What is a Full-Stack Developer?
A full-stack developer is a specialized developer. It is someone who knows various coding languages for a front-end design and a development of a website along with the back-end coding and design and also knows how to manage and maintain the lynx server. In that sense, it’s someone that handles every aspect of a website from the front-end, back-end, and the server side.
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Three Tier Architecture:
Basically, every web development consists of three-tier architecture and is divided into three layers. And it is very important for a full-stack developer to be specialized in all three layers.
Presentation layer: Also known as a client-side layer addresses issues related to UI and is concerned about how data is presented to the end users.
Business logic layer: It is more concerned about the data aspect element of web-app and processing and validating the data for the end users.
Data access layer: Date access layer is responsible for activities behind the scene such as storage of data and data persistence.
Who should hire a full-stack developers?
Before we look into what characteristics to look for when hiring a full-stack developer. Let’s have a look into some of the points on who should hire full stack developers.
It is good for the startup companies to start their web projects with a full-stack developer because he or she will start creating a solution from the scratch and on the way will lay out all the components of the application where they need to be.
If the members of your technical team are only specialized in one area, it is a good idea to provide them with a leader as a full-stack developer who will be in charge of putting all the elements together. He will better serve as a captain of the ship with a broad as well shallow knowledge of all the layers of your stack.
Another reason to hire a full-stack developer is that you can get the most out it in case of a limited budget as you will not have to hire too many specialists for a single project and can be done single handily by one developer. Plus, more people you have working on a single project the slower it will be to complete the project in time as each individual will be working on certain parts he or she is a specialist and will need to have a lot of coordination among them. You can also minimize the overhead cost of communication by hiring a full-stack developer.
You need a specialist for all three layers
Once you figure it out why you need to hire a full-stack developer for your project you can then start getting in touch with potential candidates. You should also figure out what stack of technology you will be going to use according to your requirement, you can then choose a stack that best suits your needs and look for the experience that matches your technology and the projects they have previously worked on.
What to look in a full-stack developer?
Till this point, there are many people who have expertise in one layer. Some people really creative work in designing, people who work with logic they do business layer and the people who love databases they work on the top layer. But now some companies especially startup they prefer someone known as the full-stack developer. That simply means, from start to end everything will be done by one person. So that one person is responsible for the design, to build business logic, and to work with the database as well.
Finding a full stack developer in India is challenging, especially for a startup. There are a lot of big companies around, who are snapping up all the talented people. it’s important to know that full stack developer is not always a specialist in everything. No two developers are the same. More often one developer has a certain set of skills stronger than the other or perhaps one is more experienced working with front-end while the other is more efficient working with the back-end.
Area of expertise
You may think that full-stack means learning at all but that’s not entirely true. It is more of identifying the areas where you can perform at your best and then carving the way that gets you there. When hiring a full-stack developer, what you need to look at is your business need and what your target audience is and decide what focus area of web technologies relate to your requirements.
Most of the time a full stack development consists of different languages, database systems, server side, word control system and operating systems. You need to look at into these characteristics while hiring your full-stack developer.
Master one language, and not all
Now that your focus is in place you need to look into some of the important technologies in place. Most developers try to master all at once but given the range of technologies it’s not possible or if not impossible it is certainly difficult to gain expertise in everything you do. And this is what most of the developers do. What you need now is someone with a clear focus on some of the important technologies for effective development and not all the general purpose programming languages.
You need to look into someone more comfortable working with all the important technologies. You need to look into the specialty which is aligned to your needs most. If he or she has an edge in one area over others rest assure with the practical experience will improve in the rest of the areas of general technologies.
Other fundamental knowledge to look at is the developer’s knowledge about data structure, different algorithms, networks, databases, servers, and hosting environment needs to be very clear before considering the hire. And most of all, he or she must know how to make a good sensible connection between all these technologies and to create a link between a piece of information.
Another important thing to consider while selecting a candidate is to check his or her culture fit or in other words, flexibility if it relates to work. For instance, if you are hiring someone remotely, make sure you will be comfortable working without unnecessary culture tensions. And to make sure he or she will also be able to work together in a culture not used to working with.
At the end what matters is how is your experience with what you are creating. If you want to create something with easy to use for users, good quality product and great functionality then you must look into someone more focused, feel and experience what your end product should look like. Someone who must consider the security feature of the web application and be able to serve the purpose it was built for. Anyone with such focus will accomplish the task much easier and faster without compromising the specific purpose in mind.
Besides being faster in completing the task, he or she must be patient to get where you want them to be. You should also look into someone who enjoys working with software and web-development, be persistent, and have a desire and eagerness to learn along the way. Because the dynamics of the ever-changing market is that you will never know what technology you will be implementing next and there is a lot to learn.
Now that you know the advantages of hiring full-stack developers as he or she knows several things. You certainly need one when you are starting up or when you need a technical lead. There is no communication gape as you don’t have different teams to handle a single application. Even if you have two or three full stack developers they know what they are talking about. And the big advantage of a full-stack developer is that they are the jack of all the technologies, and master of none. There is however this drawback especially with the fresher one.
They know everything but they are not master of all. But the moment you start working on some projects and some technologies will increase. Look for someone with good communication skills, technical competencies, be able to learn new libraries, and be able to perform all the required work. When these factors in mind, you will surely be able to pick up the right choice of your next full-stack developer.
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About The Author
My name is Stuti Dhruv & I am senior consultant at Aalpha, primarily working on pre sales, consulting with clients on latest technology trends.