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Full Stack Developer Career Guide

Are you the kind of person that likes handling a project from start to finish? Taking on the nuance and creativeness of front-end design while being able to write clean, functional code? If you think you’ve got what it takes to combine function and fashion to bring platforms to life, then being a full stack developer might be for you!

Full stack developers use their cross-discipline understanding of front and back-end coding languages to produce a functional, user-friendly experience.

Chances are, you’ve used a piece of software today that’s been in the hands of a full stack developer, even though you likely wouldn’t know it. Although the job is behind the scenes by its very nature, a full stack developer is an integral position when releasing software to users.

Full stack developers can apply their creative design how they see fit to allow for an enticing user experience while managing back-end operations to work seamlessly together. The position allows for considerable control of a project and allows the position holder to flex their muscles in several different disciplines.

Sample job description

We’ve continued to be the best at providing software solutions for one simple reason – we hire the best! Right now, we’re looking for a full stack developer to join our cross-platform team to make that happen. You’ll be expected to be comfortable with both front-end and back-end languages and have an eye for visual design and functionality. This position will be handling the entire software development cycle and will produce scalable software solutions in a team environment using the Agile methodology. If you think you have what it takes, we’d love to hear from you!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Ideate, develop, and implement software solutions
  • Design client and server-side architecture
  • Create and maintain databases and applications
  • Create appealing front-end applications
  • Design and test effective and efficient functionality
  • Create and update technical documentation
  • Troubleshoot, debug, and update software

Education and experience

  • Degree in computer science, statistics, or another related field
  • 2+ years proven experience as a full stack developer or related role

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent teamwork skills
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Master of time management and organization
  • Working knowledge of numerous languages and frameworks
  • Working knowledge of databases, web servers, and UX/UI design
  • A keen analytical mind with a creative flair

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering
  • 3-5 years experience in a full stack developer position
  • Extensive experience with web application frameworks
  • High proficiency in C#, Python, TypeScript, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, SASS, PowerShell, and T-SQL
  • Experience working in a team environment
  • Experience with Microsoft 365 products
  • Experience with Azure cloud computing

Typical work environment

A full stack developer will be working almost exclusively in an office environment. Generally, you’ll be working alone or with a team, remote or in-office with occasional travel for meetings or conferences.

Typical hours

The vast majority of full stack developers will be working a standard 40-hour week, from 9 AM to 5 PM. In some unusual scenarios, it may be possible that this position requires extra crunch time to finish a project. However, this is far from the norm, and most developers work normal hours.

Available certifications

As full stack developers work with a variety of different languages, platforms, and services, there are several certifications to keep an eye out for:

  • Udemy Full Stack Developer Certificate. This beginner-friendly course provides a step-by-step approach to developing a good foundation for current web development. Utilizing HTML5, CSS3, JQuery, Unix, NPM, REST, authentications, PassportJS, Authorization, and much more, you can dive into the world of full stack development with these instructor-led courses.
  • Coursera Web Development. Beginner-level courses specializing in web development and coding, offered by the University of Michigan. This 5-course structure will teach YouTube basic design principles and create interactive web experiences with several exercises, quizzes, and assignments. This finally culminates in the student designing their very own portfolio as their final project.
  • Udacity “Nanodegree” Certification. This certification focuses less on the development of foundational strengths and more on job-relevant specifics that industry leaders tend to look for in their candidates. With this in mind, it’s recommended that you have prior experience with object-oriented programming languages. Upon completion of this certification, you’ll demonstrate that you can design and build databases, create and deploy APIs, and handle application backend work.

Career path

The journey to becoming a full stack developer starts with a bachelor’s degree in a related field. After obtaining a computer science, computer engineering, statistics, or other related degree, one should seek to familiarize themselves with the full range of tools they’ll be expected to work with. Obtaining certification and being able to prove your competence in the position is key. Creating a portfolio of projects, either from past employment or that you’ve made yourself, will go far in showing your ability to handle full stack development.

Naturally, the next step is to continue gathering experience in the position and building your portfolio. Staying up-to-date on new technology, new language, and practices is key to staying relevant in this field.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1257

2020 Employment199,400
Projected Employment in 2030225,300
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 13% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift25,500 increase

The digital space has completely transformed the way we handle commerce and culture, and every day more and more websites, apps, programs, and widgets are released to attract users. There will be a significant need for full stack developers to make sure that these projects not only look good but work well too. Since this is the case, there’s faster than average growth for this position in the next decade, and demand is expected to grow further as we transition more into the digital space.