A Full Stack Developer has knowledge of both front end and back end technologies. The front end is the visible part of the application that users interact with. The back end includes the server, database, and applications that power the front end. You may think of a ‘stack,’ in the term full stack, as the layers of technology used to create a complete application.
The three most popular ways of becoming a Full Stack Developer are attending a coding bootcamp, self-study, and earning a computer science degree.
Coding Bootcamp is the fastest, most streamlined way to become a Full Stack Web Developer. Coding bootcamps typically teach both technical skills and career success skills which help more than 80% of graduates secure jobs after bootcamp. Before attending coding bootcamp, you’ll want to prepare for their admissions process by taking a prep course, self studying beforehand, and considering interview questions. Bootcamps run anywhere from 8-16 weeks and on average cost $14,780 USD. Many bootcamps now offer deferred tuition, Income Share Agreements, and financing options.
Some self-taught programmers have founded insanely successful startups, including Instagram and Tumblr! Learning to code on your own using online resources, books, and free or paid for resources can take anywhere from 8 weeks if you have experience or multiple years if you don’t. Self study requires discipline, putting together a curriculum for yourself, and you’ll need to weather the job search on your own.
Earning a Computer Science (CS) degree might be the longest route to Full Stack Developer and the most expensive. This route will provide you with theoretical knowledge, mathematics, and exposure to more low level programming than a coding bootcamp. Critics say a computer science degree will not provide as much practical experience or tailored career counseling as bootcamp. If cost is a factor, then bootcamps certainly win. While coding bootcamps cost an average of $13,584, the tuition at top CS programs can be triple or quadruple that in just one academic year. Carnegie Mellon undergraduate tuition and tuition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is about $60,000-70,000 per year. In the past, most jobs required a CS degree. Now that they do not, the return on investment of a degree is not as high as a bootcamp.
The best coding bootcamp for you depends on your own learning style, career goals, availability, etc. Here's our advice for choosing the best web developer bootcamp:
Red Flags – instructors don't have real-world developer experience, the school can't tell you about past student career success, the school doesn't have dedicated career services, or the full-stack curriculum focuses too heavily on front-end languages.
|Sales Job||Average Salary|
|Coding Bootcamp Graduate||$66,964|
|Full Stack Developer||$75,057|
From big tech companies to small startups, Full Stack Developer jobs are abundant and demand is growing. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for software developers is expected to grow by 17%, “much faster than average” by 2024, which is about 200,000 more roles. The possibility to work in an office, work remotely, or freelance as a Full Stack Developer provides some of the most flexible and plentiful opportunities globally. But with so many different coding languages out there, it makes sense that each job description and job title is going to be unique. Common job responsibilities of Full Stack Developers include back end development, data engineering, mobile development, machine learning engineering, and/or front end web development.
Here is a list of the most frequent full stack development job titles for bootcampers:
Depending on the employer, Software Engineer and Full Stack Developer could mean exactly the same thing or two entirely different things. Some believe that Software Engineers are more concerned with back end development while Full Stack Developers work with every layer of a program. Others believe that Software Engineers work with computer programs that are not web applications or websites. Still, others believe that Software Engineers only do coding while Full Stack Developers are expected to do user experience research, front end design, and deployment in addition to writing code.
The Full Stack Developer is a generalist. A Full Stack Developer’s resume should show knowledge of both front end and back end technologies as well as an understanding of the user experience and user interface design process. Developers should also demonstrate transferable skills from their experiences before bootcamp. Full Stack Developers will need to learn multiple languages to be successful.
Here are some of the skills and technologies often taught in combination at Full Stack Web Development bootcamps:
A Full Stack Developer’s resume is not the only thing you’ll need to get a job. Fullstack Academy’s former Head of Career Success Ceren Depree says, “Anyone can build their own LinkedIn, resume, and Github.” Those three profiles are the most important things when it comes to the job hunt! For your LinkedIn profile, you’ll want to write a clear personal summary, feature any projects you’ve done at bootcamp, and dial in keywords to sprinkle throughout your profile. Your Github should feature all of your projects and you should follow any repositories you’re interested in.
Full Stack Developers must build and maintain an online portfolio. Showcase the projects you’ve built during bootcamp in your portfolio as well as on your resume. Here are some projects Developers built during bootcamp and added to their portfolios:
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General Assembly offers short and long courses in web and mobile development, product management, data science and more, online and in-person, across 15 campuses in 4 continents. Focusing on the most relevant and in-demand skills across data, design, business, and...Read our Full Review of General Assembly
Founded in 2012, Coding Dojo is a global technology education company that offers three full stack coding bootcamps, full-stack part-time programs, as well as courses on data science and other emerging technologies. Coding Dojo has campuses in Seattle, Chicago, Los...Read our Full Review of Coding Dojo
Udacity offers Nanodegrees which are online immersive full-time and part-time programs, ranging from 12-24 weeks in length for students worldwide. Nanodegree courses are available in subjects like data science, artificial intelligence, programming, autonomous systems,...Read our Full Review of Udacity
Flatiron School offers immersive on-campus and online programs in software engineering, data science, cybersecurity, and product design (UX/UI design). Flatiron School’s immersive courses aim to launch students into fulfilling careers by providing a robust career...Read our Full Review of Flatiron School
Actualize is a 12-week software development bootcamp in Chicago and online throughout the US, offering both part-time and full-time options. Instructors with professional educational experience teach students full stack web development including Ruby, Rails,...Read our Full Review of Actualize
Skillcrush is a woman-owned, independent, online coding & design school founded in 2012. Skillcrush offers both free and paid programs, including the self-paced Break Into Tech + Job Guarantee program, which prepares students for entry-level positions in front end...Read our Full Review of Skillcrush
Tech Elevator offers both full-time and part-time coding bootcamps that prepare students for a career as a software developer, starting with an Aptitude Test....Read our Full Review of Tech Elevator
The Tech Academy offers several full-time and part-time technology bootcamps that can be completed online or in-person at their Portland, Oregon campus. The Tech Academy offers bootcamps in computer programming, website development, cybersecurity, and front end...Read our Full Review of The Tech Academy
Makers Academy is a highly selective, 16-week, full-time program which teaches web development online and in hybrid cohorts at their campus in London, England. Makers Academy is creating a new generation of tech talent who are skilled and ready for the changing world...Read our Full Review of Makers Academy