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Podcast
Web News

What is Full-Stack Development?

Recorded:
March 29, 2022
Released:
March 30, 2022
Modified:
March 31, 2022

Full-stack web developers can work on all aspects of websites from the user interface to the database that drives the content. Combining the frontend developer and backend developer positions, full-stack developers boast a full set of skills that many recruiters find useful. With the ever-increasing number of features that are packed into websites and web apps, are full-stack development positions sustainable? Is it possible to know all the skills needed well enough to do your job on all parts of the stack?

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Show Notes

What's This One About?

Full-stack web developers can work on all aspects of websites from the user interface to the database that drives the content. Combining the frontend developer and backend developer positions, full-stack developers boast a full set of skills that many recruiters find useful. With the ever-increasing number of features that are packed into websites and web apps, are full-stack development positions sustainable? Is it possible to know all the skills needed well enough to do your job on all parts of the stack?

Show Notes

What is Full-Stack referring to?

  • Full-stack developer titles are on the rise
  • It almost feels like you have to say you are ‘full-stack’ without even know what that means
  • In the base definition, it refers to being an absolute generalist that can take an idea and create an application around it on their own
  • Build and design the frontend
  • Create the database schema and database
  • Create the API routes
  • Secure the backend connections
  • Create a continuous integration deployment system
  • Create the server infrastructure
  • Manage backups
  • Etc
  • Generally hired by small companies that are looking to get something built out by a small/1 person team
  • 54% of web developers identify as full stack according to the stackoverflow surview in 2020 (link)

Is Full-stack development the right decision for you?

  • The reality is if you can demonstrate that you know the ‘full-stack’ you’ll have opportunities open up
  • There are a ton of tools now that make it easier
  • Prismic for sql queries
  • PlanetScale for scalable database
  • NodeJS for people that already know JavaScript for frontend
  • React, Vue, Svelte for building dynamic layouts fairly simply
  • Netlify, Vercel for continuous deployment and servers
  • The problem is that these systems that are being built by most full stack developers are not sustainable or scalable
  • If a company needs a proof of concept fast, maybe it makes sense to get a full stack developer but the expectation should be that to scale they will probably need to rebuild crucial parts of their application
  • Having one developer responsible for the whole infrastructure leads to very high chance of downtime
  • If the developer leaves, or gets sick you’re entire system could fail

A Move back to Traditional Roles

  • A much more sustainable approach is building out a development team where people are responsible for sections of the app
  • Frontend lead with frontend devs under them that are responsible for building out the UI/UX of the app
  • As well as connecting to the backend APIs
  • A backend lead with backend devs responsible for creating the database schema and setup, the routes as well a securing the APIs
  • A devOps team that can standup servers, create and maintain deployment workflows and support backend security teams
  • This all sounds expensive and extravagant but you can start small by at least hiring one or two extra people to split responsibilities
  • Then doing some cross training to make sure that if someone leaves you’re not SOL
  • Companies need to also think about the pressure they are putting on full stack devs
  • This can lead to quick burnout and high churn
  • Looking for ‘unicorns’ and ‘10x developers’ is not a sustainable or even achievable practice. Companies need to be pragmatic and just look for developers that can build.

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