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What Is Full Stack Development?

Published on June 2, 2022
What Is Full Stack Development?

When it comes to web development, there are three main categories: frontend development, backend development, and full stack development. Frontend developers focus on the design and user experience of the website, while backend developers focus on the functionality of the website. Full stack developers are a combination of frontend and backend developers.

In this blog post, we will teach you everything you need to know about full stack development.

What is full stack development?

Full stack development is a term used to describe a software engineer who can work on all aspects of a web application. A full stack developer will have expertise in both frontend and backend development, as well as database design and management.

Frontend components include the user interface and interactivity, while backend components include the server, application, and database. Full stack developers, therefore, have a comprehensive understanding of how all these components work together. In addition to being able to code in multiple programming languages, they also need to have a good understanding of User Experience (UX) design principles.

In addition, a full stack developer should also be familiar with DevOps tools and practices. As the name suggests, full stack development is about understanding all the software components of a web application.

This comprehensive approach allows for greater flexibility and creativity when building applications. It also means that full stack developers can troubleshoot problems more effectively and efficiently. Ultimately, being a full stack developer gives you a distinct advantage in today's highly competitive tech industry.

Full stack vs frontend development

Full stack developers are responsible for both the backend (server-side) and frontend (client-side) development of a website. Frontend developers, on the other hand, focus solely on client-side development. So, what are the key differences between these two types of developers?

Full stack developers have a broader skillset than frontend developers. In addition to knowing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, they also need to be familiar with server-side technologies such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, and Node.js. They also need to understand how to use databases such as MySQL and MongoDB. As a result, full stack developers can be more expensive to hire than frontend developers.

Frontend developers focus solely on the client-side development of a website. Their skillset revolves around HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. While they don't need to know as much about server-side technologies, they need to understand how browsers work and how to optimize web applications for performance.

Full stack vs backend web development

As we mentioned previously, full stack developers focus on both frontend and backend development, sharing many responsibilities with backend developers. A backend developer is responsible for the server-side of web development. This involves setting up and configuring servers and developing server-side applications. Backend developers need to be proficient in multiple programming languages. In addition, they need to have a good understanding of how databases work.

However, backend developers do not need as much expertise in frontend technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This is because their focus is on the server-side of the application.

Full stack development skills

To be a successful full stack developer, you need to have a wide range of skills. Below, we've listed some of the essential skills that every full stack developer should have:

  • Expertise in multiple programming languages: As a full stack developer, you need to be proficient in frontend and backend development. This means that you need to know multiple programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby on Rails, and Node.js.
  • A good understanding of databases: A full stack developer should also understand how databases work. This includes designing, building, and querying databases such as MySQL and MongoDB.
  • Familiarity with DevOps tools: Besides being familiar with multiple programming languages and databases, a full stack developer should also experience DevOps tools. These are tools that help streamline the software development process. Some of the most popular DevOps tools include Puppet, Chef, and Ansible.
  • Strong problem-solving skills: Full stack developers need to be able to troubleshoot problems effectively. This requires strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Good communication skills: Full stack developers need to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical team members. This is important for coordinating work and sharing information about the project.

What does a full stack developer do?

Depending on your company, full stack development responsibilities are variable, just like any other job. That being said, there are some typical duties that most full stack developers perform daily:

  • Designing and developing web applications
  • Testing and debugging web applications
  • Deploying web applications to production servers
  • Monitoring and maintaining web applications
  • Working with other developers to create high-quality code
  • Optimizing websites for mobile compatibility
  • Conducting user testing to create intuitive and effective user experiences
  • Overseeing projects through every stage of the development cycle
  • Providing technical support for web applications

Frontend languages used by full stack developers

There are three main frontend languages that you need to be proficient in as a full stack developer:


Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language for creating web pages. HTML is used to structure the content of a web page. Without HTML, a web page would just be a collection of text and images. HTML also allows you to add links to other pages and resources, making it an essential part of the internet.

While HTML is not a programming language, it can be used to create simple programs known as "scripts." These scripts can be used to validate forms or animate images. In short, HTML is the code that gives structure to a web page and enables complex interactions.


CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language used to describe the look and formatting of a document written in HTML or XML. CSS is usually used to style web pages written in HTML, but it can also be used to style documents written in XML, such as XSLT stylesheets.

When CSS is used to style an HTML document, the CSS code is typically embedded within the HTML code. However, it is also possible to store CSS code in separate files, which HTML documents can then reference.


JavaScript (JS) is a programming language used to make web pages interactive. With Javascript, you can add dynamic content to your web pages, making them more responsive and engaging for your users. You can also use Javascript to create simple browser-based games or complex web-based applications.

Frontend frameworks and libraries used by full stack developers

As a full stack developer, you should also be familiar with some of the most popular frontend frameworks and libraries. These are:


Bootstrap is a frontend web development framework that provides several ready-mades, reusable components for building websites and web applications. Bootstrap is designed to be used with CSS and comes with a number of built-in CSS classes that can be used to style elements such as buttons, forms, tables, and more.

In addition, Bootstrap also provides JavaScript plugins that can be used to add additional functionality to web pages and applications. While Bootstrap is not required for all web development projects, it can be a helpful tool for quickly prototyping and building interface elements.


jQuery is a JavaScript library that makes adding interactive elements to web pages easier. For example, jQuery can be used to create drop-down menus, slide shows, and interactive forms.

jQuery also provides some handy methods for manipulating and traversing the Document Object Model (DOM), which is the structure of HTML documents. This makes jQuery an essential tool for frontend web development. In short, jQuery makes life easier for web developers by providing a concise and easy-to-use library of JavaScript functions.

jQuery is also used for event handling, CSS animation, and Ajax.


React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It is used for creating reusable UI components. React is also one of the most popular frontend frameworks.

When a user interacts with a React component, React updates the component automatically. This makes your app faster and more responsive. React is used by major companies like Facebook, Instagram, and Netflix.


Angular is a TypeScript-based open-source web application framework. It was created by Google and is used by developers to create single-page applications, which are web pages that only need to load once and then can be navigated without reloading the page.

Angular uses HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create user interfaces and handle user interactions. It also offers various features such as two-way data binding, which allows for real-time updates of values in the user interface, and dependency injection, which helps to make coding more modular and testable.

Backend languages used by full stack developers

There are three main backend languages that you need to be proficient in as a full stack developer:


Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) is a general-purpose scripting language. It is used for creating dynamic web pages. Often compared to Angular (but for the backend), PHP is also the most popular backend language.

PHP code can be embedded into HTML code or used in conjunction with various web frameworks.

PHP code is executed on the server, and the resulting HTML is then sent to the client. This means that PHP can create interactive web pages that provide a personalized experience for each user. In addition, PHP can be used to access databases and perform other backend tasks.


Not to be confused with Javascript, Java is a versatile and powerful programming language. One of the key benefits of Java is that it is platform-independent, meaning that programs written in Java can be run on any operating system. This makes Java particularly popular for developing cross-platform applications.

Java can also run on a wide range of devices, from smartphones to servers. In addition, Java boasts a large and well-established ecosystem of tools and libraries. This makes it an ideal choice for developers who want to create robust and high-quality software.


Python is a versatile programming language for a wide range of tasks. For example, Python can be used to develop desktop applications, web applications, and even mobile apps. Python is also popular for data science and machine learning projects.

Additionally, Python is open source, which means that anyone can contribute to its development. As a result, Python has become one of the most popular programming languages globally.

Backend frameworks used by full stack developers

Full stack developers use a few different backend frameworks:

The Laravel framework

Laravel is a free, open-source PHP web framework created by Taylor Otwell and intended to develop web applications following the model–view–controller (MVC) architectural pattern.

Some of its features include a modular packaging system with a dedicated dependency manager, different ways for accessing relational databases, utilities that aid in application deployment and maintenance, and its orientation toward syntactic sugar.


Django is written in the Python programming language and is built on a model-view-controller (MVC) architecture. This means that Django applications are composed of three parts: models, which represent the data stored in the application; views, which define the logic for handling user requests; and controllers, which handle the incoming user requests and direct them to the appropriate view.


Spring is a Java-based framework that provides a comprehensive programming and configuration model for modern Java applications. Developers use Spring to create stand-alone, production-grade applications that can be deployed on various platforms, including web, enterprise, and cloud.

Benefits of becoming a full stack developer

Full stack development is a popular choice for many developers because it offers several advantages. For one, full stack developers are in high demand. Companies are always looking for talented pers who can wear many hats and take on multiple responsibilities.

Another benefit of becoming a full stack developer is that it can help you earn a higher salary. Full stack developers are typically paid more than frontend or backend developers because they have a more comprehensive range of skills.

In addition, being a full stack developer allows you to work on various projects. This can help you stay interested and engaged in your work.

Becoming a full stack developer can also significantly help you advance your career. If you're looking to move up the ladder, having expertise in both frontend and backend development will give you a competitive edge and separate you from others.

How to become a full stack developer

If you're interested in becoming a full stack developer, there are a few things you can do to get started.

A full stack developer is a professional who can work on all aspects of a website or application, from the backend coding to the frontend user interface. While there are many benefits to being a full stack developer, it requires a broad range of skills and knowledge.

Here are four tips for becoming a full stack developer:

  1. Learn the basics of frontend and backend development. This includes learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for the front end and PHP, Ruby on Rails, or Node.js for the back end.
  2. Get familiar with different web servers and databases. Some common examples include Apache, Nginx, and MongoDB.
  3. Understand how to deploy and host web applications. This includes learning about server administration and management, as well as cloud hosting services such as Amazon Web Services or Heroku.
  4. Keep up with new trends and technologies. Full stack developers need to be able to quickly learn and adapt to new technologies as they emerge. A good way to stay up-to-date is to follow tech news sources and blogs, participate in online forums, and attend industry events.

Final thoughts

Full stack development is a popular choice for many developers because it offers many advantages. If you're interested in becoming a full stack developer, getting started is easier than you think, though it will take some hard work and dedication. With the right skills and knowledge, you can become a full stack developer in no time.

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