Full-stack development refers to having competency in both client and server-side software to build entire applications from the back-end, through APIs, to the front-end. Full-stack developers are able to handle both front-end and back-end tasks. Typically, full-stack developers are stronger in either front or back-end and throughout their careers, gain competence in the full-stack.
Larger companies have the resources to hire large development teams, which allows them to have teams where developers can specialize in either front-end or back-end.
Startups, on the other hand, may be limited in their ability to hire a large development team, so instead will seek full-stack developers. They tend to seek full-stack developers for several reasons, one of which is funding.
Full-stack web development can involve a variety of front-end and back-end tasks, including:
- Creating and updating webpages.
- Making sure webpages are responsive and work well on phones or tablets.
- Improving website performance.
- Adding and improving accessibility features.
- Using front-end frameworks to build client-side software.
- Building and consuming APIs.
- Creating, integrating, and managing databases.
- Using back-end frameworks to build server-side software.
- Validating data to make sure it’s formatted correctly before being sent to the database.
- Integrating user-facing elements with server-side elements to make sure that information is being sent to the right place so the server can retrieve it.
Popular Tech Stacks
Full-stack developers typically utilize a combination of software, called a tech stack, in order to build full-stack applications.
This well-known tech stack comes in a few forms but all of them use MongoDB (for the database), Express.js (for the back-end), and Node.js (for the server). One of the following front-end frameworks is commonly used in this stack:
Technologies in the LAMP stack include some popular open-source projects:
- Linux: Open-source operating system
- Apache: Popular open-source web server software
- MySQL: Database management system
- PHP: Web development programming language
Highlights for this stack include the use of Django, a popular Python framework that is structured around creating templates. This can be used with a front-end framework like Vue for building a web application.