Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 What is a full stack developer?
- 3 Everything that gives a front end developer a headache
- 4 The ones who don’t care what it looks like
- 5 And to bring it all together…
- 6 And now, for the money
IntroductionWeb development has its own jargon, just like every other industry in the world. The term full stack developer is thrown around a lot when the topic turns to making websites. In this tutorial, we will explain what is a full stack developer and how to become one. Hint: it won’t be easy but worth it in the end.
Everything that gives a front end developer a headacheLet’s start discussing what is a full stack developer from the outside in. It should make it easier for you to visualize what people of each specialty do against the all-familiar backdrop we all see when we open a website.
What is a front end developer responsible for?While it doesn’t directly tell you what is a full stack developer, this section will help you understand what a part of the full stack developer life is like. As we have touched upon before, everything the end user sees when visiting the website is front end developers’ bread and butter. Every image, transition, button, the piece of text and video you see on a website was first envisioned to be there by a website designer and then put there by a front end developer. The front end developer is responsible for building the skeleton of the website, making it look good and making sure that all the different elements you can interact with do what they are supposed to and how they are supposed to do it. The front end developer will code the layout of the pinkfluffycrocs.com website, he will define where the image of the product goes and how it looks, where the price goes, what you see when you click that CHECK OUT button. He will make sure that you enter a correctly formatted email address when you sign up and many more things. Hopefully, you get the idea.
The ones who don’t care what it looks likeDon’t get me wrong, back end developers usually try to make sure that their code is tidy and readable. Messy code is a sign of you being a sloppy programmer, after all. But. While front end developers are all about what the users see, back end guys couldn’t care less because John Doe will never see what they do. Unless the whole website goes down or their order of that Special Edition pink fluffy crocodile doesn’t arrive.
What do back end developers do?This is the second part of what is a full stack developer. Back end developer is part of what a full stack does. But what will you do if you specialize in back end development? In short, they make the server side of the website they are developing their… best friend. Their job is to make sure that the site works instead of looking like it works. Let’s go back to pinkfluffycrocs.com. You find the croc you want. You look if it’s in stock, you see that there is one in the warehouse. How does the website know? There is a database on the server, the back end guys made sure that it’s accurate and always updated. They also made sure that if you go away for 10 minutes, someone else bought the last croc and you refreshed the page when you came back, the product would show up as out of stock now. When you log in, the processes back end guys created make sure that your account details are correct too. Think of it like this, a front end developer controls everything that’s happening in your browser. Back end developers control everything that’s happening on the server. The two have to play nice with each other to make sure that everything works as it’s supposed to overall.
What do back end developers need to know?
Databases are one more thing you will work with extensively as a back end developer. Why do you need databases? How else is information supposed to be kept? Let’s say that the user creates an account on pinkfluffycrocs.com. How are you supposed to know if he entered the correct login details and check if there’s a user with these details at all without having it all saved in a database? How are you supposed to check if you have Pink Fluffy Croc Special Edition with Blue Eyes And Leather Jacket in stock without keeping a constantly updated database which you set up the back end to constantly check? Yeah, databases. Love ‘em, hate ’em, but they will always be needed. You will also need to have a basic understanding of front end development and server configuration, but it’s not what you’re going to work with extensively. For server-side programming, you will have to know an appropriate coding language, like Node.js, PHP, or possibly Python. For databases, the three most popular options are MongoDB, MySQL, and Oracle. So, what is a full stack developer? He’s the guy who can jump in and do all of the required tasks in the back end and then jump in when front end developers need some help. A full stack developer will rarely be as skilled at these tasks as a specialist, though. Web development is simply too rich a subject.
And to bring it all together…So, what is a full stack developer? He is a Jack of all trades, master of none. He’s the guy who can jump in to help out the front end guys to finish with that React.js stuff to make it in time for the launch before lunch, then descend from the heavens in front of the back end guys to help them out too. This might sound great but there’s a significant downside to being a full stack developer.
Full stack development is for me! How do I start?Let’s assume that you are someone who hasn’t written a single line of code in your life but find this world fascinating. Now, we will go through everything you need to know how to become a full stack developer. The first thing you should do on your way to become a full stack developer is to master HTML and CSS. Everything you are going to do in your career is built on these two things, just like a website. After that, there are two ways you could approach your goal. From the back end to the front end or from the front end to the back end. Seeing as you’ve just finished learning everything you need to know about HTML and CSS, starting from the front end and transitioning into the back end seems like a better way. Next, you should figure out what is a full stack web developer you want to become. This will depend on the web development solution stack you wish to pursue.
We’ve mentioned what’s in the MERN stack already, but let’s recap:
M – MongoDB, responsible for the database management in your skillset.
E – Express.js, a server framework, designed to be used with Node.js.