Who is a Full Stack Developer? Unfolding the Versatile Expert of Technology

3 Jul 2023
15 min read

Imagine you have gone to a restaurant to dine out with your family.

Let’s say all those aspects of this restaurant that you directly interact with, like the ambience, menu, interior decor, and friendly demeanour of the servers, are top-notch. All these ensure a pleasant dining experience for you and your family.

But in this same restaurant, the ‘behind-the-scene’ elements like the kitchen, cooking, the staff managing the inventory, and the storage are disappointing.

What will your immediate reaction be?

‘Fancy store, bland fare!’


Of course, these two aspects of the restaurant fall under different departments.

As a result, it requires proper synchronisation and communication. Moreover, it requires that both departments have the same vision of what they want their end product to be. The end-product here is ‘how the restaurant is perceived in the market’.

Now imagine what would happen if both aspects were looked after by the same set of people. The result would have been a perfect alignment between the visible and behind-the-scene factors, accompanied by a reduction in time and budget. Thus, efficiency would be enhanced.

It is precisely what full stack developers ensure. The platform here isn’t a restaurant but a web application.

A Full Stack Developer is a professional who has expertise in both the front-end and back-end development of web applications. They possess a comprehensive understanding of the various technologies and tools required to develop both the client-side and server-side components of the software.

Full Stack Development is highly rated among the technology skills, and placed among the Top IT Jobs in Demand. Full-stack developers master both front-end design and back-end programming of complex computer applications. Their versatility in working across application layers makes them valuable in building innovative websites and mobile apps. Recruiters actively seek to hire these professionals.

Full Stack Developers are highly versatile and can work on various projects and technologies. They can switch between frontend and backend development as needed, making them valuable assets for companies seeking flexibility and adaptability in their development teams.

If you are a beginner who aspires to become one, this guide will help you get started by helping you understand what full stack development is, the skills required, job prospects, and more.

So, let’s get started!

Understanding What is Full Stack Development

Full stack development refers to the practise of building and maintaining both the front-end and back-end components of a software application.

It involves working on all layers of the application stack, from the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) to the server-side logic, database management, and system infrastructure.

What is Front end Development?

Front end development focuses on creating the user-facing part of a website or application. It involves designing and implementing the visual and interactive elements that users directly interact with.

Front-end developers use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to structure the content, apply styles, and add functionality to web pages. They work with front-end frameworks and libraries to enhance productivity and ensure responsiveness across different devices.

The goal of front-end development is to create visually appealing, user-friendly interfaces that provide a seamless and engaging user experience.

What is Back end Development?

Backend development involves the creation and management of the server-side components that power a software application.

Backend developers focus on writing code that handles the logic, data storage, and communication between the user interface and the server.

They use server-side programming languages like Python, Ruby, Java, PHP, or Node.js, along with frameworks and libraries, to build the backbone of an application.

Frontend vs. Backend vs. Full Stack

Frontend development pertains to crafting the visual and interactive elements that users see and interact with on a website or application. On the other hand, backend development centres on behind-the-scenes operations, encompassing server-side functionalities, database management, and overall infrastructure.

Full stack development combines both front end and back end skills, allowing developers to work on all layers of an application.

Full stack developers can handle UI design, server logic, database management, and deployment. They provide end-to-end solutions and effectively collaborate with front end and back end teams. They are versatile and have a comprehensive understanding of the technologies and tools needed for the development process.

The Skills of a Full Stack Developer

Learning Full Stack Developer Skills is like equipping yourself with a versatile toolkit. It involves mastering front-end tools like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and back-end tools like Node.js and Python. A Full Stack Developer creates smart solutions by using different technologies effectively. Let's understand these skills in detail:

Frontend Languages

  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language): HTML is the standard markup language for creating the structure and content of web pages. It provides the foundation for organising and presenting information on the web.
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): CSS is used to style the HTML elements and control the visual appearance of web pages. It allows developers to define colours, fonts, layouts, and other stylistic properties.
  • JavaScript: JavaScript is a programming language that adds interactivity and dynamic behaviour to web pages. It enables developers to handle user interactions, manipulate the HTML and CSS, perform calculations, and make requests to servers.
  • TypeScript: TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that adds static typing and other features to enhance developer productivity and code quality. It provides type checking, interfaces, and advanced language features that improve the development process.

Frontend Frameworks

  • React: Developed by Facebook, React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It uses a component-based architecture and a virtual DOM (Document Object Model) to efficiently update and render UI components.
    React has a large ecosystem and is widely adopted for creating dynamic and interactive web applications.
  • AngularJS: AngularJS is a JavaScript framework developed by Google.
    It allows developers to build dynamic and responsive web applications using a declarative approach.
    AngularJS provides features like two-way data binding, dependency injection, and reusable components. Although it has been succeeded by Angular, AngularJS is still widely used in existing projects.
  • Bootstrap: Bootstrap is a widely used CSS framework that provides a collection of pre-built responsive UI components and styles.
    It simplifies the process of creating mobile-first and responsive web designs. Bootstrap is known for its grid system, CSS classes, and JavaScript plugins, making it easy to build visually appealing and consistent web applications.
    Some of the other frontend frameworks include Semantic UI, Backbone.js, Vue.js, Express.js, etc.

Backend Languages

  • PHP: PHP is a server-side scripting language specifically designed for web development.
    It has been widely used for building dynamic websites and is supported by a large community and numerous frameworks, including Laravel, Symfony, and CodeIgniter.
    PHP is known for its simplicity and ease of integration with popular databases and web servers.
  • Python: Python is a versatile and beginner-friendly language that is widely adopted in backend development.
    It offers a rich ecosystem of frameworks and libraries, such as Django and Flask, which provide robust tools for building web applications.
    Python's readability and ease of use make it popular among developers for various backend tasks.
  • Ruby: Ruby is a dynamic and expressive language that gained popularity with the Ruby on Rails framework.
    Rails provides a convention-over-configuration approach and streamlines the development process by offering built-in tools and conventions.
    Ruby on Rails is known for its emphasis on developer productivity and rapid application development.
  • Java: Java is a robust and versatile language used for a wide range of applications, including backend development.
    It offers a strong type system, excellent performance, and extensive libraries and frameworks.
    Java-based frameworks such as Spring and Java EE provide powerful tools for building scalable and enterprise-level web applications.
  • JavaScript: JavaScript, primarily known as a frontend language, is also widely used for backend development. With the advent of Node.js, JavaScript can now be used to build scalable and high-performance server-side applications.
    Node.js provides a runtime environment that allows developers to execute JavaScript on the server, enabling full stack JavaScript development.

Backend Frameworks

  • Express.js: Express.js is a minimalist web framework for Node.js.
    It provides a simple and flexible way to build web applications and APIs. Express.js offers features like routing, middleware support, and template engines, making it a popular choice for creating lightweight and scalable backend applications.
  • Django: Django is a high-level Python web framework that follows the model-view-controller (MVC) architectural pattern.
    It provides a robust set of tools and features for rapid development, including an ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) system, authentication mechanisms, and an admin interface.
    Django is known for its emphasis on simplicity, scalability, and security.
  • Ruby on Rails: Ruby on Rails, often referred to as Rails, is a full stack web application framework written in Ruby.
    It follows the convention-over-configuration principle and offers a comprehensive set of tools and libraries for building database-backed web applications.
    Rails emphasises developer productivity and promotes best practises in web development.
  • Laravel: Laravel is a PHP web framework that aims to make web development enjoyable and efficient.
    It provides an expressive syntax, an ORM, routing and caching mechanisms, and a robust ecosystem of packages.
    Laravel follows the MVC pattern and offers features like database migration, authentication, and testing support.
  • Spring Boot: Spring Boot is a Java framework that simplifies the setup and configuration of Spring-based applications.
    It offers a convention-over-configuration approach and provides a comprehensive set of tools for building enterprise-grade applications.
    Spring Boot focuses on developer productivity and includes features like dependency injection, data access, security, and REST API development.

Database Management Systems

Database Management Systems (DBMS) are an essential component of full stack development. They are responsible for storing, organising, and managing the data used by applications. Here are some popular DBMS technologies that full stack developers often work with:

  • Oracle Database: Oracle Database is a leading enterprise-grade RDBMS known for its reliability, performance, and robustness.
    It offers a wide range of features for managing large volumes of data, high availability, and scalability.
    Oracle Database supports advanced SQL capabilities, the PL/SQL programming language, and features like partitioning, replication, and data encryption.
  • MySQL: MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS) widely used in web development.
    It is known for its stability, scalability, and ease of use. MySQL supports standard SQL queries and offers features such as ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) compliance, data replication, and high-performance indexing.
  • MongoDB: MongoDB is a popular NoSQL database that stores data in a flexible, document-oriented format called BSON (Binary JSON).
    It is designed for scalability and flexibility, making it suitable for handling large amounts of unstructured or semi-structured data.
    MongoDB's document model allows for easy schema evolution and supports features like sharding and replication for horizontal scalability.

Version Control System

VCS allows developers to track and manage changes to their codebase, enabling collaboration, version history, and seamless deployment.

Commonly used VCS systems include Git, Mercurial, and Subversion.

Other required skills

Full stack developers should be proficient in testing their code and debugging issues.

This includes writing unit tests, performing integration testing, and using debugging tools to identify and fix bugs.

Knowledge of test-driven development (TDD) and debugging techniques is crucial for maintaining code quality.

Understanding the Stack

A stack is a combination of independent components that work together to facilitate the execution of an application. The components can include an operating system, architectural layers, protocols, runtime environments, databases, and functional calls. All these are stacked on top of each other, forming a hierarchy.

Popular Stacks

Here are some popular technology stacks that full stack developers commonly use:

MEAN Stack

  • MongoDB: A NoSQL database for storing data.
  • Express.js: A web application framework for Node.js.
  • Angular: A frontend framework for building dynamic web applications.
  • Node.js: A JavaScript runtime environment for server-side development.

MERN Stack

  • MongoDB: A NoSQL database.
  • Express.js: A web application framework.
  • React: A JavaScript library for building user interfaces.
  • Node.js: A JavaScript runtime environment.

LAMP Stack

  • Linux: An open-source operating system.
  • Apache: A web server software.
  • MySQL: A relational database management system.
  • PHP: A server-side scripting language.

Django Stack

  • Django: A high-level Python web framework.
  • Python: A versatile programming language.
  • PostgreSQL: An open-source relational database management system.

The choice of a stack often depends on project requirements, team expertise, scalability needs, and the personal preferences of the developers involved.

The Full Stack Development Process

The Full Stack Development process involves the step-by-step approach that developers follow to create a complete web application or software solution.

It encompasses all the stages, from project planning to deployment and maintenance.

Let's break down each stage:

Project Ideation and Planning

In this initial phase, developers work closely with stakeholders to understand the project's objectives, requirements, and scope.

They identify the target audience and user needs, considering the application's purpose and features.

Project planning includes creating a roadmap and timeline, setting milestones, and estimating the resources required for the development.

Front end Development

Front end development focuses on the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) of the application.

Developers use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build the client-side of the application. They design the visual layout and interactions, ensuring the application is visually appealing and easy to navigate.

Responsive design techniques are employed to ensure the application functions well on various devices, such as desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.

Back end Development and API Integration

The back end development involves setting up the server infrastructure and writing server-side logic to handle data processing and application logic.

Developers use languages like Node.js, Python, or Ruby to build the back end. They create APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to enable communication between the front-end and back-end, allowing data exchange and functionality.

External APIs may also be integrated to access additional features or data from other services.

Database Design and Implementation

In this stage, developers analyse the data requirements of the application and design the database schema.

They choose the appropriate database system based on the project's needs, such as SQL for structured data or NoSQL for unstructured data. Developers create and configure the database, defining tables and relationships between them.

They write queries to retrieve, modify, and manage data within the database.

Testing and Debugging

Testing is a crucial phase to ensure the application works as intended and is free from bugs and errors.

Developers conduct unit testing to verify the functionality of individual components. Integration testing is performed to ensure smooth interactions between different modules of the application.

Any bugs or issues identified during testing are addressed and fixed to optimise the application's performance and usability.

Deployment and Maintenance

Once the application is thoroughly tested and deemed ready for production, it is deployed on servers or cloud platforms to make it accessible to users.

Developers monitor the application's performance and functionality in the live environment, addressing any issues that may arise. Regular maintenance is performed to implement updates, security patches, and new features as needed, ensuring the application remains up-to-date and reliable.

Advantages of Being a Full Stack Developer

If you feel overwhelmed by this long list of skills and responsibilities and are thus still contemplating whether becoming a full stack developer is worth the effort, it's important to consider the benefits.

Some of the advantages of being a full stack developer are:

Career Growth and Opportunities

As full stack developers have command of both front end and back end skills, they can juggle several responsibilities. They can work both on the client-side and server-side, resulting in flexibility in their work.

Moreover, there are a huge number of opportunities as more and more companies go for these versatile individuals, ranging from globally renowned end-to-end business solutions to start-ups.

With a comprehensive understanding of multiple technologies, Full Stack Developers often have better career prospects. They can move into roles like project manager, tech lead, or even start their own tech company.

Better Productivity

Full stack developers know multiple technologies and multiple aspects of development. This enables them to take technical decisions faster and see the bigger picture. Thus, they can implement their vision faster.

High Demand in the Job Market

Full stack developers are in high demand in the job market due to their versatile skill set and ability to work on both frontend and backend development.

According to a report, the demand for full stack web developers is projected to increase by 23% from 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Great Pay

Since Full Stack Developers can handle various parts of a project, they're often rewarded with higher salaries compared to specialists in one area.

According to Payscale, the Full Stack Developer salary in India averages around INR 6,25,000 annually. With increased experience, the Salary can significantly rise. These Developers in India are well-compensated, reflecting the growing demand for their skills in the dynamic tech sector.

Challenges in Full Stack Development

Working with Multiple Technologies

As a full stack developer, you need to be well-versed in both front end and back end technologies.

It means you need to have a firm grip on a wide range of programming languages and frameworks.

The challenge here is that they are constantly evolving, and it can be overwhelming to stay abreast of all the new developments.

If you are not sure where to start, start with Java, Python, and Javascript.

They will give you a strong foundation on which to build your career.

Managing Co-ordination Between the Front end and the Back end

Owing to their possession of both front end and back end skills, they are usually the leaders of both teams.

The challenge here is to manage both teams because they will have different members working on them.

It’s the job of the leaders to ensure that coordination exists among everyone working collectively towards achieving the same goal.

This can be a daunting task, but it is crucial for the success of the project.

Testing and Debugging Code

Though it is the most important part of a developer’s role, it can be challenging for a full stack developer since they have to test and debug the code both on the front end and back end.

This can be time-consuming, but it is equally mandatory to test the code and ensure that it is bug-free before it goes live.

How to Become a Full Stack Developer

For a beginner, the approach to starting a career in this dynamic field determines our perception and interpretation of this profession.

It might seem like a labyrinth, but if a structured process is followed, the process can be simplified along with the achievement of a vision of how we want our learning journey to turn out.

Here are some tips to start out on your towards embarking on a career in this field:

Learn the Fundamentals

For a fresher starting a career as a full stack developer, it is important to begin by mastering the fundamentals of web development, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Exploring popular frontend frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue.js and backend programming languages such as Python or Node.js is crucial.

Build Projects and Create a Portfolio

Building industry-relevant projects and creating a portfolio to showcase your work will help demonstrate your skills to potential employers.

Stay Updated

Continuous learning and staying updated with the latest technologies and trends are essential. Seeking internships or comprehensive online training can provide valuable hands-on experience and industry exposure.

Develop a Positive Attitude

It's important to stay curious, embrace learning opportunities, and actively seek growth. Starting a career as a full stack developer requires dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to continuously improve. With a solid foundation, practical experience, and a passion for learning, you can establish yourself as a capable full stack developer in the industry.


In conclusion, becoming a full stack developer can open up a world of opportunities in the fast-paced tech industry. By choosing to embark on this career path, you are positioning yourself as a valuable asset to companies looking for individuals who can handle end-to-end development projects.

To get started on your journey towards becoming a full stack developer, consider choosing NxtWave’s Full Stack Developer program. It offers a structured learning path and covers all the essential skills and technologies with a focus on practical experience.

With us, you can learn directly from the alumni of IITs and professionals from top MNCs such as Microsoft and Amazon, work on real-time industry projects, and get doubt clarification from 9 AM - 9 PM everyday. Regardless of your educational background, you can embark upon a high-paying web development job within eight months of the commencement of the program.

More than 1700 companies, from fast-growing startups to Fortune 500 giants such as Google, Amazon, Deloitte, Bosch, and Jio, have hired NxtWave learners.

Don’t just believe our words; check out our students’ success stories for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What skills are required to become a full stack developer?

Full stack developers require a combination of technical skills, including proficiency in front-end technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as back-end technologies such as programming languages like Python, Ruby, Java, Node.js, and databases. They also need problem-solving, communication, and project-management skills.

2. What are the responsibilities of a full stack developer?

The responsibilities of a full stack developer typically include designing and developing user interfaces, implementing server-side logic, managing databases, handling API integrations, ensuring application security, performing testing and debugging, and deploying applications. They may also collaborate with designers, other developers, and stakeholders.

3. How does a full stack developer differ from other developers?

Full Stack Developers differ from other developers in that they have a broad range of skills and can work on both the front-end and back-end of web development. They have a comprehensive understanding of the entire development process, allowing them to work independently or collaborate with different teams effectively.

4. How can I become a full stack developer?

To become a full stack developer, you can start by learning front-end technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, then progress to back-end technologies and databases. Online courses, tutorials, boot camps, and self-study resources can help you acquire the necessary skills. Practise building projects and gaining hands-on experience to strengthen your abilities.

5. What are the key characteristics and traits of a successful full stack developer?

Successful full stack developers possess strong problem-solving skills, a continuous learning mindset, versatility and adaptability, collaboration and communication skills, attention to detail, and effective time management and organisation.

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