. They can contribute towards all the layers present in website development. Most people believe that a full stack developer can code in depth in any technology. However, that may be rare. A full stack developer is comfortable in more fields; however, they may not have expert knowledge in every field.


Three Tiers of Web Development


1) Presentation

Also known as frontend, this deals with the layout and design of your website. It decides the user interface. Languages used are mostly HTML, CSS and JavaScript. You should also know different frameworks such as Node.js, AngularJs, etc.


2) Business Logic

This is known as server side. It deals with the logic needed to implement different functionalities in your website such as data processing, onclick events, etc. Here, we use server side languages like PHP, Python, Java, Asp.Net, etc. depending on project requirements. Knowledge about various frameworks written in above mentioned languages is also necessary.


3) Database

This is data storage for website. It stores information like user details, product details, website information, etc. There are many different databases such as MySQL, Oracle, Sqlite, MongoDB, etc. You need to decide which database to implement based on your project requirements.


A full stack developer can work on above all 3 tiers. Such developers are beneficial to startups. Startups may not be aware of all the details and planning that go into website development. A full stack developer can help by handling the entire project and guiding other team members as per requirements.


Responsibilities of a Full Stack Developer


1) Coding programs and applications.
2) Coordinate other members and developers.
3) Troubleshoot issues.
4) Design testing techniques for web apps.
5) Manage web development.


Skills required in a Full Stack Developer


1) Server environment setup

They should be aware of network details, hardware limitations and required file structure.


2) Frontend knowledge

They should be able to create a responsive frontend.


3) Database Layer

They should know which database to use based on project complexity. They should be able to create and query different databases as well are aware of the json and xml syntax.


4) User experience

They should know how to maximise user experience and retain them by understanding UI/UX requirements.


5) Business Logic

They need to make sure customer needs are fulfilled and maximise profits.


Advantages of Full Stack Developer


1) Jack of All Trades

A full stack developer understands a web application as a whole and develops it accordingly.


2) Two at the price of one

A full stack developer can replace a frontend and backend developer.


3) Efficient Debugging

They can read and debug almost any code.


Disadvantages of Full Stack Developer


1) Poor time management

If the project is too big and complex, then it might be difficult for a full stack developer to finish it in time.


2) Master of None

Though they know more technologies, they don’t have deep knowledge for any one of them. If you get stuck, a full stack developer may not be enough.


3) Lack of design experience

A full stack developer may know more technologies but chances are that they don’t have enough coding experience in all of the fields. This could lead to poor user interface design.


When Should You Hire a Full Stack Developer?


You should take following points into consideration while hiring full stack developers:


1) Project size

If your project is small, then hiring a full stack developer is more beneficial compared to 2 different developers. If it is too large, then it would be better to hire a team for it.


2) Project complexity

A simple project might be a breeze for a full stack developer. However, a complicated project will require more in depth knowledge of different fields. It is best left to specialist teams.


3) Project budget

If you have limited budget, go with a full stack developer. However, if budget is not a constraint, then hire a team for better quality product.


4) Project quality

While full stack professionals can give a quality product for smaller projects, complex projects will require input from specialists to make it better quality.



A full stack developer can earn anywhere from 5-7 lacs per year depending on their skills. Having the ability to pick up new skills is a valuable asset for a professional. One that is necessary in today’s demanding world. However, just because you know the basics of any technology does not mean you have mastered it. You will always need specialists for that. Both full stack and specialists are in demand in different positions. Both have their pros and cons.  You should hire one or the other depending on your requirements.


See Also

Why choose career in web development?

Top Web Application Frameworks

Why is Laravel the most popular PHP Framework?

Digital Marketing Job Opportunities in Coming Years

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