The Full Stack Developer skill set is a combination of both Frontend Developer skills and Backend Developer skills. These are the professions that are highly valued by enterprises in the domain of Web Development.
This blog emphasizes Full Stack Developer requirements, along with Frontend Developer skills and Backend Developer skills.
Who is Full Stack Development?
Before delving into the topic of Full Stack Developer skills, let’s learn about Web Development and its components. Web Development is categorized into two parts, as in the case of mobile app development. They are:
- Frontend Development: The visible features of the app with which users interact are built through Frontend Development.
- Backend Development: It is part of app development that essentially runs the frontend side of it. Backend development includes system functionalities, user validation, data flow, and logical processes. Both the above combine to create a full stack.
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On the other way round, any technology stack comprises an operating system, a server, and a database, along with frameworks, libraries, and so on. When such multiple technology stacks are layered and run together, it can be termed as a full stack.
Full Stack Developer is the one who essentially handles both frontend and backend web development. The Full Stack Developer skill set is versatile in handling both server-side and client-side development. They are well-versed in each layer of the stack that goes into making a well-performing software product. They have the working knowledge of the entire process and are responsible for handling the full stack of an application, including the frontend, the backend, the database, and the server.
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What skills are required for a Full Stack Developer?
Frontend Developers and Backend Developers work hand-in-hand to execute Full Stack Development. However, certain essential skills are required for Full Stack Developers.
The crucial Full Stack Developer skills are as follows:
A responsive design helps a business establish its brand in the market. To excel as a successful Full Stack Developer, knowledge of design is necessary. Developers must be aware of basic design techniques as it is crucial for designing neat and user-friendly websites that appeal to users. Fundamental design principles include UI/UX design and its prototypes.
Each web application needs a database to store the data that has been generated. An expert Full Stack Developer is the one who is aware of relational databases, NoSQL databases, and memory storage. He/she should be able to design and manipulate database queries and know how to work with JSON and XML.
Version Control System (VCS)
Developers must be able to create and manipulate database queries. The version control system tracks and changes control to code. It lets the developers keep track of the changes made in the codebase. Git is one such open-source repository service that can handle all the development needs. It keeps track of the changes, thereby eliminating the necessity to go back to the previous version. Additionally, it speeds up the alterations to codes, websites, documents, etc.
Having a profile in GitHub enables the developers to work as a team and keep track of the latest modifications made into the codebase using Git commands. To a Full Stack Developer, Git enables secure and productive collaboration with fellow programmers working on similar projects.
HTML and CSS are the building blocks of web application development.
- HTML: Hypertext Markup Language is used for adding up the content on the web and defining the structure of a web page. It is a way of making digital notes.
- CSS: Cascading Style Sheet is a customization tool used for website personalization. It effectively presents the HTML elements, font, and color and provides different looks to applications.
Both of these programming languages help create an attractive and engaging frontend for users.
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HTTP/HTTPS and REST
- HTTP/HTTPS: It facilitates communications between servers and clients.
- REST: It assumes the role of a translator between the frontend and the backend. It acts as an interface between different systems to gather data and perform operations on it.
As both of them play an important role in Full Stack Development, a developer must master both the skills.
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NPM is short for Node Pack Manager. It is specifically designed in installing different packages of modules to help the node manage the conflicts. NPM is known for its scalability as it can be used on various applications, including the development, publishing, and installation of node programs.
As the entire application development process is conducted over the Internet, each layer of Web Development comes with its own vulnerabilities. Hence, security concerns might be a rising issue. Therefore, every developer must possess a base knowledge of security and the techniques involved for better performing at the outcome of such issues.
The balance of soft skills combined with technical skills makes up a good Full Stack Developer. The management of time, attention for detail, coping with the team, discipline, and the ability to accept criticism all add up to the soft skills of a developer.
Knowing the fundamentals of web architecture, code structure, data structure, file separation, and the location of computational tasks helps developers develop applications from scratch. Proper planning of the architecture avoids unnecessary confusion related to Web Development.
Frontend Developer Skills
Frontend Developers are also sometimes termed as ‘Client-side Developers.’ They are responsible for coding and developing a website with specific knowledge on visualizations and design. Their programmed code runs on users’ browsers and handles the user interaction part of the application. In addition to the above-mentioned skill sets, a Frontend Developer must also be proficient in the following:
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For a developer, lots of time is consumed in making changes to the code that is already written. CSS preprocessing is the means of making this stage flexible. Using CSS preprocessors such as Stylus, SaaS, etc., one can write the code in the preprocessor language, which is then converted into the CSS code that works for the website.
Gone are the days when websites were viewed only on desktops. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, a site is now being viewed on all possible sizes of screens. Have you ever wondered how the layout is getting altered according to each device? It is due to the application of responsive design. Frontend Developers should be aware of the principles of responsive design and implement them accordingly.
Bugs are relatively common in the development process. Frontend Developers must ensure that there are no bugs on the frontend. Hence, testing the code for bugs marks up as an essential skill set of a Frontend Developer. A couple of testing methods are given below:
- Functional testing: Tests a particular functionality of a site and ensures it is working well
- Unit testing: Tests the code and examines it individually for accuracy
Though this area is wide, there are frameworks to help simplify the process for Frontend Developers.
The latest web browsers are well-equipped with developer tools. These tools test the pages and interpret the code with the help of the below:
- Inspector: Estimates the runtime HTML and edits the associated CSS
- Console: Views the errors that occur in the browser while executing the code
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Building and Automation Tools
Web performance refers to the amount of time a site takes to load. If performance time seems to be an issue, then it is better to scale the images and omit irrelevant characters from the code. Carrying out this process can be time-consuming. This is when building and automation tools come to the rescue of Frontend Developers. Below are some of them:
- Grunt/Gulp: Optimizes images
Graphic User Interfaces (GUIs) come in handy while creating a lively menu. However, GUIs possess some limitations for certain applications. A Frontend Developer must keep this in mind before executing a command line.
Backend Developer Skills
Just like the frontend, the backend is another crucial part of an application. Backend Developers deal with issues related to the hidden parts of the application. They program the code that goes behind the scenes of the frontend. They are responsible for working on the server-side of web applications. Along with the above-mentioned skill sets, Backend Developers must also be well-versed in the following:
There are numerous programming languages that aid Backend Development. A few important ones a Backend Developer must be aware of are as follows:
- Java: It is a multi-purpose language widely used in mobile, web, and desktop applications. The presence of its numerous frameworks further simplifies the process of Backend Development.
- PHP: It is the most popular choice of language among the developers. It is also an open-source language that seamlessly conducts on Windows and Mac.
- Python: Python is known for its numerous libraries and smooth learning curve. It consists of a simple yet refined syntax.
- Ruby: Ruby makes an ideal choice for the developers due to its robust nature and excellent documentation dependencies.
Data Storage Solutions
Backend Developers are responsible for creating data storage solutions to store information regarding users, posts, web content, etc. in a structured format. The most commonly used databases are MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and MySQL.
Backend Developers must manage the hosting environment in parallel with database administration. They are responsible for scaling web applications to handle uneven load changes.
Application Programme Interface (API)
Basic knowledge of the below-mentioned frameworks will come handy for developers during backend web development:
- Popular Java-based frameworks: Hibernate, Spring, etc.
- Popular Python-based frameworks: Django, Flask, etc.
A good Full Stack Developer must possess ample skills for both the frontend and the backend. He/she must understand the business requirements and act accordingly. Having the extensive skill sets mentioned in this blog and demonstrating proficiency in them will let a candidate stay ahead of the peers and become an expert Full Stack Developer.