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Pros And Cons of Hiring Full Stack Developers for Application Development

Full-stack comes from around early 2000 to mid-2000. Building software was really expensive and complicated and needed too many people to manage a single website. This is where developers sought the need of becoming a full-stack developer. Each technology layer was forced to innovate and introduced new simplify languages like PHP and Ruby and frameworks like jQuery, emberjs, JavaScript came out.

This is when coding started to become popular. With all these innovations and new ways of building software especially on the web meant that one developer can now do multiple things. Thus, the full-stack developer was born. Developers could write back-end applications now for the first time.

The intention was, why to depend on another theme, or another back-end developer just so you can get a server-side endpoint that serves you some data. That was kind of revolutionary that one developer can do it by itself. No doubt a full-stack developer can bring a lot of advantages to web development but, there is some drawback of it as well.

fill stack developers

First, we look at the advantages of becoming a full-stack developer.

Expand Portfolio

One of the biggest advantages of becoming a full-stack developer is you are no longer limited to what you can only do as a front-end developer. As seen, a lot of developers are limited to that. They can’t really create a project for themselves. They cannot come up with different ideas because all they know is just a front-end some static pages. When you limit yourself to the front-end, you are limited to one little section of development. Knowing the full spectrum and becoming a full-stack developer is definitely going to open doors for you to be able to understand and create projects and its application will be way beyond than just showing some presentation on front-end development.

More Opportunities

A lot of developers have been looking for work and trying to get some jobs. In reality, you will not get hired for a lot of different gigs because the employers are looking for somebody who knows MySQL, PHP, Node.js, MongoDB, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, or who can build a microservice, and things like that. If you can only perform what everybody else can do, you won’t be able to find a really good job unless you know the full spectrum of web development which is full-stack. So if you are really looking to make some money or work for yourself you must learn back-end development as well.

Stay Ahead

You will find many people who only know to work on front-end or just the back-end of the development. That’s all they can do. But if you are the guy specialist in all three layers, knowing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as specialist in the back-end and well versed in server-side languages and can build the entire website by yourself only and can add some extra feature to it then you are the one that is going to be hired.

Above the other people who can only do one job. It’s obviously not that easy to learn front-end and back-end. Remember, everything is about development. It’s a cycle in which everything is connected to each other. Once you learn one thing, you can learn another thing.

Get Paid More

You get paid more being a full-stacked developer. Companies really want developers to know as much as possible when it comes to hiring them. When you go to a company, they want you to hit the ground running. They want you to understand everything. and if you can do all of those things, you are going to get paid more. If you know more than 80 percent of what’s in the wish list, then you are the go-to developer. Because anything they want you to do, you are going to handle it and that’s very important for the company.

Deeper Understanding

When you only know the front-end or back-end development, it limits you to one side. For instance, as a front-end developer, whenever you have some errors at the server-end you are never going to help out and will always be depended to somebody to help you out. Full-spectrum development helps out the developers. It’s a really good thing to know the front-end and the back-end. it makes you able to build your own applications from the ground to up. Applications like Facebook, Twitter, and Airbnb are successful because their developers have a deeper understanding of their applications, and if they did not know the full-stack those applications would not be here.

Now let’s have a look at some of the advantages from a business point of view.

Startup Businesses

It’s a very good reason for startup companies to hire a full-stack developer as a startup company.  You probably will have some new projects to start with and it is good practice to have a full-stack developer for creating a basic software structure and putting all the components of the application where they need to be.

Technical Leader

Full-stack developers can be an excellent choice as a team lead for your technical. By knowing the complete cycle of the web development they can better understand the business requirements and with their vast engineering capabilities can help other developers in putting all the elements of the development together. Taking all the parameters into account for the project they can serve as an extremely valuable resource for the company.

Cost Effective

Although full-stack developers are expensive to hire with all the expertise they offer. However, will still be very cost effective than hiring more than one specialist for each layer for a single development project. And most of all they will save you extra on your communication overheads as when more specialists are deployed, each one will be depended on a certain part of the project of another specialist and they will require a lot of coordination to come to a single page. It will also save you a lot of time as the project will be done single handily by one developer only, knowing how to bring everything together in a faster and easier way.

Disadvantages:

A Growing Number of the Stack

The first problem for the full-stack developers is, the stack itself grown immensely. You don’t just have front-end and back-end and database anymore. There is a machine learning, data analytics, mobile vs web, deployment and release management, there is a lot more now. It has become increasingly difficult to become a full-stack with all these constantly evolving technologies around.

Higher Standard

The second problem is that the quality of software has gone up. Standards are higher now, and perfect user experience is not a luxury anymore, it is expected now. To meet such high standards, applications require little more than just the basic and you will need to acquire full-stack knowledge which has become increasingly labyrinthine.

Specialized Technology

The third problem faced by the developers is that each layer of full-stack even the traditional ones, the front-end and the back-end and database has become consistently more and more specialized and detailed and more complicated, not to mention ever-changing within each layer you have incredibly granular and deep specialty areas. For example, on the front-end, you have large coding programming with JavaScript what some people consider to be the core of the front-end, plus all the frameworks like Angular and React and View everything is JavaScript. That alone is huge. Then you have UI and UX engineering, prototypes, CSS architecture, design and animation, and everything related to aesthetics. Then you have the tooling, package management, software designing, and everything related to infrastructure. This just wasn’t the thing back in mid-2000.

Then comes to the testing strategy like unit testing, immigration test, end to end test, massively important and almost impossible to nail by just a single person. On top of that your front-end architecture. All of the codes are built on top of the architecture. Its basic role is to bring all of it together. And that’s only the front end let alone all the frameworks out there and the changes with every single release.

Completely Different Architecture

The back-end is entirely a different thing with a different set of problems that are completely different in nature. So many different programming paradigms and languages and frameworks that take time to study them and practice them in real life and projects. Plus, keeping up with the frameworks alone is a full-time job.

Jack of all the Trades, and Master of None

There is this one more drawback of the full-stack developers is that they are the jack of all the trades, and master of none. Front-end, back-end, server-side, knowing MySQL, PHP, Node.js, MongoDB, JavaScript, CSS, HTML5, and things like that, it all takes time to learn. 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.

Maybe it is good for some startup businesses with a limited budget to have one man to do all sorts of jobs for cost saving. But you cannot deny the fact that doing so will lower the quality of each layer and that should not be any programmers goal or something you should be proud of. What you need is someone with a clear focus as a specialist in front-end or back-end knowing important technologies for effective development and not someone with a general knowledge of programming languages for web development.

You must learn and work in an area where you feel more comfortable working with all the important technologies. You need to look into the specialty which is aligned to your needs most.

Conclusion

Full-stack developers bring everything in one basket and capable of carrying most of the project by themselves. It’s good to know about different parts of the system. You should spend time and learn about different technologies. But the reality is one cannot be an expert in everything. Specialization is good.

We should learn that from the industrial revolution that specialization is necessary and rewarding and that one person does not need to do everything. We need experts in every field. Just like we prefer a specialized doctor or lawyer for a specific problem we should hire a specialized developer for each layer of the development.

Stuti Dhruv

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.