Skill Set of a Full Stack Developer
Category: Web Applications
6 years ago   518 views
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Skill Set of a Full Stack Developer
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Often small enterprises and start-ups lack the skills and resources required to build and maintain custom web applications. The full-stack developers make it easier for these businesses to reduce development cost and time by building both frontend and backend of web applications. In addition to being proficient in widely used client-side and server-side technologies, a full stack developer must understand databases, web servers, networks, and hosting environments. Also, he must understand how to make the web application interact with external services and applications by using APIs. Hence, enterprises must know the important full stack developer skills required to accelerate custom web application development.

Essential Skills to Look for While Hiring a Full Stack Developer

Frontend Technologies

Each full stack developer must be proficient in building blocks of a website – HTML, CSS and JavaScript. He must know how to add content to the website using HTML and styling the website content using CSS. At the same time, he also needs to the language features and functions of a widely used client-side programming language like JavaScript. However, it is also important for the developer to know how make the website look good on varying devices by combining HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. He must use responsive web design to make the website accessible on both computers and mobile devices with a single code base.

Backend Technologies

Like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, server-side programming languages are also an integral part of full stack web application development. The developer has option to write the backend of a web application in a number of server-side programming languages – PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, C# and JavaScript. The full stack developer must know the pros and cons of each server-side technology to choose the right server-side programming language. Also, he must be proficient in multiple back-end language to handle application logic, database operations, and user authentication efficiently. However, no enterprise should expect the developer to have proficiency in several back-end programming languages.


Many enterprises nowadays use their web application to collect, store, and share a wide range of customer and business data. Hence, each enterprise uses a robust database to store the data securely and access the data conveniently. But some enterprises opt for relational database management systems (RDBMS), whereas others prefer non-relational database management systems. An enterprise also has option to choose from several SQL and NoSQL databases. The full stack developer must understand the pros and cons of individual SQL and NoSQL databases to meet business needs. Also, he must know how to connect the database to the specific server-side programming language, use in-memory data stores, and scale databases. At the same time, the full stack developer also needs to know to how to store user data – sessions, cookies and cached information – in the web browser through web storage.

Hosting Environment

Nowadays, full stack developers must focus on development, testing, and deployment to accelerate custom web application delivery. In addition to building frontend and backend of a web application, the developer also needs to know website deployment process and web server management. He must know how to create a robust development environment, and deploy the web application on a physical or virtual server. To deploy the web application properly, the full stack developer has to focus on connecting the application to remote web servers, managing server programs, managing users or user groups, and managing firewall or access permissions. At the same time, he also needs to use robust version control systems to backup, update, and share the code efficiently.

Web Frameworks  

Many enterprises nowadays opt for full stack development to overcome resource constraints. But each enterprise requires the full stack developer to deliver custom web applications quickly. No developer can simplify and accelerate custom website development without using web frameworks and development tools. The libraries, code snippets, and tools provided by web frameworks help developers to add functionality to the website without writing additional code. A developer has option to choose from a wide range of web frameworks according to the server-side programming language. Hence, he must be familiar with several widely used web frameworks, in addition to understanding the pros and cons of each framework. The web application developer must choose the right web framework to build custom websites rapidly according to varying business needs.

Quality Assurance

Modern project management methodologies do not consider software development and software testing as two separate processes. They emphasize on testing the software continuously throughout the software development lifecycle. The full stack developers nowadays have to perform a variety of tests to assess the web application’s user experience. Also, they have to repeat the tests across devices, platforms, browsers, and networks to produce more accurate test results. Hence, a full stack developer must know various types of web application testing and widely used web application testing tools. He needs to perform and repeat the tests required to evaluate the web application according to predefined business needs.

UI and UX

The trends in web application development keep changing from time to time. The full stack developer must track and implement the latest web application development trends to optimize the website’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). He has to combine HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to make the website’s UI responsive and appealing. At the same time, he also needs to focus on the factors affecting the website’s UX – slow website speed, complex navigation, and lack of in-built security features. The full stack developer can work on various factors affecting UX to improve the website’s search engine ranking and keep the website visitors engaged.

Mobile Optimization

Several studies suggest that consumers spend more time on mobile apps than mobile web. Hence, each website nowadays needs to deliver optimal mobile user experience to keep the visitors engaged and convert them into customers. While developing a new website, the full stack developer must explore ways to make it accessible on both computers and mobile devices. Also, he needs to test the website with varying devices, platforms, and browsers to identify and repair the issues affecting its mobile user experience. Hence, it becomes essential for the full stack developer to know how to make the website deliver richer user experience across devices.

On the whole, a full stack developer must possess a wide range of technical and non-technical skills to build custom web applications according to precise business needs. In addition to being proficient in web technologies and web frameworks, the web application developers also needs to understand business needs clearly, create technical specification, and meet project deadlines. Hence, an enterprise must focus on both technical and non-technical skills of the full stack developers to build custom web applications rapidly according to its precise needs and objectives.

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