6 steps to becoming a full stack developer

Full stack developer has become one of the most sought-after positions in the technology domain. The boom in this area has led to the mushrooming of both web-based and in-class training centers, which help individuals become full stack developers (and this has nothing to do with piling up a stack of pancakes at IHOP!). Some of these centers also support trainees to get plum coding jobs at the end of the course.

Who is a full stack developer?

A programmer skilled in coding both the frontend and the backend parts of a web application is called a full stack web developer.
The frontend: This is the part of the web application that the user sees and uses.
The backend: These are parts of the application that function behind the scenes and execute the commands issued by the user. This usually includes:

  • logical processes
  • database-related processes
  • validation of users
  • server configuration

A full stack developer is not expected to be an expert in all areas pertaining to the frontends and backends. The individual needs to be knowledgeable in all the technologies involved and should be able to understand the processes happening within the entire application.

You can become a full stack developer by following a few simple steps, such as:

Step 1: Learn the necessary programming languages

full stack developer

A full stack developer needs to know the following technologies:

HTML/CSS

The web is built on these technologies. HTML is the tool that helps developers input content into a website and CSS is a designing tool used to alter the appearance of web applications. Both are essential tools for a full stack developer and are taught in all courses, whether online or in-person.

JavaScript

This is a must-have for any full stack developer. This can be used in both front-end and back-end processes. Browsers are built on it and JavaScript can be used as a server-side language as well.

Backend technologies

After mastering HTML/CSS and JavaScript, you need to learn at least one language used for coding backend processes. The functions occurring in the backend of a web application are database operations, user validation, and logical operations.

Any course, whether online or otherwise, most often will teach you backend technology — PHP, Java, Python, or SQL. Learning one of the languages should suffice but you should attain proficiency in it.

Step 2: Refine the knowledge

  • To understand complex concepts, you need to be sure about the fundamentals. JavaScript & HTML/CSS form the base of web development. For any novice, you should be clear about all aspects of these technologies.
  • Test your knowledge. Create test web pages and apply the concepts learned in the course. JavaScript can be found in 99 percent of all web applications. Become proficient in its use.
  • Knowledge of programming concepts can help improve coding skills. Some theories/knowledge to acquire before pushing ahead are:
  1. Servers and their functioning
  2. Networks and their nuances
  3. Web-hosting environments
  4. Algorithms and their formulation
  5. Data structures (types, properties, and use)
  6. Programming technologies
  7. Databases and their management
  • You should be able to piece together the different parts of the application and create a whole out of the parts. For this, you should understand how each part works, its role in the bigger scheme of things and how one part connects to the other.

Step 3: Become familiar with all technologies but a master of one

full stack developer

As the scope of your leaning expands, you will realize that there is much more to learn than you possibly can master. Most programmers fail because they try to learn too much of too many things. There is no need for such efforts. Master one and understand the rest. Learn how to work in them and that should be good enough.

As your experience grows, your ease with the technologies will also improve. Take pains to specialize in one technology. Choose a technology popular among clients. This should help you compete effectively with others in the field and produce outstanding work. And with the way this economy is growing with lower taxes, you should have a bright career ahead and be able to relocate other states if you wish to.

Step 4: Take a course

Even the best prepared should be willing to keep learning new things to remain relevant. New technologies join the foray frequently — no one knows everything. A full stack developer needs to stay abreast of these changes. Taking online or virtual courses is an easy way to keep upskilling. Among the many organizations offering technology courses online are:

A word of caution: Avoid costly courses that promise to teach everything in a matter of hours.

Since the objective is to learn theory and get practical exposure within the shortest time possible, choose courses that offer:

  • Mentoring by knowledgeable coders.
  • Flexible schedule that matches yours.
  • Projects as part of the curriculum (see the University of Phoenix, which incorporates teamwork into the curriculum with acumen).
  • Tutoring to clarify doubts (either individually or in groups).

Step 5: Get practical exposure

full stack developer

The most challenging part of the process is when you have a thorough understanding of all the necessary technologies—HTML/CSS, JavaScript, back-end programming, databases, and HTTP/REST. Time has come to use all this knowledge in an application. For this, you need to know:

  • The right way to structure code.
  • Means to separate files.
  • Environment to host large media files.
  • The right data structures to use.
  • Location of each computational task (client-side or server-side).

Theoretical knowledge can be obtained by reading online materials, but to understand application architecture properly, you must implement an actual web application.

Working with a team is the ideal way to accomplish this through an individual can also develop an application alone. This exercise adds the all-essential practical exposure to the technology toolkit of a full-stack developer.

A few companies may insist on an applicant having a degree in computer science to apply for the position, but most will overlook education if a candidate can exhibit the necessary coding abilities.

Step 6: Take up additional assignments

Join additional projects in your company that work on technologies outside your expertise. This way you will upskill and add extra value to your organization as well. Most companies will appreciate these types of initiatives — just don’t try to show anyone up and courteous in your pursuit of learning.

Not as hard as it may look

In the beginning, the journey to becoming a full stack developer might appear herculean. But experience makes the process easier. Continuously upgrading your skill-set is not as daunting as it may appear at first. Moreover, being able to understand all aspects of a project will make you an indispensable part of your company or department.

Featured image: Shutterstock

23 thoughts on “6 steps to becoming a full stack developer”

  1. A full stack developer is an engineer that can produce the same as 2 or 3 talented software engineers. They have to be talented otherwise it is meaningless. Because 2 or 3 average Engineers are the equivalent of 0 engineers as far as productivity is concerned. Half of all software engineers employed are practically useless. Every company has at least 1 talented engineer or they get nothing done or produced. IMHO. How many average Software Engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb? 0, it is impossible there are no average engineers to be found, they are on their breaks.

    1. Benjamin Roussey

      Laziness/incompetence is part of every industry. Nice feedback. Solid incite. I hope your day is going well.

  2. i have completed my B.tech in civil engineering.but i have intrest in web development & now i am learning these things what you have mention in your article.can i be a excellent developer??? & Thank you for your guidance ..#Benjamin Roussey

    1. Shubham Tiwari

      hello suprit ,
      I compleated my BCA & MCA degree and I’m working in an IT company but when I started work in the IT field I realised some things which are helpful to you……… I hope 🙂 … in my office, there are many people are working but they did not have any relevant degree like BCA, MCA, B.TECH CS, or other Computer science degrees. they are graduate from other field so how can they get a job ? they get job because they learn some skills for web development. so the point is you only have knowledge about web development you gain that skills you grew up in this field so my friend only pay attention to learn skills, not to a degree… because degree only helps you to enter the interview room after that your selection only based on your skills, not degree.

  3. Infinijith Technologies

    Thank you for these six useful tips. As my suggestion, a full-stack developer is the one who is focussing on both front-end and back-end development process and have complete updates with the above-mentioned languages. It is helpful for beginners who are interested in full-stack development services. Also, I would like to mention about Infinijith Apps & Technologies who are using cutting edge technologies to produce full-stack real-time applications.

  4. No. You will be a shit developer even if you become one. The reason is there is a huge gap between you and a Computer Science Student. You will need to work your ass off for 2-3 years just to fill the gap.

  5. I have learned html and css and been practising it for sometime, i have learned javascript and some react too and the course i am doing its gonna cover node and express too, i am confused about which language to grasp more and which to focus less to be a good programmer , which language and frameworks are best to master these days

    1. Ramandeep Kaur

      For backend development, you should refer Java programming. And also please do practicing and coding of HTML,CSS,JS and other you learned already.

  6. Muskan Salampuria

    Your guidance motivates me and helped me to prepare my strategy and made me feel that its not hard to achieve if we keep our laziness aside.

  7. My purpose is to become a full stack devlopper by 2021… I already leart HTML/CSS in few days, now I have to master the other languages! I fell in love with coding <3

  8. I want to become a Full Stack Developer in Future, in order do become one which undergraduate course should I chose in my University in order to become a full Stack Developer. Kindly guide me in my path of success

  9. I want to be a Full Web Stack Developer but I do not have a bachelor degree, There is no company will hire me and as I am age 34 I can not take a bachelor degree. Kindly guide me

    1. Just practice and create projects. As soon as you have the skills, you can promote yourself in freelancing sites. This’ll be very hard at first but it’ll be sure worth it. After having enough clients, you can choose between continuing what you’re doing or use it to apply to a company.

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