Full-stack developers. New trend or real need for companies?
According to Adam Chapley, full-stack developers are in demand more than ever, because companies require a range of skills from IT employees. We, in turn, also notice that more and more often we receive requests from our clients to search for full-stack developers.
If you are a developer, you can be either a front-end or a back-end specialist. At first glance, it makes sense to focus on certain skills, because you can imagine yourself in the market as an expert in one area. However, full development is rapidly gaining momentum, and full-stack developers are becoming very popular with some companies. A study by Stack Overflow 2017 showed that this type of developer is not only the most popular, but also the most popular.
General developers work in all layers of software. They understand the principles and can work on both sides, although they do not always master all the subtleties as their highly specialized colleagues.
Of course, there are pros and cons to such work. Some argue that development becomes harder every year. That is why it is necessary to have narrowly segmented developers.
The disadvantage of this argument is that the full-stack developer is not a lone wolf, but a part of the team and he will have to rely on the experience of his colleagues. In this case, the team must have at least one specialist who is ready to immerse himself in the subtleties in order to get a quality product.
The demand for full-stack developers is due to the fact that having one person with several skills, rather than several people with specific skills, is of real value to many organizations. In addition, there is a big time savings if you use a developer who can switch between levels and understand the whole process.
This, in turn, means that full-stack developers work better as a team, because they know and understand the tools that other team members use, and this makes the team more flexible. Thus, many companies attract such developers for agile development, so that in the end the rest of the team will also expand its expertise.
What skills should a full-stack developer have?
Such developers should understand a number of tools, languages and systems:
SQL and Java are in demand right now - or you can learn Node.js. Then you will need to understand the basics of databases and web storage. So, choose a database system (e.g. MySQL) and one web server (e.g. Apache), as well as the HTTP protocol and how to include REST in your HTTP calls.
To fully understand the “big picture” of development work, you will also need to gain skills in web application architecture.
How can developers gain experience in full-stack development?
There are many online communities and courses to help you speed up all the technologies mentioned. For example, GitHub is a great resource.
Of course, only practice can take you to a new level. Create something yourself or ask your colleagues if you can help with small works that are outside of your usual area of responsibility.
A full-stack developer is not just a sought-after role in many organizations, but also a well-paid option. Understanding more technology is certainly an asset to your career.
As happens in practice ...
We work with a number of large and medium-sized companies, and the number of years of experience in full-stack development is not always the criteria for selecting a candidate. So, for example, we had a search for a strong full-stack developer for a senior position for one well-known company, we wanted a person with a long track record and a wealth of knowledge and experience. The search went on for a long time, the client wanted to “see the market” as widely as possible before making a decision. After several weeks of searching, we were able, on the recommendation of one of the candidates, to go out to a young (from the point of view of experience) specialist who, at best, could claim the role of June in the team. Nevertheless, the young man was very well versed in terms of knowledge of technology, easily passed a technical interview with a manager, and also showed a high level of motivation to work in this company, thanks to which he was taken to the team, albeit not for a senior specialist grade. So not only experience in cool companies, but also knowledge of theory, combined with transparent motivation, can lead to successful employment.
In the framework of this article, we outlined the path to a full-stack developer, while the question of the relevance of this direction remains. For our part, we feel the need for such specialists, while we hear from different candidates different points of view: some people think that it is better to be an expert in a certain field (front / back), while others are sure that the future is with full-stack development.
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