How to Become a Full Stack Developer

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Although many tech professionals have successful careers as front-end or back-end web developers, becoming a full-stack developer can multiply your marketability and versatility, especially in a turbulent market.

A full-stack developer not only knows the user-facing aspects of a website (the front-end), but also the server-side operating systems, frameworks, libraries, and databases (the back-end). -end). According to a recent survey of Stack Overflow developers, around 55% of working developers consider themselves full-stack developers, suggesting a large market and plenty of opportunity.

Is there a demand for full-stack developers?

The short answer to this question is “yes”. Due to their comprehensive skills, full-stack developers tend to be more efficient and cost-effective than hiring multiple back-end and front-end developers when it comes to integrating the server-side parts and client side of a website. Companies appreciate these savings, of course. A good full-stack developer also has a holistic view of web property development, potentially allowing them to identify and eliminate bugs (and scheduling issues) in relatively quick order.

Employers are willing to pay a premium for these benefits. According to Glassdoor, full-stack developers earn an average total compensation of $108,803 per year, while back-end developers average $92,963 per year and front-end developers average $102,308.

Whether you’re already familiar with front-end or back-end development or you’re new to coding and need to master all the requirements, here are some options and tips for landing your first job as a full web developer. -stack.

Where to start ?

If you don’t have any web development skills, learning front-end development first is a good option.

While you don’t need a computer science degree to become a web developer, knowledge of computer science concepts, programming, data structures, and algorithms is essential to landing your first job. For this reason, many transitioners choose to learn the basics before moving on to more advanced topics.

The good news is that you don’t have to learn everything to get started, explained Michael Panik, a self-taught whiz who “cut his teeth” on WordPress-based front-end development in middle school and high school and is now working. as director of cloud and digital practice for PwC.

“You definitely need to know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, so start there,” Panik added.

Although boot camps are a popular option, they can be expensive. It’s a good idea to confirm your aptitude and interest by taking free courses, accessing W3Schools’ collection of tutorials, or reading books like “HTML + CSS” by Jon Duckett before investing.

For example, web developer and software engineer Jajuan Burton taught himself to code by studying Swift before choosing to enroll in a bootcamp, which offered structured learning and the opportunity to learn important “soft skills.” through hands-on projects and team collaboration.

However, self-study is not for everyone. Think about your background knowledge, your preferred learning style, the time, effort and funds you can devote, and the level of support you think you’ll need if a learning path is right for you.

Other essential front-end skills that you can add to your toolkit over time include JavaScript libraries and frameworks (jQuery, React JS) and version control/Git. Again, there is a huge selection of free online courses to choose from.

Switch to back-end development

Once you’ve mastered the front-end and created a few websites, move on to the back-end by learning any server-side programming language paired with a web framework. Examples include C# and .NET, Python and Django, PHP and Laravel, and JavaScript and Express.

“You can’t go wrong with Python,” Panik noted. “It may not be the best, but it’s generally useful.

Then, master database management with relational databases by learning SQL. Knowledge of web services or API architectures (REST/SOAP) is also important for full-stack developers.

Continuing to study UX and UI best practices will make you a more competent full-stack developer and help you build user-centric sites.

If you want to learn full-stack development from scratch, you have to be obsessed with it, Burton noted. While an experienced back-end or front-end web developer can learn the “other side” in about 90 days of full-time study, if you don’t have a lot of experience, it can take up to 12 months to learn the skills you need to land your first job.

Build and break things

The only way to learn programming is to do it. Hiring managers and recruiters want to see what you’ve built and validate your skills before giving you a job offer. Unless you practice what you learn as you go (and break and fix a few things), you won’t have the confidence or skill to take the final leg of the journey. This is where open source projects come in.

Start by creating a website yourself. Every full-stack developer should have a dedicated portfolio website where you can showcase your work, expertise, and unique style. Think about how you want to stand out and what kind of jobs or contracts you want to pursue when selecting projects that showcase your abilities.

Another way to showcase your full-stack development skills is to find a real problem and solve it. The more projects you work on, the more you will have to talk about in interviews.

Almost every small business, nonprofit, and community organization website could benefit from a facelift, a back-end database, better navigation…and so much more. Harnessing your past experience and combining it with a well-stocked portfolio of things you’ve built (that have actually made a difference to an organization) is one of the best ways to impress employers and land that all-important first job.

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