A full stack developer is a rare breed and good full stack developers are invaluable. They are the single most important entity that can seal the fate of your application. But when picking the right full stack developer for your dream project, it’s best to be realistic and reasonable in your expectations. The task list and skill set for full stack developers is non-exhaustive and demanding. It’s advisable to prioritize skills and look for a person who meets your top demands. It’s better to be specific about your requirements and weigh candidates based on relevant experience and exposure.
All said and done, getting a competent full stack developer is a dream come true. It beats the hassle and expense of hiring different professionals for different tasks and then making them work together efficiently. But many hirers get disillusioned by the vast repository of app developers in the market. Each developer tries to sell himself as a full stack developer to land a lucrative project. But selecting a genuine full stack developer is a tough task that requires foresight and clarity. Select a person who can balance your business needs with market trends. Full stack development requires a rich background of front end, back end, server management, user research, project management and other soft skills.
Since there exist many misconceptions about the roles and responsibilities of full stack app developers, we thought it best to use this blog to dispel some wrong notions. Here is a list of myths associated with full stack development and developers:
A full stack developer is a master of all trades
Rather, a full stack developer is a jack of all trades. The skill set of a full-stack developer is never ending. He should be having a solid understanding of every layer of the stack (see image below). This enables developers to understand how different components of applications interact with each other. He can then explain interdependencies to the stakeholders in simple, understandable terms.
In plain words, a full-stack development demands a good grip over front end and back end systems in an application. He will be great at integrating the two and converting a visual design into an MVP. This doesn’t mean that he will understand ALL scripting languages or is skilled in using ALL database administration tools. But he will certainly have a holistic skill set that include front end development, back end development, project management and systems integration.
A full stack developer should be an expert coder
Ideally, a full stack developer shouldn’t be coding at all. He should be like a systems architect who is able to communicate technical visions to upper and middle management. Information engineer is also an apt description for full stack developers. This is because their role covers identifying issues and discrepancies in integration before they actually occur.
So, anyone who thinks that a full stack developer will be an expert coder, is mistaken. No doubt, full stack developers have in-depth knowledge of coding but they might not be involved in coding applications at the grass root level.
All full stack developers are the same
When looking for a full stack developer, you need to define the term “stack”. Do you mean the web stack, or the mobile stack or native applications? Even then, you will need to realize that full stack development is not a single skill; rather it means a suite of skills.
Every year one or more new layers are added to the stack. To get a single person who is adept at all the layers is not only unreasonable but almost impossible. The most you can hope to get is a person who understand the architectural layers that go into building an application and is aware of how a change in one layer will impact other layers and the final product. This is one of the reasons why full stack developer has been called a mythical creature that exists only in perfect dreams.
A full stack developer only needs technical knowledge
In fact, a full stack developer needs to have superior soft skills and management capabilities. He has to manage teams of creative intellectuals often motivated by divergent objectives. He has to be fluent communicator who is able to facilitate smooth conversation between the technical team, management and clients. He also should understand app market and current trends well. Only then, will he be able to manufacture relevant use cases and craft innovative workable solutions.
A full stack developer is a must for all projects
While a full stack developer will be a welcome addition to any app development team, it’s not absolutely essential to hire a full stack developer if your project needs can be fulfilled by hiring specialists. Needless to say, hiring separate specialists for front end, back end, data base management and project management will be a costly affair. But if the project complexity and size demands it, never hesitate to explore other options.
FSDs are an asset for any team. They are a single point of contact for all issues from the ideation to the app launch phase. They are well-versed in all layers of project management. They also serve as a go-between the client and the technical team. With so many roles to juggle, FSDs deserve the hefty remuneration they command.