What Is a Full Stack Developer? - Salary & Job Description

Full stack developers are software or website programmers who combine the roles of front-end and back-end developers. Continue reading to learn more about what full stack developers do and how to prepare for this career.

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Career Definition of a Full Stack Developer

When people access a website and press on tabs to open different pages they are using features that are part of what's called front-end development. Data that's stored on a site is associated with back-end development. Front-end development refers to what people use on a website to navigate and perform functions. Back-end development refers to the structural foundation needed to host sites and store the data and applications needed for a site to work properly. Full stack developers are web developers who are equipped to work on both front-end and back-end development. They are responsible for all aspects of programming and development required to ensure that websites run properly.

One of the advantages of hiring a full stack developer is that they can provide continuity on a project. They are equipped to develop project plans to see development through from start to finish. This reduces the need for coordinating tasks and development plans between front-end and back-end developers. Part of their job involves ensuring that customer needs are met through an effective website design and relevant applications that will give them access to the information that they need. Since another part of their job involves making sure that the site design will work effectively with the information the site is accessing and that the site meets server requirements, it's fair to say that full stack developers are responsible for ensuring both technical and consumer needs are met when a website is designed. Full stack developers may also produce software and be involved in site or program testing to ensure their products work properly.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Organizing, designing, computer programming, communicating, serving customers, problem-solving, analyzing, paying attention to detail
Median Salary (2018)* $74,893
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 15% (all web developers)

Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Although it is possible to become a web developer with an associate's degree in a relevant subject, such as computer programming, many employers require full stack developers to have a bachelor's degree. In addition to an academic background in computer science or programming, those planning on a career as a full stack developer can benefit from earning certifications in different programming languages, such as JavaScript.

Required Skills

In addition to excellent programming abilities, full stack developers need strong organizational skills to prepare a plan for producing software or websites. They should also have solid analytical skills to identify the source of any issues with their products. These professionals must be competent problem-solvers to develop ways for correcting performance issues and satisfying both technical and consumer needs.

Career Outlook and Salary

As of 2018, full stack developers took home a median income of $74,893, according to PayScale.com. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that web developers, including full stack developers, would see a job growth rate of 15% from 2016 to 2026. This is more than double the average growth rate of 7% the BLS expects for all occupations during this period.

Related Careers

If becoming a full stack developer interests you then you may also find aspects of other computer-related careers appealing. Use the links here to learn more about jobs in game, software and database development.

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