What Does Full-Stack Mean?
A full-stack developer combines knowledge of the back-end, front-end, and database of a project. Googling these terms can be confusing — conflicting Quora articles and endless Reddit debates can leave you completely perplexed, so here’s a quick guide:
- Front-end developers focus on what you can see and interact with; the design, functionality and user experience.
- Back-end developers allow these things to happen, via working on behind-the-scenes technologies, and how they transport information.
- Databases are where these pieces of information are stored.
Essentially, the difference between front-end and full-stack, is that a full-stack engineer can also work on the back-end of your project. They can manage the way a product looks, animates, and responds, but also how it accesses information, communicates with a browser, and maintains a logical database. They can adapt to a myriad of project needs, but do not carry the specific skills an expert in one particular area would yield — instead, they manage all aspects of the "stack":
Full-stack developer responsibilities
When Should You Consider Full-Stack Development?
Here Are Some Advantages and Disadvantages to Full-Stack Development:
- One person will be in charge of all the application architecture
- They will understand and be involved with all aspects of the project
- You’ll minimize expenses by having one dedicated developer
- Communication time will be efficient
- A complicated product will take hits in time and quality
- Well-rounded full-stack developers with profound knowledge in several languages are hard to find (although our database can help!)
- The engineer will likely be inclined towards a specific technology, and have trouble incorporating others
I Want to Hire a Full-Stack Developer. What Do I Do Now?
After seeking out full-stack developers, you’ll want to prepare for the interview stage — here are some tips for this vital process:
- Analyse their resumes before the interview: It can be tempting to just talk to your potential employees face-to-face, but you can tell a lot from the resume they supply. Listing irrelevant skills (such as the ability to use Microsoft Word) are often a way an inexperienced developer pads out their skillset, however many of the usual danger signs are actually beneficial in full-stack development (for example, Adobe Photoshop is a commonly listed irrelevant skill — but here, it can be vital for the front-end aspects of the project).
Top 10 most required skills for full-stack developer positions in the UK
- Practical tests: In the hiring process, you’ll determine which exact qualities your full-stack developer must have; the only way to be sure they can carry these out, is through practical tests. Specific questions should be answered aptly, although bear in mind the vastness full-stack can entail, and understand some of the best engineers can stumble on a question or two. Sample tasks to determine database quality and coding efficiency should be used to be sure of your developer’s abilities — and overall, be sure that your project is in safe hands.
What to Ask During the Interview
Here are some key questions to ask a full-stack developer during the interview you have now prepared for:
- In your opinion, which part of product development do you perform the best in? Which part of product development do you enjoy the most?
- Describe your ideally developed back-end/front-end/database?
- Imagine there are two developers working on a project — one on the front-end, the other on the back-end. How would you organize their cooperation in the most effective way?
- Can you give examples of projects you have independently implemented yourself?
- Can you give examples of projects you have fulfilled with an excellently developed front-end?
- Can you give examples of your projects with a back-end that is complicated/under heavy-load?
These questions are quite provocative and tricky — but you need to question aspects other than pure skill/coding ability. Questions like these will allow you to look into the developer’s completed projects, allowing yourself to evaluate not only their front-end, back-end and database skills, but also how these things interact, cooperate, and are actually implemented.
What Is the Average Full-Stack Developer Salary?
One of the clear advantages to full-stack development, is that you are hiring a single engineer — all aspects of a traditional team will be contained within one person, while you still receive an effective end product.
Full-stack developer salaries in the US
In the US, according to Indeed, the average full-stack developer salary is currently $110,762 in 2017 — about $51 per hour. San-Francisco offers full-stack engineers the highest salaries in the union — over $130K per year. New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles follow with $120K, $118K, and $117K respectively. The salaries of full-stack developers in Washington, DC are closest to the national average at $110,051 per year.
In the UK, the average full-stack developer salary is around $57,751, according to ITJobsWatch.
If you’re based in either of these countries, it can be hard to find a locally available full-stack developer, let alone an affordable one. If you consider outsourcing, you open your search to a much wider talent pool; on Upwork (a freelancing platform), hourly rates in Asia can range from $20 (the Philippines) to $40 (India), and across Latin America rates can be $30–50. Ukrainian freelance rates range from $30–40, depending on the full-stack developer’s skills and experience.
Full-Stack Developer Job Postings Trend | ITJobsWatch
Full-Stack Developer Job PostingsTrend | Indeed
We know that finding a suitable full-stack developer can be difficult, and we hope that the information on this page has helped you. We can guide you through every step of the process, and if you’re ready to begin hiring a full-stack engineer, please contact us by filling out the form below.