Know the Top Skills that Crest The Full-Stack Development
There has been no shortage of posts trying to define full-stack development in their way. Realize how high the limits are when you specialize!
Table of Contents
The basics of the programming languages or frameworks that the developers learn today can often be picked in a matter of hours with an internal discussion with the team or according to the technologies prevalent in the market, budget and time constraints. This often lacks the requirements of the client or maybe ignorance or lack of interest from the customer’s end. Developers no longer add skills to their CV’s by taking a course. They adopt the easier way by downloading some code and start hacking through tutorials and demo code. Knowing something in web development and truly mastering it makes a huge difference. Getting disillusioned by your skills and deploying a code that has already been used by many users earlier is disillusioning. If you write a web application that scales well under huge load – you receive some great feedback-but does that make you the master of everything that you used in this stack? The fact is, you were good at implementing the layers that were required to make things work for that specific project.
No. 1: Who is a full stack developer = A person acting as a panacea for all software development activities – designing, development, and testing single-handedly. This involves translating user requirements into the overall architecture, implementing the system, coordinating with the client, writing backend code, writing optimized front-end code, understanding-creating-debugging the database queries, creating test code, monitoring the performance of web applications and infrastructure and troubleshooting the application.
No. 2: There is less chance to find a good full stack developer!
Requisite Skills for a Full-Stack Developer.
(In no particular order)
- Data structure and algorithms,
- Programming languages,
- Source control,
- Text editors,
- IDE’s (Integrated Development Environment),
- Operating System,
- Networking Basics,
- Basics of Testing,
- Cross-Platform Software,
- Encryption and Cryptography,
- SDLC (Software development life cycle),
- Microsoft Excel (helps to track progress, data analysis,
- Maintenance of data,
- Data quality check,
- Definitely for project planning.
What did it mean earlier?
A senior full-stack engineer architects a modular Backbone, similar to an AngularJS front-end whilst optimizing content delivery and tweaking hardware-accelerated layers in the CSS, followed by implementing an async non-blocking backend (which also pre-renders templates on the server), and pushing to an AWS cluster which has been built considering the application design, its security, and scalability. Designing responsive UI and mobile-first is quintessential. Utilizing a CSS pre-processor to save time is equally important. Setting up Nagios Core (monitoring and alerting for servers, switches, applications) or Solarwinds NPM (Network Performance Monitor) or PRTG Network Monitor by Paessler or ManageEngine OpManager or Zabbix or Icinga or OpenNMS for monitoring. Apart from this, ideally, when the continuous Integration Server detects an error in the build due to untimely failure of your end-to-end tests, it gets it to send you a text message with the build error messages. These last few are add-on bonuses.
Finding the Real Full-Stack Hero: The Approach of Siloing Responsibilities
N.B: They have to be true to one’s profile…taking time out to upgrade one’s skills
The rapid emergence of more complicated technologies and more layered stacks makes it increasingly difficult for developers to maintain full-stack knowledge. As refined front-end (client-side) and back-end (server-side) specialists begin to emerge this paved the way to “Full-Stack development”.
As time wore on, development teams felt a shift back to more complicated technologies and more layered stacks in the early 2010’s encouraged configuring roles. As both the server-side and client-side work become polarized resulting in the popularization of front-end and back-end development. In response, full-stack development became popular in an attempt to distinguish developers that didn’t identify with the front-end and back-end specialist binary. They established themselves as a third type of developers – the ones that could handle both sides of the coin on their own.
What does it mean now?
Facebook as a classic example hired only “Full-Stack Developers” who were until then and even now considered unicorns – who go beyond a senior engineer and details everything.
A full-stack developer and a senior engineer might necessarily not be the same. Notwithstanding the magic that they create, they must be familiar if not master every layer of the stack. The source control, data infrastructure, distributed computing, etc.
Let’s define the stack
There are similarities in architectural design and patterns across different stacks:
- Lamp Stack
LAMP is a widely used model for web service stacks. Its name “LAMP” is an acronym of four open-source components.
L= Linux: An open-source operating system
A= Apache: Widely used web server software
M= MySQL: Popular open source database
P=PHP: Server-side open-source scripting language
A popular example is Facebook.
- Mean Stack
MEAN Stack Application Development is witnessing a growing trend in usage. MEAN is an abbreviation of:
M = MongoDB: NoSQL Database
E = Express: Easy to use light and portable web program framework
- Mern Stack
M=MongoDB: Popular NoSQL database
E=Express: Light and portable web program framework
This stack currently in huge demand as it is widely used to develop web applications.
On the designing end, a full stack developer is required to realize the importance of user experience to a successful application – create wireframes, mockups, prototypes, PSD files – they as well need to understand the rationale behind the design and talk to designers about what can and can’t be implemented effectively.
They also need to consider the hardware on which the stack has to be implemented. The performance of the full stack developer and the subsequent application can only be understood by knowing how the software interacts with the underlying hardware, how SQL processes queries and how the CPU executes those instructions and how the disk drives deliver the data across various layers of caching.
Then the network also has a huge impact on the performance of the application. If it has to be deployed on a cloud server, taking advantage of Amazon’s infrastructure to build a virtual server farm and data center that’s almost infinitely scalable.
Therefore there is a need to understand the cloud computing, Amazon and its APIs – yes being a Full-Stack Developer is a tall order and the situation is much more aspirational than it seems at the very first instance. It goes beyond being a senior developer. Having a working knowledge of the underlying frontend, backend, and database and testing technologies are not easy. Performing as DevOps – acting as an application developer and also performing other tasks like testing and deploying the application. The overall application must be beautiful and efficient enough to run on the prescribed platform. Therefore the ultimate choice of the technologies, the skills at hand, the client’s demand and the allotted budget and time factorize the importance of a full stack developer.