The creation of modern competitive products requires not only the best technical skills but also the help of an all-rounder who understand all aspects of development. Very often, the services of full-stack developers boost the project, as they can look at the process in a different way and find those shortcomings that others cannot see due to a lack of experience or specific skills.

In this article, we will discuss who full-stack developers are, what they do, and what their responsibilities are. In addition, we will discuss the value of such engineers to projects and the advantages and pitfalls of hiring them.

Growth of the Full-Stack Development Usage

The demand for full-stack developers is constantly growing, and along with it, the number of such specialists is also increasing. According to the StackOverflow researcher, in the technical field, the full stack role prevails.
full-stack developer
Full-stack developers are involved in developing products of different complexity and industries. Most often, these are fintech, healthcare, tourism, etc.

Who Is a Full-Stack Developer?

The development of web products as well as mobile applications consists of many stages, but the main parts are the back-end and front-end. The first is the base of the product, its server part, and the second one is responsible for the interface and user interaction with the product.

You need to use a specific technical stack, tools and skills to create each of these components. Accordingly, most developers deal with either the front-end or the back-end. A full-stack developer has the technical skills and knowledge to develop both parts. In other words, such specialists work on the whole product: its UI, server-side, architecture, etc.

What Does a Full Stack Developer Do?

The fact that such specialists have full functional knowledge of each stage of development does not mean that they do the development by themselves. Full stack developers are more like all-rounders who apply their skills where best for the project.

For example, they can optimize UI, work with servers, create documentation, etc. Sometimes such specialists manage the project due to their experience and knowledge.

So, the responsibilities of a full-stack developer can be different, but we will discuss the most common ones.

  • Clarifying client and business needs, main features, work on a product prototype, i.e., active participation in the research and analysis phase.
  • Management duties: supervision of the development process, management of the whole development cycle (from research to deployment), and sometimes providing feedback to customers.
  • Server environment, application architecture, etc., development.
  • Work with security issues.
  • Optimization of development processes.

Such specialists can also act as development team consultants.

Why Is Full-Stack Development So Popular and Important?

Full-stack developers are not limited by a specific development direction. Thanks to the knowledge of all stages and pitfalls, they are very flexible and can offer more far-sighted and complex solutions that consider the structural features and interface.

In other words, such specialists are able to provide better results in a shorter time and lower operating costs. In addition, they can provide useful advice and perform managerial functions more effectively, given their experience and skills.

Advantages and Challenges of Full-Stack Development

Undoubtedly, the main advantage of a full stack developer is a wide range of tech skills and extensive experience that help to consider the project from different points of view and find universal solutions. In addition, this advantage makes such specialists reliable problem solvers, which is especially important in the context of startup development.

However, this is not the only advantage; there are several other important ones.

  • A wide selection of technical skills. Such specialists can use exactly those tools or frameworks that the project needs at a specific stage and then change them as needed.
  • Saving money, time, and resources. On the one hand, full-stack developers can see those flaws that others don’t and fix them at an early stage, which saves a lot of time. On the other hand, they are effective consultants and multifunctional employees who perform the functions of several team members at once.
  • Management skills. Due to their experience, such specialists have excellent executive and management skills, so they can manage the development of all levels of product architecture.
  • Long-term solutions. Given their skills and experience, developers can implement effective long-term solutions.

However, hiring a full-stack developer has its challenges. Firstly, mastering many technologies at the same time requires superpowers to keep up with the progress. Such specialists spend a lot of time improving and updating their skills, but it is not always possible to keep pace with each tool or framework.

Secondly, the cost of such developers’ services, considering their skills and efforts, is always higher. However, this does not guarantee a 100% favorable result for the customer. Sometimes highly specialized engineers can be a better solution.

When Should You Hire Full-Stack Development Services?

The choice between a full stack and a specialized engineer depends on the project’s individual features and specific business needs. Generally speaking, it is worth hiring a full-stack developer in the following cases.

  • For startup development. Such a specialist is a source of experience and expertise that is indispensable for startups of any direction.
  • For small projects. One specialist cannot perform the functions of an entire team if the amount of work is too large and the requirements are too numerous. But it will be a profitable solution in the case of small projects.
  • For MVP development. In this case, you get faster delivery and the opportunity to look at the prototype from a broader and more visionary point of view.
  • For dramatic changes. This applies to radical changes in business and technical requirements, scaling, updating outdated software, etc.
  • For project management. This could be an experienced technical team supervisor.
  • To save money. If there is a need to stay within a strict budget or save resources.

Also, full-stack engineers can become partners if the product owners don’t have enough knowledge and vision for its further development.

Essential Skills for a Full-Stack Developer

Talking about skills, the main ones for a full-stack developer are the following.

  • front-end basics: JavaScript, HTML and CSS;
  • back-end: Python, C#, Ruby, etc.;
  • RESTful, APIs;
  • frameworks like Angular, RoR, Django, etc.;
  • SQL, JSON;
  • testing and debugging practices;
  • UI/UX basics;
  • security practices. etc.

Where to Find Full-Stack Developers?

There are many services for hiring developers. These can be freelance platforms, special recruiting agencies, or listings of the best outsourcing companies that offer the services of full-stack specialists (Clutch, GoodFirms, etc.). In the latter case, you can choose several best options and evaluate their portfolio.

Models of Cooperation to Hire a Full-Stack Developer

The first and easiest option is a freelance developer. This can be a specialist from any country and at any price. However, it is worth noting that such developers may not have commercial experience and live in a time zone inconvenient for you. In addition, you do not receive any guarantees of safety and quality.

The second option is an in-house developer. This is a specialist who becomes a permanent employee. The advantage of this cooperation model is that the developer works only for your business and is always available to discuss project details. The main disadvantage is the time and money spent on hiring and the lack of flexibility.

The last option is a dedicated full-stack developer. This is the hiring of one specialist or even a whole team. In this case, developers become a full-fledged remote part of your business, and you don’t need to rent an office, pay for insurance or hiring.

In addition, dedicated developers have sufficient commercial experience and extensive expertise in working with various products. At the same time, it is much cheaper than in-house hiring and much more reliable than freelancing because the customer signs a contract and a non-disclosure agreement with the vendor.

Full-Stack Developer Interview Questions

The interview questions must illustrate the needs of your business. Therefore, a specific list can be compiled only by specialists involved in product development.

Common questions may include those related to functional and object-oriented programming, asynchronous programming, databases, APIs, etc. It is also worth choosing questions about specific frameworks and technologies that the developer will use on your project.

Sum Up

Full-stack developers are versatile specialists who can perform both the duties of a technical specialist and project management functions. These are the best consultants and assistants in product development.

Such specialists are helpful both for small startups and for complex projects. The best option for collaboration is to hire a dedicated developer who will become a remote team member and share your values.

At Leobit, we have nearly a decade of successful development experience, covering areas such as .NET development, web and mobile services, and more. Hence, our full-stack specialists are ready to share their expertise. Just contact us in any way convenient for you.