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July 29, 2021

What is a full-stack developer?

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In an industry such as technology, in which everything evolves at a frantic pace, the roles and profiles that companies demand must quickly adapt to new circumstances. For this very reason, the roles once differentiated between the front-end developer and the back-end developer have merged over time. Developers have had to acquire new skills and abilities, creating what we now know as the full-stack Developer. 

The profile of a full-stack Developer

Although it is a profile that has not yet been fully defined, the truth is that it is increasingly in demand by the industry. And although many think that a full stack developer has to know how to work both on the front-end and on the back-end, that’s not entirely true.

What differentiates this role from the rest of the profiles that exist in the technology industry is not that they know how to do everything, but that they know how to understand everything, both what happens on the client side (what users see) and on the server side (the areas internet users can’t access, such as databases). And not only that, every good full stack developer worth his salt must have the communication skills necessary to liaise with the rest of the developers on the staff. 

To acquire the skills of this role and those demanded by the market, a developer must study different programming languages, know different environments, and handle certain technologies and frameworks both in the front-end and back-end. That's why coding bootcamps are increasingly popular. Just like Ironhack, where in just 9 weeks you can acquire the necessary skills to enter the market. But what are those skills? 

Front-end programming languages and frameworks

One of the most common trends in the industry today is taking great care of what customers see and offering them a user experience that is as refined as possible, so that they feel comfortable interacting with the web or the application they are using at all times. That is why it is essential to know all those tools that allow you to develop a friendly front-end.

Technologies such as HTML and CSS, as basic as they are essential in the stack of any good full stack developer, are joined by many other frameworks and libraries whose use is increasingly widespread. Here, frameworks such as React, Angular or Vue.js, stand out. These have gained prominence in the development world in recent years, along with the expansion of the Javascript language, which is at the base of these tools.

Given Javascript’s front-end and back-end capabilities, experts strongly believe that Javascript is the language that will end up dominating in the near future, making it essential for all aspiring full stack developers.

Back-end programming languages and frameworks

Something similar happens on the back-end side. Javascript is trumping all competitors such as Java,  which while still being used by several companies, is also attempting to adapt to the new industry model. So the full stack developer roadmap for this year incorporates learning how to use Node.js, which allows a programming language such as Javascript to be executed on the back-end, and has seen more and more developers who support its use, more so when other tools such as Express are being developed on the server side.

Database management is another area of the back-end that a full stack web developer must have advanced knowledge of. Adding new elements to a database and the ability to interact with them, for example, to perform certain queries and show the user the result, will likely be among the tasks of a full stack developer. There are different databases on the market, differentiated into two large groups: relational and non-relational. You’ll find that some decide to bet on the former, such as MongoDB, and others on the latter, such as MySQL or SQLServer.


Knowing how to use Git, as a priority

Without a doubt, this is one of the requirements that companies value most when hiring a new developer. Nowadays, every full stack developer must know how to work with a version control software. It's key. The most widespread is Git and its cloud counterpart, GitHub, which allows development teams to keep track of their progress and functionalities in development and, in addition, each of its members can complete their work without having to affect the rest of the team. Everything is then put in a common area so that the product as a whole works correctly when it goes into production. 

While it is true that there are many actions that involve greater risks and that require greater knowledge, creating a repository, uploading it to the Internet, and being able to work with it is one of the simplest and most essential tasks that a developer faces. In this guide you can start taking your first steps with Git.

With all the tools and frameworks listed in this post, you already have what you need to do some investigating of your own to see which area interests you most. And if you’ve decided that this is the right path for you, take a look at our web development bootcamp to take the next step on your journey to becoming a Full Stack programmer.

Learn in this other article Everything a Developer can do and build


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