The Full Stack Developer
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.
How to Become a Full Stack Developer
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.
Coding Bootcamp vs Self Study
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.
CS Degree vs Coding Bootcamp
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.
How to Choose a Coding 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:
Narrow down your options – you can rule out some bootcamps based on location, cost, and time commitment.
Ask About Projects – at a quality full stack developer bootcamp, you'll build at least 2-3 projects to add to your portfolio. These should include front-end and back-end technologies to show that you can handle programming across the full stack.
Meet the Instructors – do the bootcamp instructors have real-world coding experience? Did they work for reputable companies before teaching? Pro-Tip: Take an intro course or free workshop hosted by the bootcamp to really understand the teaching style.
Ask About Outcomes – do past bootcamp graduates get jobs in web development? Ask the school directly for their CIRR report or job outcomes report, read bootcamp reviews, and even reach out to alumni on LinkedIn to ask questions.
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.
Full Stack Developer Salary
|Coding Bootcamp Graduate
|Full Stack Developer
Full Stack Developer Jobs
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:
- Full Stack Engineer
- Full Stack Web Developer
- Full Stack Software Engineer
- Full Stack Architect
- Front End Developer
- Back End Developer
- Mobile Developer
- Machine Learning Engineer
- Junior Developer
- Associate Developer
- Senior Developer
- Web Development Apprentice
- Web Development Instructor
- Teacher Assistant
Full Stack Developer vs Software Engineer
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.
Full Stack Developer Resume
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:
HTML - HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It is a standardized markup language used for creating a webpage. These pages can include writing, links, pictures, sound, and video. HTML is used to denote these elements so that the web browser can display them correctly.
Ruby on Rails - Ruby is a programming language. Rails is an open source web app framework written in Ruby. Ruby on Rails (RoR) is built for speed and adaptation.
Python - Python is a programming language with a cleaner syntax that is built with data manipulation, analytics, system administration, and scientific programming in mind.
Django - Django is an open-source web app framework written in Python. It is a highly customizable option.
Java - Java is a general-purpose programming language and platform used for web development, Android development, and enterprise apps.
C# - C# is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm programming language developed by Microsoft that is used for developing desktop applications.
.Net - .Net is a back end language.
Git - Git is a version control system that keeps track of changes made to projects over time.
HTTP - HTTP is the protocol that allows servers to communicate with the front end.
REST API - REST is the interface that allows the back end to understand the front end.
Soft Skills - Recruiters are looking for good communicators, team players, and critical thinkers. Most recruiters agree technical skills can be taught but soft skills cannot.
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 Developer Portfolio
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: